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Cracking the Code: Anxious and Avoidant Attachment Styles Demystified

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to dive headfirst into love while others keep their emotional distance? In this blog, I shall explain how our early experiences of relationships shape the way we ‘attach’ to others, hence the expression ‘attachment style’.

The Attachment Style Puzzle

Picture this: Attachment styles are like a unique puzzle piece that shapes how we bond with others. Anxious and avoidant attachment styles represent two distinctive patterns that people may adopt when it comes to relationships.

The Anxious Attachment Style: If you're an anxious attacher, you're all about the intensity of emotions and crave that deep connection. You might find yourself worrying about your partner's feelings, needing constant reassurance, and fearing abandonment. You might appear ‘clingy’ and ask for a lot of validation.

The Avoidant Attachment Style: Now, imagine being an avoidant attacher. You value independence and autonomy, preferring emotional distance to avoid feeling suffocated. Closeness can make you feel trapped, and you might find it challenging to open up and share your inner world. You may appear self-sufficient, self-reliant, and sometimes even detached, especially if you feel like your vulnerability might be exposed.

The Anxious-Avoidant tug-of-war: Now, imagine an anxious person craving closeness and reassurance, partnered with an avoidant individual who values independence and space. Can you feel the tug of war between their needs? It's like an emotional dance filled with mixed signals, misinterpretations, and occasional fireworks.

Understanding the root and addressing the challenges: Attachment styles are rooted in our early experiences with caregivers. Our upbringing and the kind of emotional support we received as children lay the foundation for how we navigate relationships later in life. While anxious and avoidant attachment styles may bring their fair share of challenges, it's not all doom and gloom! Recognising and understanding your attachment style is the first step towards building healthier relationship patterns.

Developing Secure Attachments: The ultimate goal is to cultivate a secure attachment style. It's like finding the elusive key that unlocks the door to healthier, more fulfilling relationships. Through self-reflection, communication, and seeking support through a qualified therapist, it's possible to grow and develop a more secure bond and have the loving, secure relationship that you yearn for.

Rebecca Vivash

BACP therapist, supervisor and coach

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