Attachment Styles

In the last two posts, we looked at what it means to have been loved in such a way as to form secure attachments; today, we look at three other attachment styles that form when the love we received was conditional in nature. Please note two things: a) everything exists on a spectrum and although you may notice yourself or a loved one in these styles, there will be a degree to the style dependent on where you/they sit on the continuum, and b) I am briefly touching on attachment; there is much to learn when it comes to this fascinating topic.

  1. Anxious or Pre-occupied Attachment: tends to feel less secure in general about relationships, dislikes being alone and will often seek relationship/company, tendency to display neediness, requires increased validation and looks to another for reassurance. Pre-occupied attachment may have formed in childhood due to enmeshment or poor caregiver availability (physically or emotionally).
  2. Avoidant or Dismissive Attachment: tends to act in independent ways from their partner, desiring freedom. Will typically withdraw from partner when they experience increased emotional need or conflict. Other factors will often supersede their intimate relationships, such as social life, work or sports. May have commitment issues. May struggle to have close relationships. Avoidant attachment may have formed due to having experienced neglect (physical or emotional) or abuse as a child.
  3. Disorganized Attachment: Increased inner conflict between desiring a relationship and being fearful of it. Can push people away; struggle with long term commitment. Can be suspicious of another’s intention and is apprehensive of intimacy. Tends to be associated with those who have had early childhood experiences of abuse and abandonment.

Attachment Styles have developed in us honestly; being aware of where we tend to land is the first step in moving towards the desire to form secure attachments, regardless of our past. The lifelong innateness of attachment provides to us eternal hope that we can move towards what we ultimately seek; safety, comfort and security.

Photo credit: http://Photo by Shea Rouda on Unsplash

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2 thoughts on “Attachment Styles”

  1. I think your use of a continuum is bang on. Folks can picture in their minds where they land under the styles overall, then varying conditions (most of which are also on a continuum) as well as where they land when being deliberately conscious of their attachment style and committed to making a change. I think it’s comforting to know we have freedom and flexibility and a range of comfort and health.
    Thanks for another little morning gem.

    • Thank you Gurlie! Sometimes writing short posts can be challenging as I always want to be able to help people to gain an understanding of something and yet convey that regardless of where you see yourself or others, it is always “with the grey.” 🙂 I also hope to remind all of us, that there is always room for growth; thank you for your comment as it helps to bring that to light.


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