Reflecting on our own attachment style can offer us insight into our own behaviour, how we feel within relationships and how we respond to others.
The more understanding we gain about our attachment style and its roots the more power we have to navigate our responses and change those that do not serve us. This growth can be greatly rewarding, improving the relationship we have with ourselves and others.
The three predominant attachment styles are; secure, anxious and avoidant. So lets take a closer look at what these attachment styles may look like.
Positive view of themselves and others
Feels comfortable alone or having distance from others
Are able to bond with, open up to and trust others
Are comfortable depending on others along with having others depend on them
Have good self- esteem and believe themselves to be worthy
Feel that others are dependable and trustworthy
Find it easy to be emotionally close to others
Can communicate their needs with ease
Offer emotional support to others and feel comfortable asking for support when needed
Have a clear sense of how they are within relationships
Seeks approval and reassurance from others
Longs for intimacy but fears being let down
Fears rejection, abandonment and criticism
Finds disapproval from others very upsetting
Feels jealous or frustrated when partner is unavailable or inattentive
Worry’s about and overanalyses relationships
Displays clingy or needy behaviours
Low self- esteem or lacks a strong sense of self
Tendency to put other peoples needs first, before their own
Struggles to be alone or has a strong desire for a relationship and intimacy
Feels it is easier to avoid dangers of intimacy through solitary activities
Finds it difficult to open up or express themselves
High self- esteem, does not seek reassurance
May emotionally withdraw or pull away if someone gets to close
Can display dismissive behaviours or seem aloof
Struggles to rely on or trust others
Strong sense that they do not require emotional intimacy in their lives
View themselves as independent and self- sufficient
Appear confident, strong and in control
Can find it hard to be intimate or vulnerable
Now you know what each style looks like, you are likely finding yourself identifying with one over the others. If you find yourself recognising anxious or avoidant styles some extra exploration may now be beneficial and allow for healthy growth towards feeling more secure. Also consider those around you, as their attachment style will also be playing a part within your relationship.
Steps to explore;
Increase your self- care in all areas
Reflect, what experiences or past relationships may have impacted or helped to create your attachment style.
Take some time to explore your needs in different relationships i.e. romantic, family and friendships
Assess your boundaries; what they are and if they are healthy, porous or rigid?
Recognise when certain traits arise. Sit with them. What has triggered the reaction and practice responding in a different way.
Explore what secure attachment looks like and start to practice implementing these behaviours. Look at those around you who appear secure, what can you learn from being with them?
Spend some time exploring your strengths or keep a self- confidence journal
Talk to friends, partners and family members
Access therapy to help you explore on a deeper level within a safe and supportive space.
Each of us deserves to feel secure within ourselves and our relationships and be able to express our needs and have our boundaries respected, whilst doing the same for others. This trust and dependability leads to healthy and lasting relationships. Remember no relationship is perfect but should be healthy for each party and allow for growth.