If you are seeking more information on adult Attachment Theory, here are four things you need to know.
1. There are four Attachment styles.
Secure – Securely attached people find it easy to develop relationships with others and do not excessively worry about the status of those relationships. They are comfortable being dependable for others and depending on others for support. They typically have a healthy balance of independence and intimacy in their relationships.
Avoidant – Avoidantly Attached individuals tend to be overly independent and often do not connect with others in intimate relationships. They can seem closed off and emotionless from an outsider and may be more challenging to get to know. They rely on themselves for nearly everything.
Ambivalent – Individuals who lean toward Ambivalent Attachment rely on others for regulation. They tend to focus on others’ opinions about them and seek constant approval and connection in relationships. This can be exhausting to those who are in relationship with them.
Disorganized – Individuals who lean toward Disorganized Attachment often have a desire for close relationships, but find the prospect uncomfortable or even scary. This can lead to acting out in confusing ways or sending out “mixed signals.” They have difficulty trusting others, yet have difficulty self-soothing leaving them with few options for resolution.
2. Attachment styles are related to survival.
It is important to remember that none of the Attachment adaptations are wrong. Each Attachment style is related to survival. Individuals adapted in a necessary way during their infant and childhood years to the behavior of their caregivers – whether they were left alone too often, in an unpredictable environment or suffered from abuse.
These patterns solidify in childhood, yet still manifest in adult relationships and often plague people who wish for more Securely Attached relationships.
3. Your Attachment style affects every relationship in your life.
Obviously, Attachment adaptations manifest most overtly in romantic relationships, but they do affect every aspect of life: children, coworkers, and friends to varying degrees. Knowledge regarding your Attachment style can help identify the patterns that come out of trauma or Attachment injury, generating awareness of the challenges it creates.
4. You can become more Securely Attached.
With the proper support and dedication to practice, everyone can gain ground toward Secure Attachment. Seeking help from a therapist with knowledge of Attachment theory and practicing experiential exercises, along with practical implementation of what you learn in your daily life can all lead to greater security and more fulfillment in adult relationships.
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