Childhood is the critical time where attachment patterns are established. Those patterns continue to function as a framework for how we interact and choose our relationships in adulthood. Our attachment style affects our partner choices as well as our relationships patterns. Therefore, recognizing our attachment style can help us to highlight the strengths we bring to a relationship as well identify our growth areas.
Here is a quick overview of attachment styles:
1) Secure Attachment
Adults with a secure attachment style usually have more satisfying relationships that are open, equal, and honest, do not view their partner’s need for separation as a threat, are trusting and empathetic, do not avoid conflict, communicate their needs and feelings openly, and have had resolution to past hurt.
2) (Preoccupied) Anxious Attachment Adults with anxious attachment style tend to seek a sense of safety and security by hanging on to their partner, are worried about abandonment and rejection, unsure of their partner’s feelings towards the relationship, and can be highly emotional.
3) (Dismissive) Avoidant Attachment Adults with avoidant attachment style tend to emotionally distance themselves from their partners, equate intimacy as a loss to their independence, avoid conflict until they explode, and usually prefer to be alone.
4) (Disorganized) Unresolved Attachment Adults with unresolved attachment struggle with unhealed pain from previous losses and trauma, tend to have dysfunctional relationships, have difficulty regulating emotions, can lack empathy, and can suffer from comorbid mental health.
The attachment framework we learn in childhood does not necessarily have to dictate how our relationships will be in adulthood. In being able to identify your personal attachment style, you can figure out why your defenses and emotional walls are up. By figuring out our growth areas and practicing healthy and intentional ways of being, we can work towards having the thriving and emotionally secure relationships we want and deserve. If you identify with anything mentioned above and are feeling really stuck in your relationship, please give me a call and I would love to help you engage in the relationship you deserve.