Have you ever asked yourself why you keep doing a certain thing even though it keeps hurting you? The answer is quite simple. It keeps hurting you because that’s the way you love to be loved. You will keep giving until it hurts to love and then you will keep giving some more. That’s why understanding your attachment style has become an important part of communication between couples.
What is Attachment theory?
Attachment theory is an established psychological model that helps describe how we relate to others and why our relationships can be so complex. Your attachment style was developed when you were an infant, partly on how you interacted with parents and caregivers and perhaps also based on genetics. So this attachment style means that now you have pre-wired ways of relating to others. In this article we will explain what attachment styles are, how they affect our relationships, and how you can figure out your own attachment style.
We are all born pre-wired with an attachment style.
Attachment style is a concept that helps us understand our need for closeness, security, and comfort in romantic relationships. It was first developed by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth and later expanded on by other researchers.
There are four attachment styles: secure, anxious-avoidant, anxious-ambivalent, and disorganized. Each style is based on how an infant relates to their caregiver(s) as they grow up.
Securely attached children feel comfortable with closeness to their caregivers and have no trouble separating from them when necessary. They also form healthy relationships as adults.
Anxiously avoidant children often feel neglected or rejected by their caregivers and react by avoiding them entirely or rebelling against them in some way—often through provocative behavior such as aggression or substance abuse. These children often struggle in their adult relationships because they lack trust or commitment to others.
Anxiously ambivalent children are constantly seeking closeness but reacting negatively when they feel it’s being threatened—for example, if their parent leaves the room or if they’re upset about something else in life (like losing a job). As adults these people tend to be clingy, which can cause problems with partners who don’t want that kind of attention at all times!
How to figure out your own attachment style.
The four attachment styles are secure, anxious, avoidant and disorganized. Understanding your own attachment style can help you to better understand your relationships with others and how to deal with any challenges that arise.
To figure out what your attachment style is, look at the descriptions above and ask yourself if they fit how you feel in a relationship. Do you tend to trust people easily? Do you let others get close but worry about being abandoned? Or do you keep people at arm’s length so no one can hurt you or leave? Each attachment style has its strengths and weaknesses which we’ll explore in more detail below.
What a secure attachment style looks like.
Among the attachment styles, secure is the most common and healthy. Secure people tend to be comfortable with intimacy and relationships, but not at the cost of their own self-worth. They are comfortable with closeness and connection, but also know when to draw boundaries for themselves.
Secure individuals have a strong sense of self-esteem and can regulate their negative emotions without relying on others for soothing or validation. On top of this, they’re able to give as well as receive in relationships—they’re willing to ask for help or support when needed while also giving it out themselves.
What anxious attachment style looks like.
People with an anxious attachment style are clingy, worry about abandonment and have a fear of abandonment. They tend to be afraid of setting boundaries because they’re afraid that their partner won’t like them anymore or will reject them if they do.
This can lead to codependency in relationships—it’s difficult for people with an anxious attachment style to give up control over their partner, either by trying to change him/her or by becoming dependent on him/her. They also tend to have very low self-esteem, which makes it hard for them to believe that their partner could actually love them unconditionally (and not just because he/she wants something from them).
They can be very jealous of other people who get close with the person who is supposed to belong only two them (and may even try sabotaging your friendships).
What avoidant attachment style looks like.
To the avoidant, intimacy is a threat. It makes you too vulnerable to others and can lead to getting hurt—and if you’re someone who loves being independent, that’s not something you want.
You may find it difficult to make close connections with others because of your fear of rejection or disapproval. You might also have trouble resolving conflicts with friends or partners and feel like you need more space than other people do.
Avoidants tend to keep their distance from others for fear of becoming too dependent on them—which means they can often come across as cold and distant, especially early on in relationships (or even just when meeting new people). They also avoid closeness altogether by keeping their emotions bottled up inside themselves so that no one else ever knows how they’re feeling inside; this makes it difficult for them to express their emotions honestly or be vulnerable in any way (which is why some avoidants are wary of talking about their feelings at all).
What disorganized/fearful-avoidant attachment style looks like.
Disorganized/fearful-avoidant attachment style is a personality trait that can be hard to spot. It manifests as difficulty forming relationships, trouble trusting others and being intimate, low self-esteem and poor self-worth.
People with this attachment style tend to avoid intimacy, instead choosing relationships where they aren’t fully present or engaged. They often struggle with feelings of worthlessness or emptiness because their needs aren’t met by others in their lives—and sometimes even themselves.
Getting Started with Marriage Counseling or Couples Therapy in the Denver Area
Attachment Styles are a very important part of understanding how we relate to others, and how that affects our relationship with ourselves. It can help us understand why certain things may make us feel insecure or anxious, and what we can do about it!
If you are experiencing relationship issues, we invite you to call us at 720-551-4553 for a free 20-minute phone consultation with a therapy specialist or click to learn more about our Marriage and Couples Counseling Services.
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