Attachment Styles: Chapter Two

attachment relationships

“Our style of attachment affects everything from our partner selection to how well our relationships progress and to, sadly, how they end. That is why recognizing our attachment pattern can help us understand our strengths and vulnerabilities in a relationship. An attachment pattern is established in early childhood attachments and continues to function as a working model for relationships in adulthood. This model of attachment influences how each of us reacts to our needs and how we go about getting them met. When there is a secure attachment pattern, a person is confident and self-possessed and is able to easily interact with others, meeting both their own and another’s needs. However, when there is an anxious or avoidant attachment pattern and a person picks a partner who fits with that maladaptive pattern, they will most likely be choosing someone who isn’t the ideal choice to make them happy.” – Psychoalive

Attachment starts in infancy. According to Bowlby, “Virtually all children – if given any opportunity at all – become attached, but the quality of attachment varies widely.” (as cited in Cassidy and Mohr, 2001)

Attachment bond theory states that the relationship between infants and primary caretakers is responsible for (Segal & Jaffe, 2015) :

  • shaping our future relationships
  • strengthening or damaging our abilities to focus, to be conscious of our feelings, and to calm ourselves (internal emotional regulation)
  • forming our ability to bounce back from misfortune: resilience

There are some extremely unfortunate cases where things go mostly wrong for an individual and their attachment style is drastically compromised. The difference for the majority of people is that though most of the significant things went well, some things still went wrong in a subtle way at an attachment level. That is why they are healthy and functional most of the time and their life is good in many aspects. The struggle may come mostly from what I call a “vitamin deficiency” or a crack in the foundation. They received nurturing and care but it wasn’t in a consistent enough way or in the ways or doses they needed it to be. If you are struggling in your current relationship, some things didn’t go well enough, and therefore, we need to supplement. (…)

adult attachment

There are 4 types of attachment style: Secure or the optimal one and 3 types of insecure attachment styles: Anxious (Ambivalent), Avoidant (Dismissive) and a sub-category called Disorganized (Fearful).

So if curious about your attachment style,  take one or more of the following quizzes:

Attention: If your results show secure but you are here because your relationships don’t go well, you might be avoidant. Just keep that in mind.

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