What Is Your Attachment Style?

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One of the greatest questionnaires in the history of 20th-century psychology had a modest

start in the pages of a local Colorado newspaper The Rocky Mountain News in July 1985. The

work of two University of Denver psychologists Cindy Hazan and Phillip Shaver, the questionnaire

asked readers to identify which of three statements most closely reflected who they were in love.

Image result for rocky mountains To hugely improve our chances of thriving in relationships,

we should dare to take the same test: A: I find it relatively easy to get close to others

and am comfortable depending on them and having them depend on me. I don’t worry about being

abandoned or about someone getting too close to me. B: I find that others are reluctant

to get as close as I would like. I often worry that my partner doesn’t really love me or

won’t want to stay with me. I want to get very close to my partner, and this sometimes

scares people away. C: I am somewhat uncomfortable being close to others; I find it difficult

to trust them completely, difficult to allow myself to depend on them. I am nervous when

anyone gets too close, and often, others want me to be more intimate than I feel comfortable

being. Behind the scenes, the options refer to the three main styles of relating to others

first identified by the English psychologist John Bowlby, the inventor of Attachment Theory

in the 1950s and 60s. Option A signals what is known as a secure pattern of attachment,

whereby love and trust come easily. Option B is known as anxious attachment, where one

longs to be intimate with others but is continuously scared of letdown and often precipitates crises

in relationships through counter-productively aggressive behaviour. And Option C refers

to the avoidant pattern of attachment, where it feels much easier to avoid the dangers

of intimacy through solitary activities and emotional withdrawal. Questionnaires in newspapers

are rarely of much use but Hazan’s and Shaver’s is the momentous exception. If there is one

thing we should do to improve our relationships, it is to know which of the three categories

we predominantly belong toand to deploy the knowledge in love so as to warn ourselves

and others of the traps we might fall into. We then need a little training because half

of us at least are not secure in love; we belong in the camps of either the avoidant

or the anxious, and we haveto complicate mattersan above average propensity to

fall in love with someone from the other damaged side, thereby aggravating our insecurities

and defences in the process. Niccolo Pisano An Idyll: Daphnis and Chloe Here is a brief

list of what avoidants and anxious types should keep in mind in their relationships: IF YOU

ARE AN AVOIDANT WITH SOMEONE ANXIOUSLY ATTACHED Recognise the extent to which you check out

emotionally when things are intense, particularly when there is an offer of closeness. Recognise

how you will tend to prefer sex and closeness with strangers and how nervous you will be

around cuddles and kissing. You probably don’t want the light on either. Watch how you sabotage

long-term intimacy. Have compassion that you are afraid of what you really want. Think

back to how in your past, closeness would have been frightening because people let you

down, and observe how you adopted a strategy of removal to protect yourself. You are hurt,

not bad. Remind yourself that the present is different from the past and that you are

ruining the present by bringing to it fear-laden dynamics that don’t belong there. It may

feel like your partner is being aggressive and ill-tempered with you for no reason; they

are at heart upset and unable to express their needs in any other way. They want you; and

that is why they are behaving as they are. Look beneath their nagging and their accusations

and believe in their underlying goodwill. When they attack you, see their longing for

love. Do that very frightening thing: extend reassurance. And explain, calmly, the appeal

of the cave. IF YOU ARE AN ANXIOUS PERSON WITH AN AVOIDANT PARTNER Things are not necessarily

as bad as they seem. Their quiet might just be quiet, not a lack of love. Their distance

isn’t meanness, it’s their way of maintaining equilibrium. You are not demented orneedy

to want more; but your way of dealing with what you legitimately need is aggravating

things hugely. You are triggering your partner by asking for intimacy too directly and also

(probably) with too much anger. Realise that you need to tread lightly, and to be a little

distant in requesting closeness. The partner isn’t mean or freakish; merely damagedas

are you. And that’s very normal. A full 40% of the population are in your positions.

Knowing whether we can be classed as secure, avoidant or anxious in love should be a basic

fact we grasp about ourselves. The next step is to accept with grace that if we are either

avoidant or anxious, we will need considerable emotional schooling to get out of scratchy

patterns and stand a chance of building up a good enough relationship.

Our Relationships Book calmly guides us with calm and charm through the key issues of relationships.

To ensure that success in love need not be a matter of luck. For more click the link now.

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