Do you notice patterns of behavior repeating themselves in your love life? Do you feel that those behaviors are affecting your relationships negatively? Perhaps you would benefit from digging deeper into your psychology and discovering how you attach yourself to people. Take the quiz and find out what your attachment style is.
But before you do that, let’s explain what the attachment style even means. The attachment theory, built by the British psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby, states that one’s relationship with their parents affects the relationships one will create as an adult. Attachment style refers to the way a person relates to other people. The attachment style forms very early in life, and once it’s in place, it will influence how you relate to others in relationships and how you parent your children. There are four adult attachment styles: anxious (or preoccupied), avoidant (also defined as dismissive), disorganized (or fearful-avoidant), and secure.
Adults with an anxious attachment style often have low self-esteem and a negative self-image. They have a strong fear of abandonment and rejection. They worry that their partner is not as invested in the relationship as they are. People with an anxious attachment style seek security, safety, approval, and support from their significant other. They require higher levels of intimacy and connection than others. Attention from their partner seems to be the cure to their anxiety. On the other hand, the lack of support and engagement can lead the anxious type to be clingy, demanding, and desperate for love.
Anxious-style adults tend to fall in love easily. They use sexual intimacy as a tool to get closer to their partner. They often feel under-appreciated by their lovers and generally dissatisfied with the way the other person expresses their affection.
How does that style of attachment come to be? During preadolescence, the child learns that their caregivers are not reliable in responding to their needs. The caregivers sometimes will be supportive and responsive, and other times they are dismissive and not “in tune” with the child’s feelings.
Adults with an avoidant attachment style tend to avoid close relationships and intimacy with others. They perceive themselves as independent and self-sufficient on an emotional level. They don’t want to depend on others and believe they don’t have to be in a relationship to feel complete. They avoid emotional closeness and prefer to hide their feelings when faced with an emotionally charged situation.
This type is more likely to engage in casual sexual encounters than to fall in love. They fear intimacy and prefer not to get too deeply involved. Often they sabotage their relationships by engaging in emotionally destructive conduct. Sex and intimacy can make avoidant adults uncomfortable.
The avoidant style forms when the caregivers are not emotionally available. They seem to be reserved and back off when the child needs support or reassurance. They might also disapprove of their child expressing any sort of emotions, even if it’s a positive one.
Adults with a disorganized attachment style tend to be unstable and ambiguous in their social relationships. They have the desire for intimacy and closeness, but at the same time, they are scared of trusting and depending on other people. They struggle with controlling their emotions and avoid intense emotional attachment due to their fear of getting hurt.
Disorganized individuals feel unworthy of love. They struggle with trusting their parents, therefore they often engage in casual sex instead of pursuing serious relationships. These adults tend to behave unpredictably. For example, they can be passionate in one moment, and a short while later, they shut down.
That style of attachment forms when the child does not know what to expect from their caregivers. The parents show unpredictable, contrasting behavior, causing the child to fear for their safety. The child knows they can’t rely on their caregivers to meet their needs.
Adults with a secure attachment style usually hold a positive self-image. Their relationships are based on honesty, tolerance, and emotional closeness. They’re comfortable expressing their emotions openly, and they can regulate their feelings well. They know they can rely on their partner, and their partner can depend on them. These adults do very well in relationships, but they’re not afraid of being alone, either. They feel comfortable being single and spending that time exploring other options in life. They tend to have a favorable view of themselves and others.
Secure-attachment folks usually feel good about themselves and their love lives. They have positive feelings about sex and intimacy. They are less likely to use sexual encounters to build up their ego or to manipulate others.
How to build a secure attachment style while raising a child? The child must feel safe and secure. They need to know what to expect from their caregivers. The child knows that their needs will be met and that the parents will respond to their emotional signals accurately. The child feels comfort, reassurance, and a soothing presence when their parents are close.
By now, you probably have an idea of which attachment style fits you the best. If you still aren’t sure, answer the questions and discover to which attachment group you belong!
How many questions are in the quiz?
What styles can you get?
Anxious/precoccupied, Avoidant/dismissive, Disorganized/fearful-avoidant, Secure
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