Human relations are based on connections that are likely to foster your personal and social development. These connections are mostly based on the style of your attachment. Attachment in a broader sense is the feeling of emotional connection that you develop with another person. As most of you develop your first connection with your parents or care-givers. Attachment is the result of that relationship between the child and primary care-giver. Attachment plays a vital role in establishing emotional bonds and empathetic relations in later stages of your life.
The emotional attachments are innately driven in pursuit of establishing a sense of security and unconditional care. Experimental studies on children have pointed towards the following styles of attachments:
Secure Attachment: Securely attached adults tend to have secure childhood where their needs for emotional security are fulfilled. Although a child may feel frightened when his/her parents leave the reassurance from their parents on arrival makes them joyful again. They feel more understood, trusted and tend to develop more empathy. As adults, they are more likely to create trusting and meaningful relationships. They are sensitive to their partners’ needs and freely share their feelings with their partners and friends. They are tolerant and are able to develop a good self-esteem.
Anxious Attachment: Ambivalent attachment is an insecure type of attachment, where a child's sense of security, trust, and understanding with their caregiver is not achieved. This can inhibit their behavior to seek attention from others due to poor parental availability. The feeling of distress leaves the child uncomfortable, high on anxiety, and feeling of insecurity. Instead of feeling real love or developing trust, they crave closeness and intimacy in their relations to fulfill their emotional hunger. They act desperate fearing abandonment and loneliness.
Avoidant Attachment: When parents have to leave their children for important tasks, the child may develop the feeling of being neglected. In order to punish their parents for their behavior, they prefer to develop an avoidant attitude towards them. Adults with such attachment may downplay the importance of relationships. They avoid emotional connections, act distant and rigid. Independence is valued more and individuals may rely heavily on self-soothing techniques to suppress their emotions. They struggle to connect with others and form a close bond.
Disorganized Attachment: A child who has experienced any trauma, abuse, and unexpressed emotions during early days often feels flooded by emotions. These disorganized forms of emotions confuse the child and develop stress in due course of time. Their lack of ability to self-regulate their emotions leaves them with aggressive behavior. As adults, they fear close proximity with others and often engage in anger responses when confronted. They express little or no empathy. People with disorganized attachment have little or no understanding of personal boundaries.
Relationships throughout life majorly depend on the parenting style that you received, your intervening experience also affects your highs and lows. Feeling challenged by attachment style, you can accommodate emotions by learning to identify, honor your partners’ emotional needs. Individuals who crave attention need to become more accountable for themselves and take time to care about their emotional needs, rather than looking to please and idealize their partner. Individuals who distant from relationships and their partners need to be more responsible and become sensitive to their partner’s needs.
Partners can attune their relations through understanding nonverbal cues, smooth over the rough spots by learning to resolve conflict. Although it is not possible to completely change the attachment style of yours but practicing acceptance of your and your partners’ behavior and becoming less fault-finding, helps in making attachment more secure.
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