Characteristics of Attachment Styles in Relationships

anxious attachmentstyles avoidant secure Aug 15, 2022

Recently we discussed the four attachment styles. Each style has its own characteristics and traits. Therefore, you may not entirely fit into one type exactly. Here are some examples of how each type can be in a relationship.

 

Anxious:

  • Wants a lot of closeness in their relationship.
  • Expresses insecurities-worries about rejection.
  • Unhappy when not in a relationship.
  • Plays games to keep your attention/interest.
  • Has difficulty explaining what's bothering them. Expects you to guess.
  • Acts out.
  • Has a hard time not making things about themselves in the relationship.
  • Lets you set the tone of the relationship.
  • Is preoccupied with the relationship.
  • Fears that small acts will ruin the relationship: believe they must work hard to keep your interest.
  • Suspicious that you may be unfaithful.

 

Avoidant:

  • Sends mixed signals.
  • Values their independence greatly
  • Devalues you (or previous partner)
  • Uses distancing strategies-emotional and physical.
  • Emphasizes boundaries in the relationship.
  • Mistrustful – fears being taken advantage of by a partner.
  • Has an unrealistically romantic view of how a relationship should be.
  • During a disagreement, needs to get away or "explodes."
  • Doesn't make their intentions clear.
  • Has difficulty talking about what's going on between you.

 

Secure:

  • Reliable and consistent.
  • Makes decisions with you.
  • Flexible view of relationships.
  • Communicates relationship issues well.
  • Can reach a compromise during arguments.
  • Not afraid of commitment or dependency.
  • Doesn't view relationships as hard work.
  • Closeness creates further closeness.
  • Introduces friends and family early on.
  • Naturally expresses feelings for you.
  • Doesn't play games.

 

Anything resonating with you so far about yourself? Your partner?

 

There are many strong traits too of these attachment styles.

 

Anxious:

  • Devote themselves to relationships fully
  • Fall in love easily
  • Willing to work on relationships
  • Highly attuned to their partner's needs
  • Help partners to see themselves positively

 

Avoidant:

  • Not needy of their partner
  • Not suffocating in a relationship
  • Likely to be respectful of their partner's boundaries
  • Protective of their personal vulnerabilities
  • Independent and individual

 

Secure:

  • Positive view of themselves
  • Positive view of others
  • Healthy self-esteem
  • Comfortable with intimacy
  • Capable of setting boundaries in relationships
  • Self-sufficient, they're also comfortable asking for support when they need it
  • Can trust others
  • People enjoy being in their company
  • Comfortable with emotional closeness
  • Capable of developing and maintaining strong relationships
  • Emotionally balanced
  • Able to emotionally regulate people close to them

 

 

 

 

What can you do to heal?

 

  • Determine whether you or your partner are seeking intimacy and closeness.

 

  • Assess how preoccupied you or they are with the relationship and how sensitive you or they are to rejection.

 

  • Don't rely on one "symptom," look for various signs.

 

  • Assess your or their reaction to effective communication.

 

 

Effective communication works on the understanding all have particular needs in a relationship, many of which are determined by your attachment style. They aren't good or bad; they simply are what they are. For example, if you're anxious, you have a strong need for closeness and must be reassured at all times that your partner loves and respects you. On the other hand, if you're avoidant, you need to maintain some distance, either emotional or physical, from your partner and preserve a significant degree of separateness. In order to be happy in a relationship, we need to find a way to communicate our attachment styles needs clearly without resorting to attacks or defensiveness.

 

The benefits of Effective Communication will help you:

 

  • Choose the right partner to ensure your needs are getting met in the relationship, whether it's a new one or an existing one.

 

  • Listen and look for what you or they are not saying or doing.

 

Understanding your attachment style is essential to help improve your self-awareness and enhance your relationships. As a Love Coach, it's necessary to offer various tools and techniques to assist in the process. Please visit my website and take my Love Assessment to find out where you are in the process of love.

 

Do you like this content? Are we the right fit? Let's get to know each other with a 30 minute chat. 

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                                                     What is Mindset?

Could what you believe about yourself impact your success or failure? According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, Author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, beliefs play a pivotal role in what you want and whether you achieve it.

