Attachment Styles of Adults and Their Effects on Relationships

Attachment refers to the ability to form emotional bonds and healthy relationships with other people. According to developmental psychologist John Bowlby, the perfect concept of attachment is the bond between a mother and an infant. Thus, we develop attachment styles during our childhood and stay with us for the lifetime. These styles influence our personality and our behavior especially our ability to become intimate with other people. Here are the attachment styles of adults and how these can affect our relationships with people.

Secured/Autonomous Adults

Securely attached adults were raised in a good environment where consistent emotional care is present. They already learned that the world is a safe place to live. They feel they are able to love and to be loved back. They may experience negativities in their lives before but they were emotionally strong enough to manage and overcome the struggles. This made them realize how those indifferences made them now. Thus, they are highly dependable persons, perfect for long term relationships. Secured adults are easy to get close to and to trust. This style demonstrates a healthy attachment in which their children could also grow without any attachment disorders.

Dismissing Adults

Avoidant adults are those individuals with a dismissing state of mind in terms of attachment. They often have unclear and non-specific childhood memories. They avoid intimate events and close affectionate involvements. As a partner, dismissing adults are most comfortable being alone, not seeking support from their partners. They always maintain emotional distance as they find difficulty in trusting anybody. Further, dismissing adults are more intellectual and successful. They are critical in problem-solving, setting emotions aside.

Preoccupied Adults

Ambivalent adults follow a preoccupied style in which they are characterized by anxiety and uncertainty. They often have over-detailed stories and history of bad experienced in the past that continue to hurt them in the present. They also have parents who are inconsistent in providing care and attention, thus, they tend to be impatient, critical and argumentative. As a result of preoccupied adults, their children will likely to have ambivalent attachments with them too, because their own issues cause them to be unpredictable.

Unresolved Adults

Unresolved adults are those in a disorganized state. They do not have a consistent and organized approach to relationships. During their childhood, they had a history of neglect, abuse, cruelty, and loss. Their parents were either unresponsive, punitive, insensitive and inconsistent; or they grew up with no guidance from parents. As a result, they are afraid of genuine closeness. They are selfish, controlling and do always disregard the rules. They are very vulnerable to alcoholism, drug abuse and other forms of criminality including abusing their own children. Their children will also develop to become insecure, dysfunction and will most likely by similar with their parents.

However, these styles of attachments may be changed in the pace of time. Secured adults may experience circumstances that may shake their lives. On the other hand, unresolved adults may undergo therapy to resolve internal issues.

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