HOW TO NAVIGATE DIFFERENT ATTACHMENT STYLES
Attachment style is a way of understanding how we interact with those around us. It’s an enduring characteristic that develops early in life and is based on our caregivers’ responsiveness to our needs as children.
Attachment styles are also influenced by the culture in which we grow up, but for the most part, they’re stable over time. If you’ve ever felt like something was off about your relationship with someone else or wondered why it feels so difficult to be close with someone who seems perfect for you in every other way — this article is for you!
What is attachment style?
Attachment style is a term that describes how you relate to others. It is a psychological, evolutionary and ethological theory concerning relationships between humans, originally formulated by psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby. Research conducted by Mary Ainsworth in the 1960s and 70’s created the basic concepts and styles. In the 1980’s the theory was extended to attachments in adults.
It’s rooted in the idea that our attachment to our primary caregiver as a child forms the basis for how we will form relationships later in life. Our attachment styles are influenced by the quality of our relationship with our caregivers and so, there is no one “right way” to be attached.
Attachment styles aren’t just about romantic relationships; they have implications for all kinds of relationships, including platonic ones. The three main types are secure, anxious/preoccupied and avoidant/dismissive–each with their own set of characteristics and behaviors.
Attachment styles are enduring
Attachment styles are not the same as personality. They are also not the same as relationship style. But attachment styles can change with experience, so it’s important to understand how they work and how they’re formed.
Attachment styles are enduring patterns of relating that we develop in childhood and adolescence based on our early experiences with caregivers. Generally speaking, secure attachment is associated with positive feelings about ourselves and others. While insecurity comes in three forms: anxious – a belief that people won’t be there for us , avoidant – avoiding intimacy, and ambivalent – being clingy when things go well but rejecting when they don’t. These patterns tend to stick around into adulthood; if you have an insecure attachment style growing up, chances are it’ll stick around into your adult life—and cause problems along the way!
Attachment style is developmentally informed
They can be difficult to change, but they can also act as a guidepost for navigating the world of love and relationships.
When we talk about attachment style, we’re actually referring to two different things:
- The way that people relate to other people.
- How children bond with their parents or caregivers when they’re young.
I hope this article has been helpful to you. We will be posting part 2 next week, make sure you check it out and learn about the different attachment styles. We know relationship are tricky and the solutions not alway clear. If you would like a little help navigating yours, Book your complimentary Breakthrough Session Now, Life Awakening Coach would love to help!