What Is My Attachment Style

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Counselling Psychologist - M.Sc. Clinical Psychology

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Reviewed By:

Counselling Psychologist - Ph.D. Relationship Psychology

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You might have come across some quizzes that ask you questions and tell you your ‘attachment style’ based on your answers. While most of these quizzes are not reliable, there are genuine ways to find your attachment style and how that influences your behavior. But first, what exactly do we mean by attachment style, and where does it come from?

What is Attachment Style?

The concept of attachment styles was explored by John Bowlby, who gave the theory of attachment- ