Do you know and understand your attachment style?
What about your (current or ideal future) partner’s?
Attachment is a focus in so much of my work, regardless of whether the presenting issue is depression, anxiety, relationship conflict, parenting, or simply building resilience.
It’s one of those universal eye openers.
Unless you’ve voluntarily committed to the life of a hermit and have no desire to react less, communicate better, and negotiate more successfully in your interactions with other human beings, attachment is an important lesson to study.
An overly simplified taste of what attachment is all about:
You probably have a secure attachment if…
…you have a strong sense of self, are generally nonreactive to others, rarely act out or avoid conflict, and generally have long-term, mutually satisfying relationships with the ability to meet your own needs and those of your partner without fear of abandonment or rejection.
You may have an anxious attachment if…
…you feel a strong draw to find or maintain a long-term, committed relationship, you can feel incomplete without a partner or worry about being alone if your current partner were to leave, you can feel abandoned and inadequate during conflict, and you fall in love fast and commit quickly.
You may have an avoidant attachment if…
…you feel most content when you’re independent and in control, you lose interest in your partner once it becomes serious, you prefer to get space or exit the relationship entirely when conflict arises, and you may have a pattern of brief relationships and a lack of interest in children.
You may have an anxious-avoidant attachment if…
…you feel most content in a long-term relationship with one person where there is consistency and a deep connection, but you keep your partner at a distance, literally and/or emotionally, such as controlling how often you see them by living apart and preferring not to marry or have children.
Attachment doesn’t just apply to our romantic relationships, it impacts how we interpret all our interactions.
When we understand our attachment dialect and those of others, it’s like putting in an earbud that translates all of our communications such that we can decode the actual intention, and then respond directly and authentically.
And as we develop a deep understanding of our own attachment style, we learn to soothe ourselves when fear of abandonment or rejection becomes activated, and feel more and more secure, confident, and whole.
Take the next step:
If you haven’t learned much about attachment, I highly recommend taking the quiz.
And then dig in with the book Attached.
I also talk attachment in this interview on Comic Church.