Do you have any idea about attachment styles?
Why it is important to understand the attachment styles and how these attachment styles explain our reactions to our needs and the extreme we can reach to get them met?
How our attachment style helps us to understand our weaknesses and strengths in a relationship?
Today’s article is about the facts related to various attachment styles.
Attachment & its importance:
It is a particular way or association of an individual to relate with others. The way how all of us attach ourselves with others impacts our every single behavioral pattern and it involves the exchange of love, care, comfort, and pleasure. Attachment styles develop at the very beginning of our life (majorly during first, two years), and once it establishes, this is going to stay with you and it decides that how you will select your partner, how well your intimate relationship progress, how it could end or in what manner you will parent your children.
It is important to understand your attachment style because it helps you to understand your childhood development, how do you feel about yourself and how you are limited as an adult. It is a way to improve your relationships and your connections with your children.
John Bowlby is considered as the father of attachment theory. Before discussing attachment styles in brief it is important to subdivide these attachment patterns into two main classes.
1. Early attachment patterns
2. Adult attachment patterns
In addition to these two kinds, there is another pattern called ‘’Earned secure attachment’’ style also.
Early Attachment Styles:
For the normal social and emotional development of a child, she needs to develop their association with their primary caregivers. Lack of this attachment can cause severe social and psychological impairment. In the initial two years of life patterns of association develop in infants, according to the response of their parents or caregivers. These patterns ultimately guide the thoughts, emotions, and expectations of a child in future relationships as an adult.
In children we observe four kinds of attachment styles:
Secure Attachment style:
From the very beginning of their life (from six months to two years) infants create an emotional attachment with the adult who appears more responsive, caring, and sensitive towards them in their interactions. It is observed that the consistent care and love form that attachment figure is a must throughout the whole time. In the second year of their life children start using that personality as a protective or secure base that helps them to explore the world around them and become a little more independent. The child considers their self as safe, secure, seen, and soothed in this style of attachment called secure attachment style.
Disorganized Attachment style:
When a caregiver provides a safe and soothed base to a child an organized attachment develops. But when the caregiver fails to create a safe and secure base for the child and appears abusive to the child a disorganized attachment style appears. The frightening behavior, physical and emotional cruelty creates a terrible dilemma and child dissociate from their self. It is also a possibility that the caregiver develops a strong relationship with a child in which child cares and love for them but she is also scared of them. This style of attachment is often the result of inter-generational parenting (as parents were treated in their childhood).
Avoidant attachment style:
When parents or caregivers and are not available largely emotionally or remain unresponsive most of the time child forms an avoidant attachment style. This kind of parenting encourages independence rather than crying or demanding emotional support. When a child fails to get physical closeness and emotional attachment from their caregiver, they stop seeking closeness and expressing their emotions. These children quickly turn into ‘’little adults’’ and start taking care of themselves and become self-contained.
Anxious/Ambivalent attachment style:
The development of anxious attachment style in a child towards their caregiver makes them ‘’whiny’’ and ‘’clingy ‘to fulfill their demands and needs. When parents/caregiver inconstantly accommodates their child and show variations in their responses, the child gets confused and insecure. These children feel distrust and suspicious of their caregiver, but at the same time, they act desperately. They badly cry, cling to the caregiver, appear anxious, display aggressive behavior, and show no interaction with strangers.
Adult attachment styles:
As people grow, they develop their own attachment styles. These styles of attachment largely based on the attachment pattern people learn as a child. These attachment patterns impact our relationships as adults heavily. These styles of attachment can directly affect our everyday life and overall happiness. According to the attachment theory, there are four styles of attachment observed in adults:
Avoidant-fearful attachment style:
The disorganized attachment style of childhood develops into an avoidant and fearful style of attachment. These kinds of adults respond fearfully to future relationships. They seek relationships and take them seriously. But when relation enters for a long-term commitment or needs great intimacy, they simply become afraid of being hurt and withdraw from the relationship.
Avoidant-fearful personalities show:
- Resistance towards intimacy and commitment
- Remain confused about their relationships
- They show a tendency to create fake excuses to get out of a relationship.
- They appear quite unpredictable and fear to feel trapped in a relation.
- Moreover, they avoid sharing their emotions, feelings, and intimate thoughts because of the fear that others will know them better.
Treatments suggested for this Attachment Style:
Talk therapy, family and relationship counseling are the treatments that can bring change in people with an avoidant-fearful style of attachment.
Secured Style of Attachment:
People, who experience secure attachment patterns in their childhood, turn into strong, confident, and friendly personality in adulthood. They are positive thinkers and keep assertive thoughts of themselves, their family, partners, and relationships. Moreover, they live a balanced life and show honesty, deep emotional connection, independence, and support in their relationships.
Anxious/Preoccupied style of attachment:
People with this personality style are insecure and self-critical. These people were children with ambivalent/anxious attachment style. They always remain to confuse in their thoughts and decisions and seek the approval and reassurance from others. In addition, they usually become taxing to their partner and never show consistency on any level.
- These people keep a strong desire of being wanted, admired, and loved.
- They idealize the situations and keep thinking about a future partner.
