Have you noticed a certain pattern of behavior you have in relationships? Have you ever been told that you’re clingy? Or the opposite, that you’re cold and distant? We all have certain patterns of behaviors in relation with close people. As a matter of fact, these patterns have a name – we call them Attachment Styles. Let’s take a closer look into them.
Attachment styles are, simply put, patterns of behaviors we have in relationships. Our style is responsible for the way we look at relationships and the way we feel about important people in our lives. We acquire these styles in our childhood, from our first relationships – those with our parents or primary caregivers. So, we learn from them, consciously or subconsciously, about relationships and how to behave in them. Generally speaking, there are three attachment styles: Secured, Anxious and Avoidant.
1. Secured Attachment Style
People who are securely attached had all their needs met in their childhood. Their parents or caregivers were taking care they feel safe and loved. As a result, these people feel comfortable in relationships; they don’t have troubles expressing their needs and feelings and maintain close, stable relationships.
2. Anxious Attachment Style
Primary caregivers of anxiously attached individuals were inconsistent in attending to their needs; sometimes, these individuals were feeling safe and secure, and at other times, they felt rejected and derelict. They couldn’t control whether their caregivers will satisfy their needs or not. Consequentially, anxiously attached people are craving intimacy and attention. They are constantly questioning if their partner loves them, will he/she leave them, and try to get reassurance over and over again. However, this constant need for acceptance and attention can feel overwhelming to their partners, so they are often described as “needy” or “clingy”.
3. Avoidant Attachment Style
Avoidantly attached individuals grew up in a family with little formal, cold relations. Accordingly, their caregivers were often unresponsive, cold or distant, missing the opportunities to meet these individuals’ needs, especially psychological ones. As a result, avoidantly attached people learned that it’s dangerous to rely on other people or to become dependant on them in any way. Therefore, they avoid close relationships and intimacy, because they see them as a threat to their independence. They may resist commitment and may seem cold and distant to their partners.
So, how attached are you?
Finally, in whichever style you found yourself, if you noticed that it interferes with the success of your relationships, know that you can change the way you react and feel in relationships. Here is a nice article that may help you find the root of your behaviors in relationships and how to start changing it: https://psychcentral.com/lib/how-to-change-your-attachment-style/
Also, if you want to work on your attachment style in Mississauga or Bradford Ontario at Real Life Counselling, don’t hesitate to call us at 289-231-8479.