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The Hidden Impact of Attachment Styles on Relationships

The Hidden Impact of Attachment Styles on Relationships

Fingers touching - indicating a relationship in rehab

We learn to love ourselves precisely because we have experienced being loved by someone. We learn to take care of ourselves because somebody has taken care of us. Our self-worth and self-esteem also develop because of other people.

 

Stan Tatkin – Wired for Love

What are Attachment Styles and Why Are They Important

An insecure attachment style can be like a bucket full of holes. It doesn’t matter how much water you put in there, the bucket continues to feel empty. We think that if we could just get someone love us, it will make everything OK, but an insecure attachment style can mean no amount of love is going to fix us. We can end up pushing people away because we appear closed-off or because we are too needy.

We might ask ourself, “why am I so unlucky in relationships?” or “why do I keep ending up with partners that don’t treat me right?” The answers to these questions may have more to do with us than the people in our life. Our attachment style can be like a magnet that attracts certain patterns into our life. This is why it can be so important to identify our relationship style and see how it is impacting our life.

An attachment style describes the way we relate to other people in relationship – particularly close ones like a romantic partner. It involves patterns of thoughts and behaviors that get triggered in response to connecting with others. These responses to attachment are habitual responses that are usually created in early childhood.

The Four Types of Attachment Style

Attachment theory was proposed by the John Bowlby who was a British psychologist/psychiatrist working in the 1950s. He was interested in the power of early childhood experience to influence behavior in adulthood. Bowlby identified three attachment styles, but his worked was further developed in 1970s to produce four attachment styles: 

 

As with almost everything else in life, you learn about relationships through experience. And since your first serious relationship began as an infant with your caretakers, that is where you began learning about relationships.

Leslie Becker-Phelps – Insecure in Love 

Can Attachment Styles Be Changed?

Attachment styles develop in response to the way we are treated in early childhood (or the way we perceive we were treated). If we grow up in a secure environment, we will tend to continue to feel secure in adult relationships (although a traumatic event later on could change this). If we felt insecure, this too will tend to be reflected later on.

Given that early childhood is so crucial in the development of attachment styles, does this mean those of use with insecure styles just need to accept our situation? The good news is that we can develop a more secure attachment style, but it will take time and effort. Developing a secure style will also take courage, and the willingness to question the assumptions we are making about ourselves, our life, and other people.

Tips for Developing a Secure Attachment Style

 

 

An Insecure Attachment Style Often Involves Other Issues

It is common for an insecure attachment style to be part of a cluster of issues such as substance abuse, trauma, anxiety disorder, or depression. If this is the case, it can be too difficult to treat without help. Here at Hope Rehab Thailand, we provide a secure and welcoming environment where clients can begin to address these issues. If you would like to find out more about what we can offer, please contact us now for more information.

 

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