ATTACHMENT STYLES

MORE SATISFYING RELATIONSHIPS

 

promote deeper connection, improved communication, and greater satisfaction in relationships.

Although there is no such thing as having a “perfect attachment style,” we can work towards building a Secure Attachment Style that allows for the trusting, loving connection we are all naturally longing for. 

“Love rests on two pillars: surrender and autonomy. Our need for togetherness exists alongside our need for separateness. One does not exist without the other.”

Esther Perel, PhD

WHAT ARE ATTACHMENT STYLES?

RELATIONAL PROGRAMMING

Lightbulb Love Letters

TRUST AND CONNECTION

There is no such thing as having a “perfect attachment style.” Even those with Secure attachment have slight ups and downs in relationships. However, having a Secure style allows for the trusting, loving connection we are all naturally longing for.

 

Without the capacity for Secure attachment, we may find ourselves feeling stressed, triggered, and reacting with DRIFTS, default threat-responses and maladaptive protective strategies. 

"A great deal of your success in relationships—or lack thereof—can be explained by how you learned to relate to others throughout your childhood as well as later in life."

Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

ATTACHMENT STYLES

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen. You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”

Brene Brown, PhD

Image by freestocks

FORMED IN CHILDHOOD

Our attachment style forms in childhood. If we felt a consistent sense of safety, trust, and felt seen, heard, and valued, we tend to form Secure attachment. If not, we may form an Insecure style.

 

IMPACTED IN ADULTHOOD

We may have had a secure attachment from childhood, but our experiences in adulthood may have faltered our ability to trust and connect, shifting to an Insecure attachment style.

IDENTIFY TO RESOLVE

Fortunately, once identified and understood, we can resolve Insecure attachment (Dismissing, Fearful, Preoccupied) to Secure attachment - and balance the way in which we interact in relationships, forming Secure attachment with time.

“A securely attached child will store an internal working model of a responsive, loving, reliable care-giver, and a self that is worthy of love and attention... an insecurely attached child may view the world as dangerous and see ONEself as ineffective and unworthy of love"

Jeremy Holmes

“attachment science recognize that bonded pairs, such as couples, or parents and children, build bonds that physiologically shape their nervous systems."

Nora Samaran

OVERVIEW OF ATTACHMENT STYLES

suppression in relating.jpg

DISMISSING AVOIDANT 

also known as 'avoidant'

HOW IT TYPICALLY FEELS:

  • You’re self-reliant and proud of that; you don't spotlight having needs in relationship and typically feel uncomfortable communicating them

  • Subconsciously believe being low maintenance is what it takes to be a good friend, partner, or family member (although you may feel comfortable paying for help, handymen, personal assistants, etc.)

  • Have the subtlest feeling of being trapped or exposed when a partner comes too emotionally close

  • You leverage criticism well in the workplace, but if you detect your partner is disappointed by you, this can trigger despair and ignite the need to flee

  • Logic, reason, and precision are your comfort zones; feelings not so much - this serves you well in many aspects of life, and overall achievement, yet it stifles deep, nourishing, intimate relationship

"Anxious people gravitate towards avoidant people. Yet often drive each other away with polar behaviors. We’re attracted to our opposite because we’re subconsciously seeking what we want."

Sarah Schewitz, PhD

preoccupied style

also known as 'aNXIOUS'

HOW IT TYPICALLY FEELS:

  • Relationships are very important to you - however, you have anxiety and hypervigilance in relationships

  • Your fantasy of an ideal relationship is that your partner “gets” you down to your core - you may expect your partner to read your mind and resent them

  • Put others' needs first, sacrificing yourself (needs, boundaries, limits, values, even your safety) - leads to codependency, disempowerment, resentment, and self-resentment

  • Deep down you crave love and security, but patterns of anxious, 'needy,' controlling behaviors can push others away 

  • You may wonder if you’re 'enough' to be worthy of love and real connection

Image by Paul Hanaoka

“If we’re anxious the slightest whiff of our partner losing interest can set us off. we may feel desperate... We may resort to calling or texting many times. When I was anxious-avoidant, I thought sex was the only to win the person’s attention back.”

Kathrine Meraki

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fearful AVOIDANT

also known as 'DISORGANIZED'

HOW IT TYPICALLY FEELS:

  • You volley between Preoccupied and Avoidant Styles

  • One moment you might need a ton of reassurance and closeness from your partner, only to feel engulfed and need to remain distant for days

  • May feel painful loneliness and not understand why you cannot find the closeness you have always longed for

  • Have a hard time believing that genuine, trusting, real love exists because it seems like forever since you've felt it (or ever felt it)

  • Have a deep desire for love and connection, however your behaviors may ward off anyone who would otherwise come close

  • May sabotage relationships due to feeling too vulnerable, only to regret later, try to win back, and end up in this hot and cold pattern

“The trick is not to get hooked on the highs and lows and mistake an activated attachment system for passion or love.”

Amir Levine

secure STYLE

HOW IT TYPICALLY FEELS:

  • You have the ability to feel comfortable and safe in relationship, as you prioritize your needs, values and boundaries

  • You communicate your needs, wants, desires, limits and expectations, instead of expecting your partner to read your mind

  • You are discerning - you give your gift of trust to those deemed trustworthy

  • You do not tolerate maltreatment and make this clear in your words and actions

  • You have a solid foundation of self-trust and balanced boundaries

  • Although you don't like rejection or disapproval, you accept that you can't please everyone

  • When dealing with rejection or a breakup, you face reality, learn lessons, and take time to grieve and heal through the inevitable pain and disappointment

Love and Happiness

BUILDING SECURE ATTACHMENT

FOR COUPLES AND SINGLES

Love

If you find you or your partner has a Dismissing Avoidant, Fearful or Preoccupied attachment style, find comfort in the fact that you can build a Secure Attachment with awareness, knowledge, skills, practice, patience, and more practice. The following skills and practices will guide you on your path to build a Secure Attachment Style.  

Even those with a Secure Style will benefit from learning more about connection, communication, vulnerability and boundaries skills.  The following skills and practice are integral for improving your relationships.

 

IDENTIFY YOUR ATTACHMENT STYLE

 Screenshot your results of the first chart entitled "Attachment Styles: Traits"

COMMUNICATE YOUR NEEDS

Communicate with vulnerability and authenticity through feelings.

BALANCED BOUNDARIES

Boundaries are an integral component to secure relationships.

OPENHEARTED LISTENING

Connect with curiosity and compassion, courage and vulnerability.

REALIZE YOUR

NEEDS

Studies show secure attachers know their needs, wants, values and boundaries.

EMOTIONAL HEALTH SKILLS

As humans, we connect emotionally. Without emotional health skills, relationships suffer. 

 

If you are experiencing a crisis or an emergency dial 911 or Crisis Response at 602.222.9444

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Creating Your Balance LLC and information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.  It is not intended to substitute for the advice, treatment and/or diagnosis of a qualified licensed professional. Creating Your Balance LLC and information provided may not make any medical diagnoses, claims and/or substitute for your personal physician’s care.