THIS IS WHY YOU LOVE THE WAY YOU LOVE.
WHAT’S YOUR ATTACHMENT STYLE?
I have an extreme need for closeness in my intimate relationship, yet I am repelled at what I perceive needy, and most certainly must have my space. To the point that I will push people away through my need to show my independence and capability in myself. I absolutely suck at asking for help or asking for my needs to be met, it makes me feel like if I tell the truth that I will be abandoned because at my core I don’t feel worthy of being loved, supported and cared for. I have massive issues with trust in relationships, not around someone going to cheat on me, but that I cannot trust what my partner is saying or even doing to be authentic and that the ONLY reason they are doing it is to get something from me. I struggle with the self-imposed belief that even though I don’t want a transactional relationship, that is all I can ever have. I believe that I have to prove myself worthy of being loved which means that I have zero space for messing up and falling down, not getting it right, and with that if I choose to be vulnerable and share my heart that it most likely will not be received because I am too much and yet never enough. In the same aspect as I mature and learn about myself, as I become more self-aware of my thoughts and feelings, of how I have practiced getting trapped in the same patterns and how I can be overly sensitive to what I perceive as reality when often it is not, I find that where I am at now in life is far different than what I believed true for myself just a year ago even.
I still feel all of the above, and I work on it consciously daily.
At the end of each day, I think back through my actions and how I felt about my day. I look at how I allowed myself to show up in integrity or where I fell away from my truth. And I commit to getting better as I forgive myself for being human and having an ego that controls most of my life just like every other human on this beautiful planet.
On the good days however, I am full of positive affirmation and love for myself, I can navigate my emotions outside of past trauma and feelings, and my emotions are not attached to any validation or action from outside of myself. On these days I am vulnerable and intimate, I risk being seen with confidence and I do not feel clingy.
As I told my daughter just yesterday, I am not the woman that I was just a year ago, nor five or ten. And I am damn happy to not be those women I were. They did not allow themselves to live, to be happy, to be felt fully and they were willing to sacrifice themselves to gain the validation so desperately needed. I use to struggled to be authentic every moment.
In the land of attachment style, which has been all the talk in the therapy and psychological world of relationships, especially intimate relationships for the last decade plus when the book Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find Love and Keep Love by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller, the work that they did in their studies to reveal the four primary attachment styles that they uncovered was breathtaking and an eye opener to what had been believed for some time.
Esther Perel has a saying, “ Show me how you were loved and I will show you how you love.” She is speaking about just this. The relationship and experiences that we have in our childhood with our parents and caregivers directly shape the type of relationships we have as adults. This mystery is known as attachment theory, and it was defined by the British psychologist named John Bowlby.
What Bowlby discovered was that even though our individual upbringing can be drastically different, there are four general types of attachment styles.
SECURE- Healthy communication style, able to ask for what they need, able to self-regulate emotions.
ANXIOUS- Clinginess, fear of abandonment, needs constant reassurance
AVOIDANT- Difficulty expressing emotions, tends to emotionally withdraw from others, unwilling to ask for help.
DISORGANIZED- Incorporates aspects of anxious and avoidant characteristics, fear of rejection but difficulty with intimacy, low self-worth.
Learning what attachment style you are can help you discover why you act and feel the way you do in a relationship and why you seem to be attracted to the type of people you are attacked too, as well as helping you to create happier and healthier relationships.
Obviously, the secure attachment style is what you most likely will find yourself wanting to aim toward and it can most certainly be achieved over the course of a time frame with help and guidance of a coach or therapist who can assist you in the recovery of your authentic self and the conscious changing of the childhood relationship patterning. I want to state clearly here that this is NOT another thing for you to explore and then be able to point angered fingers of blame back at your childhood and parents proclaiming that it’s all their fault and there is nothing that you can do about it. As adults, we have an obligation to ourselves and to those that we love and are in relationship with to be proactive and to take responsibility for the outcome of our lives today. We are no longer adolescents, not in control of the direction of our world. A success minded person owns their life and knows that they are powerful and in control. They do not reside in a state of victim consciousness deflecting, playing the blame game or avoiding their part in where their life is at.
Now, let’s explore the four general attachment styles and see if you can discover which you are primarily.
I say primarily because if you are like myself, you will see where you are allowing yourself to still fall into the attachment style you do not desire but you have been trained into through your life conditioning and then where you are actively becoming more of the secure style.
I am disorganized and secure.
Depending on the day. 🙂
ARE YOU SECURE?
The secure style is considered to be the healthiest of the four. A person with a secure attachment style is capable of being well-connected with themselves, they have strong emotional integrity and maturity, which allows them to be vulnerable as well as engaged and authentic to who they are. They are independent and able to develop strong bonds where they can give and receive love and affection with clear communication and healthy boundaries.
