You have heard about personality types, but what about attachment theory?
Attachment theory posits that our upbringing shapes the way we bond with others as adults. It explains how we perceive love, human relationships and how we fit into them. Attachment theory was first developed by a British psychologist, John Bowlby in 1968. His theory had arisen from his interest in behaviors children expressed when they were separated from their caregivers. Attachment theory recognizes 4 types of attachment styles, which are: secure, anxious/ambivalent, avoidant, disorganized/insecure. Keep reading to find out what your attachment style says about you.
Those with secure attachment style have typically grown up in a healthy, supportive home environment. They are usually high achieving and well-adjusted individuals who make friends relatively easily. Secure types feel worthy of love and believe people are inherently good. In their relationships, secure types do not often question their partner’s love and trust nor are they prone to jealous outbursts. They know when to give people their space, which is why they make excellent partners for anxious, avoidant and disorganized types.
Common phrases: I understand. / I trust you. / Take your time.
People who belong to this type have not had their needs satisfied as children which could have been due to inconsistent attention from parents or caregivers who had the tendency to be loving and nurturing at one point then cold and mean the very next. This resulted in them becoming distrustful of others and needing constant reassurance. They find it difficult bonding with others because it is quite challenging for them to open up and trust others. Anxious types are known for being clingy in relationships due to being deprived from love and intimacy. They incessantly worry and doubt their partner and themselves.
Common phrases: Am I good enough? / Do they like me? / Do they ever like me? / Do they still like me? / What are they thinking?
Avoidant type results from neglectful parenting. Their parents or caregivers failed to provide them with emotional support which could have involved minimizing and discouraging them from expressing their emotions. As adults, these individuals have a tendency to repress their emotions and isolate themselves from others when stressed. They are also more likely to ignore their wants, needs and grievances for the benefit of the other person. These individuals approach relationships hesitantly and have trouble with long-term commitment due to their strong fears of abandonment. Avoidant types are usually the ones who break up with their partner when they sense they are thinking about breaking up with them. They can be pretty hot and cold.
Common phrases: Leave me alone. / I need space. / You are smothering me. / I wish we could be together all the time. / We need a break.
These types have been raised in abusive home environments, which made them traumatized, emotionally numb and cautious. Their parent or caregiver resorted to fear tactics and emotional manipulation in order to get their child to obey them. The child was scared of asking for help or reassurance and they took that fear to adulthood. As adults have a habit of falling into toxic patterns because they are familiar to them and familiar equates to being comfortable.
Common phrases: It’s nothing. / I am fine. / Don’t worry about me. / I don’t trust you.
What did you think about these attachment styles? Have you related to any of them? If you are still unsure which category you belong to, there is a quiz you can do here: https://www.attachmentproject.com/attachment-style-quiz/ And if you are any other type other than the secure one, no need to worry. Every type can heal and change trough recognizing their patterns and making a conscious effort to improve themselves. Therapy is an incredible resource that can help you in working through your issues and past trauma, but talking to a close friend or a trusted individual can also soothe your soul.
Sources: “What Your Attachment Style Says About Your Personality”
How Your Attachment Styles Affect Your Relationships
“Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find — and Keep — Love” by Amir Levine, M.D. and Hellen S.F. Keller, M.A.