Psychology

Attachment Styles – Part 2/3

Attachment styles; baby hand in mom's hand.

This is the second part of my article series on the Attachment theory and attachment styles. If you haven’t yet read the first part, you can find it HERE. Let us now continue and look at the behaviours we exhibit in relationships depending on our attachment style and if we can show a combination of these styles.

So, how do people with different attachment styles behave in relationships?

Secure attachment:

  • Feel comfortable with closeness and intimacy
  • Communicate openly and honestly with partners
  • Trust partners to be supportive and responsive
  • Feel secure in the knowledge that partners will be there for them when needed
  • Have a positive view of themselves and their partners

Anxious-preoccupied attachment:

  • Become overly dependent on partners
  • Constantly seek reassurance and validation from partners
  • Feel anxious or worried when separated from partners
  • Become jealous or possessive of partners
  • Believe that they are not worthy of love or that partners will leave them

Avoidant-dismissive attachment:

  • Become emotionally distant or withdrawn from partners
  • Avoid intimate or emotional conversations with partners
  • Have difficulty trusting partners
  • Believe that they do not need close relationships to be happy
  • Have a more positive view of themselves than of others

Fearful-avoidant (or disorganised) attachment:

  • Want close relationships but fear rejection or abandonment
  • Are hesitant to trust partners and fear that they will be hurt
  • Feel overwhelmed or confused by emotions in relationships
  • Have a negative view of themselves and their partners
  • Struggle to find a balance between closeness and independence in relationships

Can we exhibit a combination of those attachment styles?

Yes, it is possible for us to exhibit a combination of attachment styles or to experience changes in our attachment style over time, depending on our experiences and circumstances. For example, someone may have a primarily anxious attachment style but exhibit some avoidant behaviours in certain situations, or they may shift between anxious and avoidant behaviours depending on the relationship and the degree of stress involved.

It’s also important to note that attachment styles are not fixed or immutable traits. Research has shown that with self-reflection, therapy, and positive relationship experiences, individuals can develop more secure attachment styles and become more flexible in their behaviours and reactions to stress. So, while attachment styles may provide a useful framework for understanding how past experiences can impact current relationships, they do not necessarily dictate future behaviour.

Now that we have learnt more about how we behave in relationships based on our attachment styles and found out if we can exhibit a combination of these styles, in the third part of this article we’ll look in more detail into how people with the different attachment styles behave in when under stress and how can we transit from one of the insecure attachment styles to the secure one.

I hope you found this as useful as I did when I first read about it 😊.

Take care,

Magda.

You can find PART 3 of this article HERE.

PS: A big reason I write is to meet people so feel free to say Hi! on Linkedin here or follow my Instagram here, as I’d love to learn more about you.

Credit: Photo by Anastasiya Vragova on Pexels

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