Insecure attachment styles prevent a person from forming healthy emotional connections. What attachment style do you have?
Do you try to start new relationships but come up blank? Is finding friends difficult for you? Do you have trouble relating to your business associates?
Some people feel that health and well-being are the keys to happiness. Others believe that a person’s joy stems from having lots of money.
These keys unlock the happiness door, but there is another you should not neglect – your social life. Everyone has problems managing relationships. Your attachment style may determine how successful you are at them. Here is an explanation of these forms; if yours is not positive, do not worry. It is manageable with a little savvy.
Explaining Attachment and Relationships
Providence preprogrammed human beings to bond with the significant people in their lives. You experienced anger, fear, sadness and joy as an infant, and shared these emotions with your parents or caregiver. These were the first interactive relationships of your life, and they determined your attachment style.
You may not realize how they impact your relationships as an adult. They decide whether the close ones fail or succeed. Attachments formed during infancy determine your ability to balance your emotions, and to enjoy being around people. Initial attachments may decide if you can recover from disappointment. People who experience tumultuous or traumatic relationships when they were infants or children may grow into adults who have difficulty managing emotions. They fail to understand feelings.
According to the theory developed by English psychiatrist John Bowlby, the mother-child bond affects infant development. Besides governing your ability to focus, they decide if you can overcome misfortune. They also determine the quality of your relationships.
How the Attachment Bond Shapes Your Personality
An attachment bond with a solid foundation will help a child to become self-confident and comfortable in the face of untoward circumstances. A secure attachment helps a child to feel safe, and develop meaningful relationships with others. It makes a person willing to explore the world and enables him to handle its pressures. Besides providing comfort and security, it builds happy memories and realistic expectations of relationships.
Insecure attachment bonds, on the other hand, will prevent a person from forming healthy emotional connections. If he has a parent who is anxious or inconsistent, he will likely become a worry wart himself. He may also turn aggressive, disorganized and angry because he is disconnected, he will ignore the needs of his partner.
The Attachment Styles and How They Impact Relationships
Attachment bonds determine our relationship needs and how we go about meeting them. People with secure attachment styles are sure of themselves and interact with others easily. However, those with maladaptive patterns tend to choose unsuitable partners.
There are four types of attachment styles.
1. Secure Attachment Pattern
Adults with secure attachment patterns often feel satisfied with their relationships. They offer emotional support when their partners need it, but know how to respect their partner’s boundaries. These people do not enjoy relationships in which they are emotionally cut off. They will do well in those with one person supporting another, yet are independent.
2. Anxious Attachment Pattern
Those with anxious patterns tend to feel emotional hunger. They form fantasy bonds and seek people whom they think will complete them. They behave insecurely and see their partner’s assertion of independence as a confirmation of their fears.
3. Dismissive/Avoidant Patterns
People with these patterns tend to distance themselves from their better halves. They are egocentric and spend too much tending to their creature comforts. They deny that loved ones are important, even though they are.
4. Fearful/ Avoidant Patterns
Those who are fearful and avoidant are afraid of forming relationships with others. They worry that being too close to others will hurt them.
Of course, having a secure attachment pattern is best. Those with maladaptive behavioral patterns unconsciously seek relationships that are not fulfilling.
People with these patterns look for partners who confirm their models. A person with an anxious pattern needs the constant assurance of his partner. To meet this need, he will seek out a dismissive person because he believes that his partner’s isolationist nature will give him more access to her. A dismissive person, on the other hand, may seek out a clingy, anxious partner because he thinks that dismissing her all the time is the way to fulfill his needs.
People with secure attachments do well in any relationship because they are logical and rational enough to support their partners regardless of their attachment styles. They would do well to avoid partners who are insecure because having to assure them constantly can be toxic and draining.
Those with an anxious pattern will do well with secure partners who can understand their needs. However, they need to work on being more self-confident, lest their clingy nature affects their relationships.
Those who are avoidant will do well with partners who are secure and can fend for themselves. However, they must realize that their dismissive natures tend to repel anyone, even those who are self-assured.
Knowing these attachment styles will prove a huge boon for your love relationships and friendships. The knowledge will serve you well when forming business partnerships as well.
By Michelle L.