What Is Attachment Style?
- Why Is It Important In Relationships?
As discussed in the book Becoming Attached by Robert Karen, Ph.D., Attachment style is how we form relationships - our particular way of bonding with people we like. Unfortunately, this style is created before with turn three years old! And, most of us don't even have memories from that time in our lives, yet we are trapped in a behavior we don't even recognize we do...So, because this behavior is so ingrained, because it was formed so long ago, it's invisible to us and thus it's virtually impossible for us to change on our own. That's where I come in.
I can help you recognize patterns of behavior that don't serve your goals of being in a kind, loving, close relationship with a significant other.
Humans are born with only the instinct to cry and nurse - everything else, and I mean EVERYTHING else, has to be taught/learned. If you have an attachment style that sabotages relationships, please know it was taught to you in early childhood. AND, unfortunately, you will teach it to your children, because this is what you know...HOWEVER, the good news is that behavior can be changed.
You can learn to recognize triggers, and that you have a choice on how to behave once triggered - yes, really.
What Are The Different Attachment Styles?
The book Becoming Attached documents the history of attachment theory, all the way back to Freud. There are three patterns of attachment behavior: The securely attached (where we are sensitively attuned to ourselves and others); the avoidantly attached (where we respond to others in a harsh and rejecting way, causing us to be sullen, argumentative, self sufficient to the point of being arrogant about it - I don't need you or anyone else...); and the ambivalently attached (where our behavior seems inconsistent, even chaotic in a relationship and we appear flat/emotionless one minute then out of control and raging the next, making us look immature and incapable of taking care of ourselves.)
These different reactions to stress, especially when dating, can feel like self-sabotage, creating what we fear the most - being rejected. Does this sound like anyone your know? Maybe your partner/love interest, perhaps your parent or child or sibling? How many friends do you have like this? Perhaps even your boss; praising your work and dedication one minute, then refusing a bonus or raise the next...I would be honored to help you deal with these people. And, in case you recognized yourself, please know, you can change.