Secure Attachment Style
People who are securely attached experience higher levels of satisfaction with their relationships. Consider the following traits:
- You feel connected to your partner and vice-versa.
- Both of you are able to be your own person.
- You seek out each other for support when there is a problem.
- Your partner provides comfort when you are feeling upset.
- Both you and your partner can be honest with each other.
These are all qualities of an emotionally satisfying relationship. Both partners feel safe and can be vulnerable with one another.
Preoccupied Attachment Style
With preoccupied attachment, the key word to remember is “worry.” In this case, you are always conscious of what other people think of you. You are anxious that others will not accept you and consequently seek to please them.
In addition, you ignore or minimize your own needs. You crave to be validated by other people in order to reinforce your own value as a person. For example, people with preoccupied attachment issues constantly seek out confirmation, reassurance, and proof that their partner loves them.
Experiencing Avoidant Attachment
People who exhibit avoidant attachment quite literally avoid forming close emotional bonds in their relationships. This includes their romantic partnerships. Instead, they are more focused on their own emotional needs than those of others. They will generally become emotionally distant if a conflict arises with their partner.
An important thing to consider with avoidant attachment people is that they will be very protective of their own self-worth. If they think their self-esteem has been compromised they will push back with anger. People with avoidant attachment often hold themselves in high regard and can have an overly-positive perspective about themselves and their accomplishments. However, these are only protectors against vulnerability. People with avoidant attachments still crave closeness and security in their love relationships.
Fearful avoidance is more complicated than avoidant attachment. If you experience fearful avoidance you actually want to be in relationship. In fact, you crave to be loved by another person. However, once in the relationship and your partner tells you that they love you, panic ensues. Instead of feeling comforted and secure in the union, you likely notice that you feel anxious, perhaps even afraid.
This anxiety is hard to hide and eventually, it can cause the relationship to fail. For one reason or another, linked to your past, your mind is trying to protect you. Unfortunately, in the end, this tendency obstructs your ability to feel secure in the relationship.
Dismissive-avoidant people also want to have close relationships with other people. However, maintaining those relationships is extremely difficult for them. Indeed, they can appear to be friendly and outgoing at the start of the relationship or during social occasions. Yet, when pressed for more connection, they draw away, avoiding emotional intimacy.
If you have the dismissive-avoidant style, you struggle to feel emotionally safe with others, even when the logical side of you recognizes that your partner is showing affection.
Do you need help connecting with others?
Of course, not everyone is going to have a secure attachment style. That’s okay. Whatever your attachment style, your ability to connect with people can be improved.
Consider counseling with me to start making the changes you long for. Therapy can help you better understand your attachment style and how it affects the way you relate. Please contact me soon for a consultation. Once you recognize the signs of healthy and unhealthy attachment, you can begin to learn how to better form healthy relationships.