Exploring attachment styles
Attachment styles are the ways in which individuals relate to others and manage their emotions in close relationships. Understanding your attachment style will help you better understand yourself and your emotions, create healthier relationships and boost your overall mental health.
The Theory of Attachment is one of the key tools used in modern psychology to understand an individual’s behavior in a relationship.
This theory suggests that each individual has one of four attachment styles, learned from relationships with their parents in early childhood, that persist into adult life and manifest in romantic relationships.
Identifying you and your partner's attachment styles is often a key to a healthy relationship. This is because we find it hard to relate to behavioral patterns that are different to our own, and therefore understanding attachment styles can help us comprehend our partners actions.
Knowing our own attachment style is perhaps more crucial, as it can help us better understand why we act or feel a certain way, and reveal things that we may need to work on in ourselves.
Overall, this will help create a healthy environment within our relationship and within ourselves .
Here are 4 attachment styles and behaviors related to each one:
- Secure attachment style
Secure attachment is an ability to build safe and long-lasting relationships. It stems from a healthy relationship with emotionally available caregivers.
People with a secure attachment style are often trusting of others, able to communicate effectively, are equallycomfortable in relationships as well as alone, and have a high self-esteem.
As a result, they often navigate relationships well as they are positive, trusting, feel that they are worthy of love and do not need reassurance.
- Avoidant attachment
Avoidant attachment is characterized by finding difficulty in engaging in physical or emotional intimacy.
This is often the result of emotionally distant caregivers. Not all avoidant-producing caregivers are neglectful, some are simply busy, or do not believe in the importance of feelings and the expression of emotions.
They feel a very strong sense of independence, are dismissive of others, avoid expressing feelings and find it very hard to trust others.
Therefore, building a healthy relationship is hard for them, because they do not allow their partner to get emotionally close, which is important for a healthy relationship to develop.
- Anxious attachment
The anxious attachment style is characterized by a strong fear of rejection and a constant need for validation.
This usually stems from inconsistent parenting. As these individuals' parents' behavior towards them was unpredictable, they lack a sense of emotional security or stability.
This leads them to feel as though they are responsible for people’s feelings.
They usually have clingy tendencies, are highly sensitive to criticism, have a fear of abandonment and find it difficult to trust others.
In relationships this can cause them to be jealous, blame themselves for their partner's emotions and need to be constantly reassured.
- Disorganized attachment style
A disorganized attachment style is defined as having extremely inconsistent behavior, and difficulty trusting others.
This is due to fear of their caregivers, which can sometimes be due to abuse or neglect. This causes them to view their caregivers as a source of fear as well as comfort, and this contrast can cause a lot of confusion in their relationships.
The signs of this attachment style include a fear of rejection, inability to regulate emotions, contradictory behaviors and a lack of trust.
The way this manifests in relationships is through very contradictory behaviors. They can be clingy but at other times distant. They will seek out emotional intimacy, but once they have it they may push their partner away.
If you have recognized your behavioral patterns in one of these categories, you may be wondering how you can fix some of the more unfavorable tendencies in order to create healthier relationships and boost your mental health.
As there is often a lot to uncover behind why you have a certain attachment style, and to do this the best option out there is therapy. Additional tools such as GenMind™ will allow you to assess your day-to-day symptoms, allowing your healthcare provider to evaluate your situation with a higher accuracy, to create a more efficient and personalized treatment plan for you.
We hope that you find this article helpful,
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