Why Attachment Theory Is So Important To Understand If You Want To Have secure Relationship
Just to help clear any confusion for all the newbies in the community….
You’re in the right place if you want to learn all things about healing, Attachment Neuroscience, and creating Secure relationships.
Most people in this community found out about it through a friend or by completing a quiz about their Attachment Style.
Since I’ve been getting lots of questions, I wanted to post a few thoughts and directions to find some answers if you’re keen.
Attachment Theory, in essence, is a way to explain the stress we experience in relationships, and understand the behaviors we use to manage that stress within relationships.
ATTACHMENT STYLES ARE NOT A WAY TO DEFINE OUR PERSONALITY. THEY MERELY DEFINE HOW WE SHOW UP IN RELATIONSHIPS.
This isn’t just romantic, either. You can be secure in your relationship with your partner, and anxiously attached to clients.
When you’re secure in your relationships, you feel emotionally close to the other and can communicate your feelings directly. You are both flexible, and co-operative with your partner. Jealously doesn’t run you, and you feel your partner will be there for you when you need them. You have a nice comfortable balance being attached, and independent as well. In a conflict you’re able regulate your emotions and be fair with one another.
When we’re anxiously attached, we tend towards being more emotionally sensitive, and heavily dependent on others for self-worth. Due to this heavy anxiety, we show up demanding, critical, and feeling often “overly needy” to our partners. Constantly fearing that we will lose the other person, or be left behind, Anxious attached folks feel as if they’re the only ones “fighting” for closeness in the relationship. They also find themselves constantly fighting hard to get attention and approval from their partners and get anxious while separate from one another.
Avoidantly attached folks consider themselves self-reliant and have trouble feeling and expressing emotions. When we’re attached in this pattern, we tend to leave or avoid conflict not to make things worse. In relationships we experience our partners constantly “wanting more” from us. Getting close is challenging, and there’s always an “out” that we plan to maintain a sense of freedom. There’s a general fight to NOT be seen as a failure, which is why we get defensive when in a conflict in this pattern, as well as placing a higher value on success and image rather than emotional connection.
For the Disorganized pattern, imagine having one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake, at the same time. A person in this attachment style was often abused as a child, where we desire closeness with our care-givers, but because that wasn’t safe, we want distance at the same time. Disorganized attached individuals are often self-harming and abusive and have an intense fear of rejection, and feelings are “all over the place” (hence, disorganized). If you are constantly feeling “distressed” in relationships, then you likely have a Disorganized pattern.
These are explanations, NOT YOUR FATE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
In other words, these attachment styles are not set in stone, and they’re often dynamically shifting between partners.
You can be anxious in one relationship, and avoidant in another.
This is because there are many parts and facets that make up a human and there’s no telling who will bring up what triggers, and when.
And here’s the best part:
YOU CAN NOW CHOOSE TO BECOME MORE SECURE, OR EVEN MORE HIGHLY SKILLED AT CREATING RELATIONSHIPS THAT ARE NOURISHING.
When I did the assessment I discovered I was “Avoidant” in my attachment style.
But I didn’t just STOP there, like MOST people do.
“Oh WELL! SPOT ON! I GUESS THAT EXPLAINS IT!”
or “I GOT SECURE- I’M PERFECT”.
The quiz is just a snapshot.
And regardless of what your results are,
the path to healing is the exact same.
And the COST of NOT doing anything about it is dire.
Simply by just talking about it with a Therapist or counselor — receiving support and validation for our story without healing the root cause and learning methods to manage when your Nervous System gets activated, we pretend like we’re “doing the work” when in fact we aren’t doing anything to shift our BEING into a more secure state.
To do that, we must go deeper than just talking.
That’s why this is tricker than you might think when your first response is “Do therapy”.
Most of our clients have actually already gone the therapy route, which is helpful I’m sure.
But if you’ve been noticing yourself showing up in these patterns and you’re wanting to dive deeper and learn exactly the path moving forward and where to begin,
I’m hosting another “Recreating Relationships” workshop.
You feel brave?
Then volunteer for a “Hot Seat” where I can help unpack your challenge and help you as well as the entire room benefit from what you will learn.
I realized years ago after becoming what appeared to be “successful” that It doesn’t matter if we have all the money and recognition for our amazing gifts in the world.
Without healthy relationships to share them all with, none of it matters.
(This is Dominic. Making sure he feels securely attached to his parents, who themselves make a priority to keep practicing how to securely attach with each other IS MY BIG WHY).
Is there any better reason to be the Cyclebreaker?