Having healthy relationships with others requires you to know who you are and your needs. Your attachment style dictates how and if you can meet those needs, so it's important to know what your style is if you have long-lasting connections with others.
There are four main attachment styles: secure, anxious, avoidant, and disorganized (or anxious-avoidant).
Understanding how your partner or ex fits into one of these styles will help you better understand the relationship and why it ended, and how to move on in a healthy way that works for both of you. Here, we will discuss an attachment style and what each style means for your relationships with others.
Why does attachment style matter, and how does it help nurture your relationship?
How you move towards an attachment in relationships and how your relationship attachment impacts, your relationships are often based on the attachment styles that childhood experiences have shaped.
Understanding your relationship attachment style can help guide your thoughts about what is needed for a healthy relationship and why relationships sometimes seem frustrating or difficult. Additionally, understanding your partner's attachment style can offer new insights into their needs and behaviors that might not be understood otherwise.
In addition, there are many different ways to approach this attachment style classification:
- Securely attached people may be more comfortable opening up with their partner because they feel safe enough to do so
- Someone who is anxiously attached may need more reassurance from their partner before opening up about themselves;
- Avoidantly attached people may need space from their partner before being willing to talk about themselves with them.
- If a person has more than one attachment style, it will change depending on their relationship.
Types of attachment styles
Attachment styles are how we connect to others and feel about them. It may be hard to believe, but your attachment style can influence your life in ways you never imagined. It's about how you were raised and what kind of relationships you had with caregivers when you were young. Some people feel loved and secure, while others feel neglected or rejected. As an adult, how you feel about yourself and the people around you may depend on your attachment style. There are four attachment styles: Secure, Anxious, Avoidant, and Disorganized. Knowing your attachment style can help you form relationships and understand those around you better.
Individuals with a secure attachment style are comfortable with themselves and their independence but also enjoy the company of others. They have a good self-concept and can form relationships that last over time.
If they need help from other people, they will ask for it. In contrast, individuals with insecure attachment styles often struggle to maintain healthy relationships because they are uncomfortable with closeness or feel guilty when receiving help from others.
For example, individuals with a secure attachment style typically make good employees. They have no trouble asking for help when needed and can take direction from their bosses without feeling insecure about it. Securely attached individuals also find it easier to trust coworkers and accept criticism because they're confident in their abilities to succeed at work.
An important aspect of a secure attachment is knowing how your relationship differs from those you see on TV. Relationships with more intimacy are different from those that revolve around sex alone. The dynamics between partners change depending on how many days in a row they spend together. Insecurities come up, and even what feels like insignificant fights can occur because there's not enough distance between each person to allow space for growth.
People anxious about their attachments are often susceptible and will experience anxiety when they feel insecure. For these individuals, closeness can feel suffocating and distressing. Anxious attachment is the most common style of attachment in the world.
One of the main causes for this being so prevalent is that as children, we have no choice but to cling on to our parents when feeling scared or threatened. Therefore, if a child grows up with an anxious attachment style, they may carry this into adulthood, which could result in issues such as relationship problems and job instability.
Anxiously attached people tend to be very insecure because they constantly worry about whether the person they're close to has feelings for them. They also worry that things won't stay stable and might come crashing down at any moment. They are also likely to take criticism personally. If there is ever a conflict between two people who are anxiously attached, they will assume it reflects poorly on them. Often, this leads to insecurity and anger towards the other person. The best way to combat this is by seeking therapy or speaking with friends/family members about your worries instead of keeping all your thoughts bottled up.
Avoidant attachment is the most difficult to deal with. When avoidants are uncomfortable with intimacy, they use behaviors like withdrawing, distancing, and cutting off contact to worsen the situation.
To have a healthy relationship, you must recognize your attachment style to learn how to respond appropriately when you're uncomfortable or upset.
First of all, if you are a needy type, then you need to know that this isn't a good quality because there is nothing wrong with being vulnerable but not too much at once.
Secondly, if you are an avoidant type, then learning to be more intimate can be really hard because these people often lack emotional sensitivity. They typically try to distance themselves from others because they fear getting hurt and don't want others to get close. If you are anxious, you might experience intense feelings of jealousy and neediness, which should tell you that something needs to change before it escalates into an unhealthy situation.
Lastly, if you identify as preoccupied-you might find yourself trying too hard or constantly thinking about the person, which causes them to come back.
The disorganized attachment
It is a combination of both the anxious and avoidant attachment styles. Individuals with this style fear rejection and abandonment while resenting those trying to help them. They're most likely to say you never listen or are always busy.
Those who are dismissive-avoidantly attached tend to feel detached from others because of mistrust or anger. They find it difficult to trust people, which leads to them not feeling close to anyone.
Disorganizing in their attachment style may struggle with their dependency needs. They often need constant reassurance from others, but they can become needy and demanding when they don't get it. This person could be seen as too clingy or dependent on the other person. It is also common for those who are disorganized in their attachment style to see themselves as unworthy and undeserving of love and care.
You'll know if someone has this attachment style by listening to how they talk about relationships and whether or not they mention missing someone. Some examples might include: I'm done trying, or I just wanted somebody to be there. In many cases, these individuals have experienced trauma in childhood that has made it difficult for them to form healthy relationships as adults.
Knowing your attachment style is helpful because it helps you understand how you respond to relationships, both in the past and present. This knowledge can give you more clarity on what motivates you, what is important to you, and how to create healthy relationships with others. It also can show areas of your life where there may be some unresolved issues that need attention.
Don't let attachment issues get the better version of you. Reach out to a counselor and know the best ways to cope up with emotional hindrances.
For example, if your attachment style tends to lean towards anxious avoidant or ambivalent, then this would suggest that you have feelings of fear around intimacy which could lead to loneliness or isolation. On the other hand, if you tend towards secure attachments, this suggests a positive history with intimate relationships and an openness to connecting deeply with others.
Can you change your attachment style?
Yes it is possible. However, the time may vary from person to person. Emotional therapy can help people have stable relationships & help you modify your attachment style.