Human relations are based on connections that are likely to foster our personal and social development. These connections are mostly based on style of our attachment. Attachment in broader sense, is the feeling of emotional connection that one develops with another person. As most of humans develops their first connection with their parents or care-givers. Attachment is the result of that relationship between the child and primary care-giver. Attachment plays a vital role in establishing emotional bonds and empathetic relations in later stages of an individual’s life.
The emotional attachments are innately driven in pursuit of establishing a sense of security and unconditional care. Experimental studies on children has pointed towards following styles of attachments: –
- Secure Attachment: Securely attached adults tend to have secure childhood where their needs for emotional security are fulfilled. Although child may feel frightened when his/her parents leave but the reassurance from their parents on arrival makes them joyful again. They feel more understood, trusted and tend to develop more empathy. As adults they are more likely to create trusting and meaningful relationships. They are sensitive to their partners’ need and freely share their feeling with their partners and friends. They are tolerant and are able develop good self-esteem.
- Anxious Attachment: Ambivalent attachment is an insecure type of attachment, where child’s sense of security, trust and understanding with their care-giver is not achieved. This can inhibit their behaviour to seek attention of others due to poor parental availability. The feeling of distress leaves the child uncomfortable, high on anxiety and feeling of insecurity. Instead of feeling real love or develop trust, they crave for closeness and intimacy in their relations to fulfil their emotional hunger. They act desperate fearing abandonment and loneliness.
- Avoidant Attachment: When parents have to leave their children for important task, the child may develop the feeling of being neglected. In order to punish their parents for their behaviour they prefer to develop avoidant attitude towards them. Adults with such attachment may downplay the importance of relationship. They avoid emotional connections, act distant and rigid. Independence is valued more and individual may rely heavily on self-soothing techniques to supress their emotions. They struggle to connect with others and form a close bond.
- Disorganized Attachment: Child who has experienced any trauma, abuse and unexpressed emotions during early days often feel flooded by emotions. These disorganised forms of emotions confuse the child and develop stress in due course of time. Their lack of ability to self-regulate their emotions leaves them with aggressive behaviour. As adults they fear close proximity with others and often engage in anger responses when confronted. They express little or no empathy. People with disorganised attachment have little or no understanding of personal boundaries.
Not to blame Parents/Caregivers: Ways to Improve your Attachment Style
Relationships throughout life though majorly depends on the parenting style that one received, their intervening experience also effects one’s highs and lows. Feeling challenged by their attachment style, an individual can accommodate their emotions by learning to identify, honour their and their partners’ emotional needs. Individuals who crave for attention need to become more accountable for themselves and take time to care about their emotional needs, rather than looking to please and idealise their partner. Individuals who distance from relationships and their partner need to be more responsible and become sensitive to their partner’s needs.
Partners can attune their relations through understanding nonverbal cues, smooth over the rough spots by learning to resolve conflict. Although it is not possible to completely change attachment style of an individual but practicing acceptance of ones’ and partners’ behaviour and becoming less fault-finding, helps in making attachment more secure.
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