What are the Different Types of Attachment Styles?

Oh! What an amazing bonding a mother shares with her child!  

Robert Shaw, children & family psychiatrist in California says,  

“The more the child feels attached to the mother, the more secure he is in his acceptance of himself and the rest of the world. The more love he gets, the more he is capable of giving. Attachment is as central to the developing child as eating and breathing.” 

Everybody has a unique attachment style. It’s nothing but the way we react to relationships. A child makes the first-ever bonding with its mother. Depending on the way the mother treats her kid, a specific attachment pattern will be built. 

John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, the veteran psychiatrists split up the attachment styles into 4 based on the child’s behavior. If your attachment style ruins your adult bonding, this blog can help you come out. 

Without any delays, let’s jump in.

What are the Various Attachment Styles?

If you were given perfect care & attention by your primary caretakers(parents/guardians) in the first phase of your childhood, you will be a socio-friendly person and can amalgamate with people easily. On the contrary, if you’d shared an unhealthy bonding with them, you’ll feel insecure &  avoided and often stay away from relationships.      

This is what attachment theory is all about. To understand the concept better, let’s look at an example. 

Mr. & Mrs. Smith are a charming couple. They have 4 children. 

  • The eldest is Luka who was 3 years old
  • Younger to him was Ann. She was at the age of 3 
  • The third one is 2 years old Joe
  • The youngest of all is Amy. She was just 1 year old

The Smiths loved their 4 kids, they cuddled them, spent hours together with them, and shared a lovable bonding with them as parents. One fine day, Mr. Smith fell sick and died. Now, everything was on Mrs. Smith’s head, she had to earn, take care of her kids & family. 

  • Since the eldest son Luka got all the love & care from his mom in his early childhood days, he understood the situation and stayed strong, that he can turn up to his mom whenever needed. She will remain as his haven always. Later, he grew up to be an optimist and felt easy to connect with people. This is known as secure attachment
  • To Ann, who was just 3 years old, her mom’s sudden change in behavior seemed strange and she was not able to accept it. Later, she grows up to be a moody adolescent girl. Even if she was ready to amalgamate, people were not ready as she had an unpredictable nature. This style built in Ann is the insecure-ambivalent attachment 
  • The 2 years old Joe had to spend most of his time with his granny. Like all babies, Joe was also playful. Granny, due to her age factor, dealt rudely with Joe. He was scared of her behaviors and avoided expressing his feelings also in other situations. He grew up with the same mindset and avoided taking up love & emotions. Joe’s style is the insecure-avoidant attachment  
  • The youngest of all, Amy was admitted to a nursing home. There the caretaker on account of her workloads treated every kid the same. Along with others there, Amy also lacked personal attention. The meaning of love & affection were misinterpreted to her. She grows with the thought that she is unworthy of love and life. Her style is insecuredisorganized attachment       

We hope we’ve made all the attachment styles clear to you. If you’ve a secure attachment pattern, then it’s well -and-good, you’ll feel free to connect with people. Moving on, let’s focus on the strategies to get rid of these insecure attachment behaviors.  

Key Tactics to Get Rid of these Insecure Attachment Styles

Just for a minute. Close your eyes and take a long leap backward. Fall into your childhood memories. (Maybe after when you’re 3 years old)  

If you’re able to feel your beloved mom’s soft hands embracing you, dad’s broad shoulders carrying you, or any caretaker’s gentle care. Moreover, there will be some here longing even at the adult stage to back to their childhood days. If you’ve a similar feel, then you would have had a blissful childhood.  

On the other hand, if you turn back to hear all the harsh tones, rejections, hatred, and something like these, then it’s understood that you had a tough time. 

Being a child, it was not your fault in expecting love & care from your parents/guardians. Likewise, it was also not your parents/caretakers’ fault for not having the intimacy that you longed for. 
While you were a child, they might have to simultaneously deal with a different scenario like work pressures, family problems, health issues, and other pain points. However, it doesn’t mean that you were not there on their priority list. We’ve curated the best children’s psychotherapy quotes that will greatly inspire you, do checkout.  

Here, we’re listing down a few tricks and techniques that these insecure attachment patterns don’t impact your adult relationships. 

  • Don’t just blame your parents or caretakers for bringing you up in such a way. As an adult, you can change your behaviors that are root causes for problems and bring a solution
  • As per the law in physics, like poles repel each other, no two people with insecure attachment styles can make a healthy relationship. Hence, partner with the person who has a secure attachment pattern 
  • Defense mechanisms develop as a way for us to protect oneself. This can obviously ruin your healthy adult relationships. Learn the defense mechanisms and recognize the ones you may be used to suppress your anxieties
  • Opt-in for therapy, in particular, couples therapy, since it can help you better understand the problems between you both. Before delving into the therapy, enquire about the psychologists to their clients. Ask if the therapy was helpful in their recovery and develop a healthy attached relationship. We’ve written a blog about couples therapy techniques, do checkout it on our site. 

Final Word

Don’t be afraid that your attachment style would break your relationship. By practicing the above-mentioned strategies, you can bring about a positive change. 

If you need any assistance from therapists, feel free to reach Different Approaches. We also provide online counseling which you can opt for from wherever you are. Our guidance can help you recover from your difficulties. Do call us 917-688-2446 or leave us a message at any time.