These individuals most likely were raised by parents who were:
- Connected to them but were not overbearing.
- Set healthy routines and boundaries.
- Encourage their child to express their emotions and to understand that emotion is part of a healthy life.
- They, themselves as parents, set an example of expressing healthy emotions as well.
As a secure type:
- You have a positive view of yourself.
- You feel comfortable sharing your emotions and asking or answering deeper questions.
- Your emotions are not dependent on other people’s actions.
- You feel comfortable being alone with yourself.
- You can navigate disagreements or opposition without getting triggered by past trauma.
- You do not search for validation from your outside world or your relationship.
ARE YOU ANXIOUS?
If this is you will have trouble feeling safe and secure in a relationship. Anxious types struggle with codependency, self-worthiness issues and a strong need for validation from their partner. Often the fear of the anxious attachment style is “ I am not good enough.”
These individuals were most likely raised by parents who:
- Were not consistent with their emotional, physical , well-being needs. They would support at times and then become distant or obsolete at others.
- Were overbearing.
- Were absent.
- Children that come from a broken house, saw divorce, experienced childhood trauma or abuse are more likely to develop this style.
As an anxious type:
- You have low self-esteem.
- Fear of abandonment or rejection.
- You’re clingy.
- You’re extremely dependent on a partner.
- You struggle with healthy boundaries.
- You have difficulty building trust with a partner.
ARE YOU AVOIDANT?
As the name suggests, people with this attachment style may avoid emotional intimacy or vulnerability, making it difficult to develop a bond. This avoidance is often due to a fear of abandonment. The concept is, “ If I don’t let you in too close, or I pull away, you cannot hurt me and I am in control.” Typically this attachment style stems from childhood trauma. However it does not have to be severe trauma, a non-responsive parent may all it takes.
These individuals were more than likely raised by parents:
- Lacked empathy.
- Did not validate their child’s emotions.
- Didn’t meet their child’s basic life needs with shelter, food, safety or emotional connection.
As an avoidant type:
- You avoid emotional intimacy.
- You avoid relying on others for support.
- You suppress your emotions.
- You may view others as “clingy” or “needy” if they want a deeper emotional relationship.
- You focus on your own needs and see yourself as very independent.
ARE YOU A DISORGANIZED ?
A disorganized attachment style is somewhat like the avoidant, however there are some differences and they can sometimes even seem a bit anxious. This style comes about most often due to childhood trauma. At a vulnerable age you most likely learned that those you loved and who you trusted could harm you as well, and because of what happened you started to view all your future relationships from this space. The trauma that you experienced could have been physical, mental, emotional, sexual – it could have been witnessed or personally felt as well. The person with disorganized attachment style craves closeness in relationship and is typically passionate in their feelings, however due to a lack of trust and a fear of abandonment they will tend to push a partner away.
As a disorganized type:
- You have intense, chaotic relationship patterns.
- You have an extreme need for closeness, but simultaneously push others away.
- You experience shame and low self-esteem.
- You have difficulty trusting others.
- You fear that you are unlovable.
- You experience high anxiety.
As you can see, your attachment style developed due to the relationship that you had with your parents or caregivers. Up to about the age of six, we are mostly in a theta state ( this is an easily programmable state, it is the state that we want to access during meditation or hypnosis to change paters and programs) however as a small child we are residing in this state for the most part and the interaction that we have with our parents and other respected and loved adults significantly programs how we operate in relationship. Making any other way feel foreign. Thus uncomfortable and not right. Perhaps now you can see a deeper understanding into why you may choose the partners that you choose and reenact similar experiences, attitudes and events within the relationship.
The secure attachment style is achievable for us all.
In order to accomplish this state of being you can turn to the help of a therapist or coach to help you to access these mistaken beliefs and programs and to learn how to unwind them and create a better reality for yourself and your relationships. Through sufficient cognitive therapy, physical release practices, awareness practices and the learning of meditation and conscious reprogramming you can access this secure attachment style and uplevel your life and relationships for the better.
- Many people assume that they do not have childhood trauma because they were not in an abusive home, nor did they suffer the loss of a parent through death, illness or divorce. However, trauma and how it relates to us emotionally, psychologically and how it can manifest physically through its emotional storage in the body proves that what is traumatic to one person, may not be processed as trauma to another and vise versa. Often, we do not see things being traumatic because we are viewing it through our logical adult perception and not though the child mind or emotional state.
Have you identified with an attachment style today?
Wanting to explore more on how to move from where you are in your relating to a more stable style where you can relate with your partner with emotional maturity, healthy boundaries, compassion, and non-violent communication? Reach out to me today to build your roadmap to a life of love and happiness today.
Stop Existing & Start Living
“Coaching for Grown A*s Believers”