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Learning about Attachment Styles

May 15, 2023



What is your attachment style?

Take one of the following quizzes down below to find out and then proceed to the article to find out more about each attachment style.The Attachment Style Quiz

Relationship Attachment Style Test

What's your attachment style? Take this quiz to find out

What is attachment theory?

I don't want this to feel like a lecture and I don't want it to be boring, so I'll keep this as concise as I can to offer you guys a little background knowledge on the subject. The attachment theory intrigues me personally since it shows how early experiences with attachment can influence our development into adulthood and have long-lasting effects.

Attachment is the term used to describe the long-term psychological relationship that exists between two people. This connection is also sometimes referred to as the emotional or affectionate bond. It is common for it to be created during infancy with the primary caregiver, but it can also be present in other types of social connections. Repeated attachment behaviours or transactions, which involve seeking and maintaining a level of proximity to a particular individual, are necessary for the formation of an attachment. This is a process that never ends and is absolutely necessary for the development and upkeep of healthy partnerships. Bowlby's attachment theory emphasizes the significance of early childhood experiences in the formation of attachment patterns, which can have a long-lasting impact on the social and emotional development of an individual throughout their entire lifetime.

The initial notion of attachment is attributed to John Bowlby, who originally proposed it in the 1950s. Bowlby's idea, however, was improved upon and enlarged by his associate and collaborator Mary Ainsworth. Ainsworth investigated child attachment in great detail.

There are four primary types of attachment styles that have been identified in attachment theory research: secure attachment,  anxious-preoccupied attachment, avoidant-dismissive attachment and fearful-avoidant attachment

Secure Attachment

Individuals with a secure attachment style tend to have a positive view of themselves and their relationships. They feel comfortable expressing their emotions and seeking support from others.

Adults with secure attachment styles tend to have healthier and more satisfying relationships, while those with insecure attachment styles may struggle with intimacy and maintaining stable relationships. 


Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment

An anxious attachment style is characterized by the worry that one's need for closeness won't be satisfied, which is frequently brought on by an unreliable childcare provider in one's early years. This type is characterized by clinginess, low self-esteem, and a need for validation from others.

Those who have an anxious-preoccupied attachment style frequently worry about their relationships and may come out as too needy or demanding.

Those who are anxious and preoccupied may become too dependent on their spouses and live in continual fear of being rejected, which causes them to have a pattern of needing their partners' approval and attention.


 Avoidant-Dismissive Attachment

Avoidant-dismissive individuals may distance themselves emotionally and avoid getting too close to their partners, leading to a pattern of emotional detachment and difficulty with intimacy. They have a positive view of themselves but a negative view of their partners.


Fearful-Avoidant Attachment

Fearful-avoidant individuals may have conflicting desires for closeness and distance, leading to a pattern of push-pull in their relationships, where they may want to be close but then pull away when things get too intimate.

Individuals with a fearful-avoidant attachment style have a mix of anxious and avoidant tendencies.

They may want close relationships but feel uncomfortable with intimacy and may struggle with trust and emotional regulation.


What to do with this information?

There are several things you can take to improve your insecure attachment style if you or your partner's insecurity is interfering with your adult relationships:

Acknowledge and accept your attachment type. Self-awareness is the first step in changing a behaviour. Your ability to spot patterns in your behaviour and responses will improve as you become more aware of your attachment style.

Ask for expert assistance. A mental health professional can assist you in locating and resolving underlying problems that are connected to your attachment type. Your communication skills will improve, and you'll be able to establish better connection patterns with the aid of therapy.

Achieve self-care and mindfulness. You may improve your emotional resilience, emotional stability, and anxiety reduction by practising mindfulness and self-care. Dealing with relationships and stress may be made simpler as a result.

Engage in conversation with your partner. Healthy relationships require open and honest communication. Work with your partner to discover solutions that satisfy both of your needs as you discuss your feelings and worries.

Just keep in mind that altering your attachment style requires time and effort, but is doable with the correct encouragement and a willingness to work on oneself.

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