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The Behavior Exhibited Within a Relationship is a Result of your Attachment Style, Do you Know which One You Have?

A lot of things are going to make sense as you discover your attachment style.

Human beings are simply made for attachment, just like magnets. Though you may hear people describe themselves as “lone wolves”, or “living solitary life”, make no mistake: because we are biologically prepared to connect with others. Humans look for stability and identify themselves with individuals they can trust and rely on from the earliest hours after birth during childhood. According to the attachment theory, these early events impact our attachment types and how we interact with others throughout our lives. Insecure? Having a hard time connecting? Distant or cold in manner? Most likely, it’s all because of your parents or your first carers.

Attachment styles have a tremendous impact on both our relationships with others and our connections with ourselves. Understanding our attachment style allows us to become more self-aware and live a better life. Understanding the various types of attachment can also lead to greater connections and healthier relationships. While you’re reading this article, you will learn about the science the attachment theory revolves around, as well as the four attachment styles, their common features, and how can you start forming stable, secure relationships.

In order to prepare you for the few terms you will be reading later in this article, below is a chart that describes the features of each attachment style.

 

The concept of attachment theory was born in the 1960s and 1970s thanks to the innovative study of psychologists John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. According to the two psychologists, Attachment is a strong emotional relationship that connects one person to another beyond time and space. Humans naturally form attachments to their caregivers as children. We progressively build stronger bonds to our parents as we learn to trust and rely on them for survival. The way our parents react to our demands impacts how we interact with others throughout our lives as adults. The research of Bowlby and Ainsworth led psychologist Kendra Cherry to identify what it is that keeps us securely attached to our primary parent as children.

There are 4 attachment characteristics, proximity maintenance, safe haven, secure base, and separation distress. First and foremost, proximity Maintenance is about the infant’s desire to remain close to his or her caregiver, and attachment behaviors that infants utilize to connect with their caregivers such as crying, smiling, sucking, clinging, and following. Safe haven is a place where the child can return to a parent seeking comfort and safety when they’re threatened or afraid. Secure base revolves around parents forming a base of security from which the child is capable to explore his surroundings. Finally, separation distress, which is the moment parents or any other attachment figure is away, causing an anxiety.

Bowlby, Harlow, and Lorenz interpret in their evolutionary theory of attachment that children innately attach themselves to one person during infancy and childhood from their birth to age five, that is usually the mother, and this bond serves as a template for all future relationships. If a parent-child relationship breaks, is disturbed, or even unhealthy, it might have a damaging impact on future relationships. Therefore, these interactions cause people to acquire one of the four attachment styles that will be explained in detail in the next article next Saturday.