- They show desperation for love and affection and need 100% from their partner.
- Moreover, they consider it a duty of their partner to solve their issues and to make them ‘’complete’’.
- They appear as jealous, clingy, demanding, and get easily upset by little things and issues.
Dismissive style of attachment:
Children with avoidant attachment style grow up as people with dismissive personality. They show no importance, regard, or respect to their relationships and consider their relations relatively unimportant. In addition, they easily suppress their emotions and feelings. These are emotionally inward and isolated kind of people. So, we hope now you’ll be in a better position to understand them. If not, here are the signs that might help you in identifying such individuals.
The signs of people with dismissive attachment style are mentioned below:
- Keep distance from others and consider all the relationships useless.
- They feel no need for relationships to thrive or survive.
- Moreover, they maintain their isolation and avoid compromising their independence.
- In addition, they avoid facing problem situations, arguments, and hurtful scenarios and ‘’shut down’’ their emotions in these circumstances.
All these attachment styles are ways to describe the personality of a human being and help to understand shades of their personality, but these are not the exact descriptions of a person’s personality. These estimations although explain the behaviors, relationship, intimacy, marriage, and parenting styles, but there is no hard and fast rule to judge a person in various situations.
How to identify your attachment style?
Are you interested in knowing about your personality style? So, here in this section, we are sharing the methods for identification
By taking a deeper look at your childhood and assessing your present personality type, you can easily find your attachment pattern. With these three easy methods, you can identify your attachment style easily.
Method 1: Analyze your childhood
The development of attachment style occurs from infancy to two years. Your developed attachment style is based on your childhood experiences.
- Ask people who know you from your childhood about your primary caregivers, their style of fulfilling your needs and how consistent they were in doing this.
- Moreover, you can analyze your childhood. Try to recall the way your parents treated you. Were they unreliable and withdrawn to you or they were nurturing and providing for you.
- Ask your elders to know about your childhood behaviors. Their answers about your childhood behaviors will help you to understand your attachment pattern.
Method 2: Analyze yourself to different attachment style:
Attachment style is not a onetime learned experience, but it is the result of many experiences and events of your early life. Before knowing about your style of attachment it is essential to understand the actual meanings of attachment style, how these styles develop, and what conditions, situations, and circumstances impact your attachment style.
- You can simply assess your level of security in your relationships and yourself. If that is high, you are probably a part of a strong attachment style.
- Analyze your comfort level with intimacy.
- Take a look at any kind of clingy behavior you show about relationships. Cravings for intimacy, idealization of a partner, and obsession with your ideology in a relationship to help you find your type.
- How you take breakups and end of a relationship also defines your kind of attachment. If you take breakups more seriously, you may have feared or anxious style of attachment and if it is not important for you at all you may have a dismissive style of attachment.
- Your style of being intimidated also defines you in a better way. Being open, frank, and confident during sex represents a secure style of attachment while avoiding intimacy or looking for a casual intimacy shows your avoidant and anxious style of attachment.
Method 3: Assess your personality
You are a person who can better assess your personality than anyone else. It is a good way to understand your attachment style.
- Ask yourself about your response to an argument. Your abilities in handling a conflict help you in finding your style of attachment. Being calm and respond positively indicates the secure style of attachment while being avoidant, puzzled, and confused shows the feared-avoidant style of attachment. Moreover, shouting, screaming, or being panicked shows the preoccupied or anxious style of attachment.
- Think about your self-esteem, how you think about yourself, do you love yourself or remain confused about your personality? Are you in extreme need of relationships or simply don’t care about this kind of sentiments and emotions? So, finding answers of all these questions would make it clear what kind of attachment style you have.
- Your behavior in romantic relationships is a clear indication of your attachment style. Being feared and scared of break up shows a feared-avoidant style, always in need of a perfect life partner who compliments you and makes you feel complete shows preoccupied style of attachment, while a careless behavior towards your love relationship expresses your dismissive attachment style. Being secure, caring, loving, open, and confident in a romantic relationship explains a secure personality style.
- Although it’s not a very effective way to find your personality style of attachment getting an opinion from your well-wishers, close friends or people who care about you also helps you to estimate your attachment style.
What is earned secure attachment?
We can consider it as good news that you can change your attachment style and earned secure attachment is a way to develop a better or secure style of attachment. By “making sense” kind of narrative about your life and writing a coherent narrative, you can review your brain and make it able to produce more security not only within you but within your relationships also. So, consider adopting it for the generation of better results.
We hope now you are very much clear about the attachment styles. A lot of this information is about self-awareness and the contextualization of our emotional responses. All of us react to strong emotions, but understanding the patterns of attachment makes us able to understand how we sabotage our relationships and associations with each other because of things we experienced long ago in our childhood.
Awareness of our attachment styles gives us a chance to make things correct in case we are facing the same negative patterns in our relationships, that we experienced before. This estimation also indicates the importance of self-examination. So, it is important to have an in-depth lok at our attachment styles.
What is your opinion and how you analyze your style of attachment? Please share with us in the comment section below. So, that we all can learn something new about the attachment styles and how can we make the best use of them.