Let’s talk about attachments.
Understanding attachment styles can help you know yourself and your partner better.
There are 4 kinds of attachment styles: anxious, fearful-avoidant, dismissive-avoidant, and secure. Knowing the attachment style of you and your partner is crucial in understanding and taking care of yourself and them.
Anxious attachment is, according to psychologists, people who feel flawed or inadequate, despite reassurance from loved ones. Do you struggle with feeling unworthy? Do you doubt yourself? Are you often clingy or jealous? Then you might have an anxious attachment.
Fearful and dismissive are two kinds of avoidant attachment styles. To be fearful is to look at intimacy and relationships as confusing, unsettling, and overwhelming, so it’s avoided altogether. To be dismissive is to be independent, closed off, and uncomfortable with your emotions and the emotions of your partner. You withdraw.
Recognizing how you feel and working through these emotions through therapy and having conversations with your partner can allow you to cultivate a bit more security and peace in the relationship.
Healing your trauma can be beneficial for not only your well-being but also your relationships.
Disruptions in an attachment (such as trauma) can have a significant and long-lasting effect on someone emotionally and psychologically. According to psychologists, those with trauma “feel fear and anxiety when forming intimate relationships and suffer from a negative self-image and extremely damaging self-talk. They often feel intense loneliness because of an earnest want for genuine connection, but the stress and fear response, linked to that want, causes them to act erratically, driving away potential connection.”
For example, if you had a bad experience with someone who took advantage of you in a past relationship, you might enter new relationships more anxious and afraid. Or maybe you develop an avoidant attachment style, suppressing your feelings as a means of protection.
You might not realize this, though, but by doing that, you are sabotaging your relationships, and ultimately sabotaging your emotional well-being, too. If you want to improve your relationships, you have to face your fears and confront your trauma through therapy. Your trauma wasn’t your fault, but it is your responsibility to heal from it.
Fostering open and honest communication can develop a stronger, more secure relationship.
We all know that clear communication is the key to any successful, healthy relationship. Oftentimes it’s hard for people to be vulnerable and express their feelings, needs, and wants in a relationship. It’s hard for people to set necessary boundaries with people they love. But despite how difficult it is, it’s incredibly important.
Effective communication about your fears, your boundaries, your needs, and your desires, can do so much for you and your relationship: it can deepen the emotional connection, resolve conflict, and help establish and strengthen trust.
Cultivating self-awareness can help you understand your needs, preferences, and boundaries.
Some of us are more self-aware than others. So if you want to develop a secure attachment style, you have to do the work. You have to acknowledge and talk about your feelings instead of swallowing them. You have to recognize and reflect on your behaviors within your relationships. You have to identify your triggers and insecurities and set boundaries. You have to take the time to understand your needs and wants. You have to nurture yourself.