Let’s face it, humans need to be in close connection with others. We all possess a basic need to form close bonds throughout our lives. This need is so embedded in our biology. We are equipped with a system to manage our relationships with caregivers, partners, and children. This is known as our attachment system.
While we all share the common need to form meaningful connections, we go about fulfilling that need in different ways. This is how different styles of attachment have developed. It also explains the way individuals form their connection to others. Our attachment styles begin to develop in infancy and continue throughout our lives.
Throughout infancy, we are helpless and rely solely on our caregivers. It is in this state that we begin to learn how to relate in relationships. This is often the blueprint we use to develop relationships as we age. For better or worse, this is what we are equipped with.
Styles of Attachment
So, what are the styles of attachment? I’m so glad you asked! There are many variations and complexities of attachment styles. However, it’s best we start with the basics:
- Secure – This individual is comfortable with intimacy and autonomy in their close relationships. They are often confident in themselves and their ability to resolve conflict.
- Anxious – This individual is overly invested in their close relationships. They are also dependent on others to determine self-worth.
- Avoidant – This individual is distant in their relationships and is overly self-reliant. They often downplay the importance of relationships.
- Fearful – This individual is highly dependent on others but attempts to avoid intimacy due to fear of rejection. They often exhibit extremely low self-esteem.
Understanding our attachment styles can help us better navigate our current and future relationships. This is often the beginning of some amazing “aha” moments for folks as they begin to understand themselves and their relationship patterns.
It is important to note that our attachment style is NOT our identity. An attachment style is simply a way for us to understand our behaviors and patterns in relationships. Remember, through hard work and self-awareness we can change our behaviors. This is true for attachment as well.
About Whitney Miklos:
Whitney is a Supervisee in Clinical Social Work and provides teletherapy to residents of Virginia. She graduated from Bridgewater College with a B.S. in Sociology and a minor in Social Work. She then received her Master’s in Social Work from Tulane University. Throughout her time at Tulane, she worked with both undergraduate and graduate students at Loyola University New Orleans Campus to provide individual therapy, crisis intervention, and other social work services.
Upon graduation, Whitney has continued to provide individual therapy to young adults and adolescents in various settings. She has also had the opportunity to provide consultation to educators seeking to become more trauma-informed in the classroom. Whitney has also provided support services to caregivers. Whitney honors the unique needs of each individual and believes it is important to tailor treatment accordingly.
To learn more about Whitney, visit HERE.