What is an attachment style? An attachment style is how each person behaves and interacts in their relationships. At a young age, we tried to figure out how to fit into our social circles. Based on how our parents or caregivers treated us, we figured out how to interact with people and develop our own attachment style.
Your personal attachment style that you learned from childhood follows you throughout your life. It is how you interact and behave with your family members, romantic partners, and kids.
Understanding what attachment style you have will help you understand your relationship difficulties and give you an insight as to what to work on. The healthiest relationships are built when both individuals feel a secure attachment to one another.
If you have a secure attachment style, you’ll seek out stable relationships and feel safe opening up emotionally. You’ll also feel comfortable asking for what you need. Secure adults will be able to reach out to their romantic partner in times of need but also attend to the needs of their partner.
If you have an anxious attachment style, you’ll desire closeness but may not feel as though you are ever able to get close enough. You’ll end up questioning yourself a lot, wondering if your romantic partner really loves you, and you’ll regularly seek out validation. If you have an anxious attachment, you might end up seeming clingy and do things that push your partner away.
If you have a dismissive attachment style, you tend to distance yourself from people. When confronted with conflict, you’ll emotionally shut down and choose not to show your emotions. If you have a dismissive attachment, you may feel isolated from yourself and others.
If you have a fearful-avoidant attachment, you may have grown up in a home where you detached from your feelings because of trauma. While you will desire connections with others, once the relationships become emotionally involved, your past trauma may affect how you see the relationship. If you have a fearful-avoidant attachment, you may have very rocky relationships and fear being abandoned – but also fear being close to others.
How do I develop a secure attachment style?
Now don’t get too discouraged if you’re not happy with your personal attachment style. The good news is that you can develop a secure attachment style.
- Start taking note of when your behaviors are anxious, dismissive, or avoidant
- Think about how you feel and what you need
- Try to express your feelings and needs to someone close to you
- Set healthy boundaries with those you have relationships
- Model your behavior off someone with a secure attachment style
- Work with a therapist to help you change your attachment style