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What's Your Attachment Style?

Stop for a moment and reflect on the various relationships you have in your life. Think about your friendships. Think about the family members you interact with regularly (or don't interact with). Think about your dating history and/or your significant other you are currently with. Think about your professional relationships at work or school.

What do all these relationships have in common?

Your attachment style! (aka You!)

An attachment style is defined as specific patterns or behaviors relating to how you connect with other people in your life.

"According to attachment theory, first developed by psychologist Mary Ainsworth and psychiatrist John Bowlby in the 1950s, a person's attachment style is shaped and developed in early childhood in response to their relationships with their earliest caregivers. Essentially, our adult attachment style is thought to mirror the dynamics we had with our caregivers as infants and children." (Kelly Gonsalves)

There are four adult attachment styles: secure attachment, anxious attachment, avoidant attachment, and fearful-avoidant attachment.

Before we jump in to describe what each attachment style means, I want to put your mind at ease. You are more than capable of unlearning your current attachment style and relearning new social techniques to develop a secure attachment style that can help you cultivate healthier relationships in your life. Rewiring our brains to develop a secure attachment style can be challenging. It is highly recommended to seek professional help, such as through therapy or a life coach, to guide you through this process of self-reflection and personal growth.

Here are the four attachment styles:

Secure Attachment

  • Has the ability to develop secure and healthy relationships with others

  • Can trust others and can be trusted by others

  • Easily give and receive love unconditionally

  • Can become close to others with relative ease

  • Not afraid of intimacy

  • Respects boundaries and creates healthy boundaries

  • Healthy conflict resolution skills

  • Clear communicator

  • Good listening skills

  • Always looking to grow as an individual and with their partner

  • They're able to depend on others without becoming totally dependent

Anxious Attachment

  • Has deep fear of abandonment

  • Tend to be very insecure

  • Always seeking validation from others or their partner

  • Clingy behavior

  • Anxious behavior

  • Low self-esteem

  • Intensely desires closeness to the point of "merging" in their romantic relationships

  • Territorial behavior

  • Lack of boundaries or respecting other peoples boundaries

  • Needing constant reassurance

  • Rely on their external relationships to fulfill their inner self-worth

  • Individual is filled with anxiety about the possibility of rejection and abandonment, so they become preoccupied with seeking out and maintaining relationships to feel safe

Avoidant Attachment

  • Fear of intimacy

  • Tend to have trouble getting close to others or trusting others in relationships

  • Don't believe their needs can get met in a relationship

  • Typically maintain some distance from their partners

  • Emotionally unavailable

  • Prefer to be independent and rely on themselves

Fearful-Avoidant Attachment

  • A combination of both the anxious and avoidant attachment styles

  • Both desperately crave affection and want to avoid it at all costs

  • Reluctant to develop a close romantic relationship

  • Emotionally inconsistent between the extremes of avoidance and anxiousness

  • Difficulty regulating emotions

  • Heightened sexual behavior

  • Increased risk for violence and verbal or emotional abuse in their relationships

Discover your attachment style by taking this simple, five minute quiz!

"Attachment is our biggest strength and our biggest weakness." ~ Shahid Kapoor



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