Why Attunement is an Important Part of Attachment

We are a relationship species with an inherent need to attach. When we are loved unconditionally (by even just one person), we feel safe and secure and free to be ourselves. Attachment is often what drives us to seek approval, gain acceptance and it is often at the base of wanting to be liked.

When we are able to love unconditionally, we are able to create an environment for our loved ones that include stability, consistency and attunement. The elements of stability and consistency are ones that send a message to our loved ones that they can count on us, that we show up. That despite choices we may not agree with, or mistakes made on their life’s journey, the foundational love that we feel for them doesn’t change.

Attunement is the ability to recognize the needs of another person. Sometimes this presents itself as a physical need – for example, when a newborn is crying and we try everything to help him/her to settle down – but attunement also includes emotional needs. It is in recognizing that something is wrong and seeking closeness through curiosity. Attunement isn’t about fixing another person’s problems or unsettled feelings, it is simply about recognizing, acknowledging, and listening.

Attunement is about feeling heard. When we can allow others to feel understood, we have sent them the message that “I hear you. I see you.” It allows us to feel close, connected and safe in our attachment.

Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@vikceo

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