Starting from an early age, our lives are often shaped by the people who surround us. Known as attachment theory, it explores the connection that humans have with one another. Most often, the connection between caregiver and infant. Attachment theory looks at the various ways bonds in life influence us as we grow up into adulthood.
Generally speaking, there are four different types of attachment: secure, anxious-ambivalent, avoidant, and disorganized. But, why does all of this matter?
There is actually a lot you can learn or discover about yourself by exploring your unique attachment style. Below, we will outline what each attachment style is all about and what you can discover from it.
If someone has a secure attachment style, it likely means that there was a warm and loving bond between parent and child. Growing up, did you feel loved and cared for? Did you feel supported by your parent(s)? If so, this may be your attachment style.
Children who have a secure attachment style typically will grow up to be adults who have confidence in their interactions with others. It is the healthiest of bonds that you can have with another human being. As adults, this will translate into healthy relationships with romantic partners or platonic friendships.
If this is your style, it may seem as if there is nothing new to learn. However, with this style, it can be hard to understand that not everyone grew up in a nurturing environment.
This is an attachment style that translates to distrust and insecurity. Growing up, there may have been neglect or abandonment. This attachment style often goes back to a childhood where they didn’t feel supported or loved by their caregivers.
As adults, this can translate into one partner always questioning whether the other truly loves them. Or fearing that they will be abandoned. They may also be more emotionally dependent on others.
If this is aligned with your life, you can help yourself by remembering that not everyone is going to abandon or neglect you. And, your happiness does not have to be tied to the emotional well-being of others.
With this type of attachment style, children likely grew up in a home where their emotional needs were never met. Feeling unloved and insignificant, these are the types of adults who grew up in homes where the parents may have been present but had a very hands-off approach. While their physical needs may have been met, there was no real emotional bond with caregivers.
As adults, this translates to having difficulties expressing emotions and not understanding the emotions of others. Furthermore, adults with this type of attachment style will typically avoid intimate or long-term relationships.
If this resonates with you, know that there is nothing wrong with you. Because of the negative experiences and emotional disconnect you may have had, how you approach relationships now is completely understandable. What you can take away from this, though, is that you can learn to overcome the past and create nurturing relationships.
Finally, this is an attachment style that is a combination of avoidant and anxious attachments.
When a person has a disorganized attachment, they may avoid intimate relationships, but they are also unable to control their own emotions. It’s the combination of having a stand-offish approach and yet having too many of their emotions to deal with.
For this style, it’s important to learn how to balance your emotional state so that you can have better relationships with those around you.
If you are struggling to have healthy and satisfying relationships, reach out. Together, we’ll explore your attachment style and how you can work with it rather than against it. Please contact us for a free 30-minute phone consultation.