How are ya? I’m back and I have pretty much recovered from covid. I’m feeling good. I’m back to working out and doing my normal things. I wanted to talk about something I have learned from last year & it’s been a game changer for me in realizing what kind of people there are out there in regards to their attachment to you and why they are that way. This stems from upbringing from childhood and transfers to how they relate to friendships, relationships and marriages. I can look at a couple and see signs of their attachment behaviors. Disclaimer: I am not a therapist. Sorry, have to put that out there. I know you all are highly intelligent over here in the WordPress universe & clearly know that. But you never know. Some random person might say, “Durrrr. You’re trying to sound like a therapist”. No, I’m not. I’m sharing information that is found in the public domain. I actually always wanted to be a couples therapist at one point in my life, but the reality is that dealing with unhappy and miserable couples every single day would burn me out. But it would be an amazing feeling to help save a marriage or relationship.
How to help a person with these 3 attachment styles is coming from a person who has a healthy secure attachment style. Obviously, a relationship/marriage/friendship is easier when both parties have the same secure attachment styles. These are just example of how to deal with these attachment style being a secure attachment style.
How to help a partner with an avoidant attachment
When I think of the avoidant attachment person, I can’t help but think of Al Bundy from Married with Children. His avoidant behavior was made humorous towards his wife. Usually why an avoidant attachment person is this way, it is due to fear. Sadly as babies or children, they have had to self soothe themselves because no one else was there for them. Often avoidance attachment are super analytical and overthink things, thus spiraling into the realms of anxiety. In a relationship/friendship/marriage an avoidant attachment will take 1 or 2 steps back when you want to get close to them because they don’t want to be vulnerable with their feelings or get intimate. One way to help this behavior is to share your own fears of things. This shared experience can break down any walls they may have because they suddenly have a connection with you. Another way is to compromise with them; this may help with their 1-2 step backwards with you. Often times, the avoidant loves their space and will want to be left alone. This may come across as dismissive, but if you acknowledge their space and verbally say it to them, they will feel secure and know they are valued and might come back sooner than expected to continue talking or continuing with an activity. Everyone is different and some people may never want to get help or change. But everyone can, if they want, better themselves to strive to have the secure attachment.
How to help a partner with anxious attachment
Anxious partners need validation from their partners that they will return. For example, if there is a fight/argument/disagreement with an anxious partner, the best thing you can do is to explain that you need to leave the environment to let them cool off. However, by letting them know that you will return to talk to them again and that they are still safe in the relationship/friendship/marriage, will mean the world to them. Anxious people feel that they will be abandoned. To feel secure and still important to someone even though there is a disagreement is vital in helping an anxious person to calm down and feel safe to share their feelings. Anxious people already feel that they will lose someone if there is a fight and truly expect someone to walk out of their life because either this has happened to them in the past (and there is a pattern of this) or they have witnessed it with their parents or friends. A person with a secure attachment will always return because they realize this is how an anxious person functions. An insecure attachment style person will literally walk away (probably slamming the door in the meantime) and ignore all calls or attempts from their anxious partner (this is actually a sign of an avoidant attachment person). The anxious partner is calling to get validation of their importance to said person & probably subconsciously to themselves hence their need to communicate. A healthy and secure person will be angry or upset, but at the same time will care about their partner’s anxious attachment and make sure they won’t feel abandoned, even if there is a negative conversation between the two. People with anxious attachment behaviors need a lot of positive reassurance & nurturing. The great thing is that a person with anxious attachment can learn & develop a healthy, happy and secure attachment. I know, because I used to be someone with an anxious attachment in relationships.
How to help a partner with disorganized or chaotic attachment
You can see this attachment easily in movies and true crime stories. I mean, this attachment is very common, but it’s a toxic mix when 2 people both have the disorganized/chaotic attachment. There’s a scene in the movie The Notebook where Allie & Noah break up. One second Allie is screaming wanting to break up with him and the next second she’s regretting that decision and pleading for him to stay-it’s the I hate you, don’t leave me theme. Personally, I think Noah had the secure attachment style because he was willing to compromise, wait for her until she “found” herself and tell her it’s ok to be close to him as they developed more into their relationship. People with disorganized/chaotic attachment styles do not know who they are and often don’t know what they want (in a partner or maybe even in life) thus causing confusion not only to themselves, but to others. Some may show hostility, aggression because they can’t regulate their extreme emotions. Unlike the avoidant attachment, the disorganized/chaotic attachment style can’t self soothe.
A way to help a partner with the disorganized/chaotic attachment style is to be consistent with everything or anything as they are so used to living in an unpredictable world. Trust is built with them as they learn that you will show up when you say you will or call when you say you will.
A professional therapist can help someone with all 4 attachments, yes, even the secure attachment to uncover the cause from childhood that overtime made its way into relationships and marriages. There’s nothing wrong in seeking professional help.
Until next time my loves.
As always. xoxo