Have you ever wondered why some relationships are very difficult and others not so much? Or how sometimes in a relationship there is the one person who withdraws and the one who chases when they withdraw? Many people are unaware of the 4 attachment styles and how they affect our relationships.
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What is an attachment style?
A person’s attachment style refers to the way they relate to others in all of their relationships. According to the attachment theory created by psychologist Mary Ainsworth and psychiatrist John Bowlby our attachment theories are formed early in our childhood.
Most of us have childhood traumas. Don’t believe me? Just keep reading. Our attachment styles are developed and shaped early in our childhood and its thought to be a response to our relationships with our earliest caregivers. It is the way we emotionally respond to others and interact with them as well.
What are the four attachment styles
The four different styles are secure, avoidant, fearful-avoidant, and anxious.
The secure one
A securely attached person forms secure connections in their life. This means they trust and can easily be trusted as well. They accept love and give love. Securely attached people are not afraid of intimacy and do not panic or withdraw when their partners or friends need space.
This style stems from insecurity and in turn, leads to the person fearing intimacy. People with an avoidant attachment style have trouble getting close to others and trusting them as well.
These are your typical people who are “emotionally unavailable” and prefer distance from their relationships. Is this all starting to make sense now? I’m sure you know someone who is an avoider.
The Fearful avoidant
This style is a combination of the avoidant and the anxious. These people crave affection and attention but want to avoid it at all costs. They want intimacy and to feel loved by others but are unwilling to develop close romantic relationships.
The anxious one
This style is rooted in fear of abandonment. These people tend to be very insecure about their relationships needing constant reassurance. This attachment style is associated with neediness and clingy-like behavior. An example of this is when you don’t see your partner enough or they don’t text you back quick enough so you start thinking they don’t care about you and don’t want to be with you.
How attachment styles affect relationships
It is important to know what style you and your partner are in so you better understand where each of you is coming from. This will help both of you acknowledge what you each need in the moments of miscommunication, disagreements, and arguments.
Know you are not stuck in the attachment form you are currently in. We have the ability to change, grow and adapt. Take this time to learn how to better yourself and reach the place where you feel secure. Whether that’s in therapy, with a life coach, or on your own, figure out what your needs are in your relationships so you can set the proper boundaries.