Dweck has found that it is your mindset that plays a significant role in determining achievement and success. So, what exactly is a mindset?

Mindset Definition:

The established set of attitudes held by someone.

There are two different types of mindset:

People with a fixed mindset believe that these qualities are inborn, fixed, and unchangeable.

Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believe that these abilities can be developed and strengthened by way of commitment and hard work.

                                           

                                               What Is Your Mindset?

Do you have a fixed or growth mindset? To find out, start by reading the following statements and decide which ones you agree with most:

 

  • People have a certain amount of intelligence, and there isn't any way to change it.
  • No matter who you are, there isn't much you can do to improve your basic abilities and personality.
  • People are capable of changing who they are.
  • You can learn new things and improve your intelligence.
  • People either have particular talents, or they don't. You can't just acquire talent for things like music, writing, art, or athletics.
  • Studying, working hard, and practicing new skills are all ways to develop new talents and abilities.

If you tend to agree with statements 1, 2, and 5, then you probably have a more fixed mindset. If you agree with statements 3, and 4, 6, however, then you probably tend to have a growth mindset.

                                      

                                        Can You Change Your Mindset?

While people with a fixed mindset might not agree, Dweck suggests that people are capable of changing their mindsets. Parents can also take steps to ensure that their children develop growth mindsets, often through praising efforts rather than focusing solely on results.

 

For example, instead of telling a child that he is "so smart," a parent might commend the child for their hard work on a project and describe what they like the most about the child's efforts ("I really like how you chose the colors for that picture!").

 

By focusing on the process rather than the outcome, adults can help kids understand that their efforts, hard work, and dedication can lead to change, learning, and growth both now and in the future.

Remember that your fixed mindset persona was born to protect you and keep you safe, according to Dweck. But it has developed some very limiting ways of doing that. So, educate it in the new growth mindset ways that it can support you: in taking on challenges and sticking to them, bouncing back from failure, and helping and supporting others to grow.

                           

 

I’m a strong believer in therapy, mentoring and coaching both giving and receiving. I remember when I started therapy and/or coaching it was an exciting and scary time. It was the right direction for the next level of self- growth but my fear was speaking to me, big time.

                                                      

                                                        Fixed Mindset       

What happens if I can’t do this? Will I be able to change? What if it doesn’t work?

See where my mind was taking me, not to a good place. FEAR!

                                                       Growth Mindset

I realized that I needed the right mindset for the process to be successful.

I found a cozy comfortable area with journal in hand, relaxed then took a few deep breathes to center myself and asked the question:

What does my FEAR look and feel like when I think about therapy and/or coaching?

Any excuse to stop the process

Lack of money and time

Problem too hard to face

Anxiety residing in my body, shallow breathing, body pains etc.

What would people think?

I would look weak

Embarrassment

Self-doubt

Therapy is for other people!

It’s too hard!

 

 

When I felt overwhelmed in the therapy/coaching process it was an indicator that I was off. I went directly to my list and would see the reason and immediately laugh at myself in a loving way, pause, take deep breaths and then do a reset!

I go to my toolbox of skills and use the ones that resonate with me. Affirmations are my go-to and are hanging on my walls. I give myself a daily pep talk to keep me focused and these are just some of the simple, yet effective tools!

Remember why I was doing therapy or coaching and reflect on how well it was going, even when it was difficult, and be proud of myself for doing the work. Growth Mindset!

Everyone and I mean everyone, needs some sort of help from another, we don’t do life successfully on our own, humans are not built to function in that way.

                            Everyone one of us had a journey to take.

  • It starts by accepting that we have both mindsets.
  • Then we need to learn to recognize what triggers our fixed mindset.

Failures? Criticism? Deadlines? Disagreements?

  • And we come to understand what happens to us when our fixed-mindset “persona” is triggered.
  • Importantly, we can gradually learn to remain in a growth mindset place despite the triggers

 

Coaching is no different!

You’re reading this which means you would like to change an area in your life and need some assistance in doing so, bravo for you! Together we will have a conversation that will take you to new places in your life. Let me help you uncover the mindset needed for this journey.

 

Ann