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The 4 Different Attachment Styles & How They Manifest in Our Relationships

Our childhood plays an important role in shaping our adult lives. The relationship that we had with our parents or primary caregivers growing up can affect how we interact with others in our relationships growing up. It can affect both our romantic relationships and friendships. Attachment style refers to the way that we behave and interact in our relationships. Attachment refers to the emotional relationship between children and their parents. It is through this relationship that we make sense of the world, ourselves, and how we interact with our partners. But what are the different attachment styles and how are each developed?

Secure Attachment: Able to form secure and trusting relationship with others. Someone with a secure attachment can give and receive love, are not afraid of intimacy, and do not feel scared when their partner needs space or time to themself. They can become dependent on their partner while also maintaining a healthy level of independence.

A secure attachment is formed through their caregivers being responsive and attuned to their needs as children.

Avoidant Attachment: This attachment style is insecure and is characterized by intimacy fears. Individuals with this style of attachment often struggle with getting close to others and trusting their partners in relationships. Intimacy and closeness can make them feel suffocated. They often present as emotionally unavailable.

This attachment is formed in their childhood when their primary caregivers were distant, dismissive, and emotionally disconnected.

Fearful-Avoidant Attachment: This attachment style is a blend of both fearful and anxious. People with this attachment style can crave intimacy and affection deeply but also want to avoid it. They yearn for a romantic relationship but can also be terrified of it.

This disorganized attachment style is developed in childhood when their primary caregiver(s) may have been abusive and traumatizing. This can lead the child to experience lack of trust in others and develop deep rooted fear.

Anxious Attachment: Insecure attachment style marked by fear of abandonment. People with an anxious attachment style often worry about their partner leaving, feel insecure in their relationship, and are always in need of validation. This attachment style can present as “clingy” or “needy.”

This attachment style is developed in childhood when primary caregivers fluctuated between being emotionally available and unavailable.

Which attachment style are you?

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