Why You Need to Know Your Attachment Style to thrive in any relationship.
Have you ever heard of attachment theory? Did you know that we all have different attachment styles in relationships and that this is the primary predictor as to whether your relationship lasts or not? It is an absolute necessity to know the core components of your attachment style and your partner’s if you want a loving, healthy relationship that will last a lifetime.
From the way we feel about commitment to the way we experience intimacy, fidelity and connection – our attachment style plays a crucial role. Our attachment style impacts what triggers us, what we believe about love and even how we respond to conflict.
Maybe most importantly, your attachment style has shaped key parts of your personality and will give you greater insight into what egoic attachments could still be deeply driving your behavior at a subconscious level.
Attachment theory was developed by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth in the 1960’s and there is conclusive research to validate that our early childhood attachment experiences directly impact our adult relationships. The four main attachment styles are secure attachment, anxious-preoccupied attachment, fearful-avoidant attachment and dismissive avoidant attachment style.
Secure Attachment Style
Our attachment style can be subconsciously reprogrammed over time. The idea is to always return to a secure attachment style. Adults who naturally have this attachment style generally had parents who were emotionally attuned to their needs. As a result, a child felt like they could safely rely on others, that their needs were worthy of being met, and that vulnerability was safe.
These children grow up to feel that they can trust others and be vulnerable. They have more positive self-esteem and a general feeling that relationships are easy to create and maintain. These adults also feel safe expressing themselves and committing to other adults, as well as meeting each others’ needs.
Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment Style
This attachment style develops as a result of inconsistency in caregivers’ presence. Think of what it’s like to be an infant. You enter the world and you are completely dependent on your caregivers. Then imagine that your caregivers meet your needs sometimes, but other times are too busy or distracted.
Since of your only biological fears is the fear of abandonment, this inconsistency in your parents is very scary! It triggers an ongoing anxiety and hyper-vigilance in a child to feel alarmed the moment they sense that their caregiver is pulling away.
How do you think this person feels in their adult romantic relationships? They feel the same way. It is now fear of abandonment and hypervigilance about their partner leaving. They interpret their partner’s behaviors through the lens of this fear-based subconscious programming from childhood.
Anxiously attached adults spend a lot of time overcompensating in relationships and can be very afraid of rejection. They often diminish their own needs and become resentful over time as a result. Yet when their partner pulls away, this individual tends to experience tremendous anxiety and hurt.
The core wounds of that need to be healed in this individual are usually, “I am not good enough,” “I will be rejected,” “I am unloved,” “I am excluded,” and “I am abandoned or alone.” When these are touched it adulthood, it isn’t pretty.
What they need is to learn to maintain a relationship to themselves, a strong community of support and a partner who is validating, affectionate and reassuring.
This is basically the opposite of the anxiously attached individual. This is the partner you might have had in the past that you just can’t seem to reach. They are mysterious, alluring and never quite giving you what you need. Why? Their experience of attachment in childhood showed them that being vulnerable hurt, and their deep subconscious programs respond in adulthood accordingly.
When this person was a child, they usually went through consistent and pretty serious emotional neglect. Sometimes it can even be unrecognized in hindsight, because the physical and intellectual needs were met, but the emotional connection was missing.
This adult grows up to fear commitment and vulnerability, as well as fear feeling too much emotion. This is why they present as cold, aloof and often build their lives in a way that prevents them from ever having to fully invest in love.
The core wounds that this individual needs to do work around are “I am unsafe around people,” “I am defective,” and “vulnerability always results in pain.”
What they need in a relationship is consistency, direct communication, encouragement and respect for their space and autonomy.
The fearful avoidant is the “hot and cold” person you see in a relationship. They are almost addictive and can make your head spin! This is the person who is extremely loving and present, but then pulls away or disappears at times.
There was usually trauma in this person’s childhood, combined with emotional connection. They often became the caretaker of one or both parents at a young age. As a result, they have an innate capacity to be emotionally available to others’ needs combined with a deep fear of closeness. This individual is usually quite sensitive and takes on others’ emotions too easily at times.
Their core wounds to heal are, “I am unworthy of love,” “I will be taken advantage of,” “I will be betrayed,” “I am bad,” “I am unsafe around people,” “Vulnerability results in pain,” “I am not good enough,” and “I will be rejected.”
What they need from a relationship is someone who provides deep connection in a safe way. They need reassurance but also respect for their space and boundaries. It is also important for their partner to be very forthcoming, as building back trust is a process for the Fearful-Avoidant.
What This Means
Relationships are not just for love but for transformation, which is why we often attract exactly what triggers us. Yet when perceived properly, this is also the exact thing we need to return to a place of wholeness. When someone triggers our wounds, they bring us the gift of letting us know what is unhealed within us.
Through understanding your attachment style and the patterns that you’re likely to play out, you can truly transform. You can reprogram your core wounds and meet the needs of yourself and your partner with this awareness.
The greatest part of this awareness is that it gives you the ability to make yourself whole and create a loving, passionate relationship simultaneously.
About the Author:
Thais Gibson is the Founder of the Personal Development School, and creator of the Subconscious Breakthrough MethodsTM. Her intention is to help as many people as possible and designed the school to provide people with courses they can actually use in real life. Click Here to learn more about her and how the Personal Development School can potentially change your relationships, health, wealth and life!
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