Your Attachment Style MattersApr 05, 2022
We are all born to seek out love. We continue to seek out love and acceptance through our entire lifespan. The field of psychology has determined that there are four distinct relationship attachment styles. Your attachment style formed when you were and infant and through your early childhood years. Parents do the best they can. Sometimes forces get in the way that lead to unhealthy forms of attachment. It could be an illness, generational patterns, addiction, war, or other trauma which puts the caregiver into survival mode.
Secure attachment happens when a child grows up with responsive caregivers who give plenty of love and support. Parents with a secure attachment style find a sense of ease in meeting their child’s needs.
Avoidant or dismissive attachment is characterized by keeping intimacy at arm's length or dismissing the importance of close relationships. People with this style can be fiercely independent. It can be difficult for parents with this attachment style to meet their child’s emotional needs.
Ambivalent or anxious attachment is exhibited in people who tend to have high anxiety about having their needs met. They also tend to be insecure about being loved and feeling loveable. Parents with this style often feel like they aren’t doing enough or as connected as they would like. They often have “nervous energy” and are trying to earn love from others.
Disorganized attachment stems out of unresolved trauma. It is characterized by an excess of fear. Connection is amplified and then goes dormant with an on and off pattern. This style is the result of the pain of having needs go unmet.
What can I do if I have an unhealthy attachment style? The great news is that healing is possible. Engaging in healthy and supportive relationships and going to a licensed therapist can provide the necessary steps to heal. After taking the time and effort to heal, it is possible to have an earned secure attachment style. This will open new possibilities for connection that are not weighed down by old self-protection mechanisms. Love and care can flow freely from parent to child.
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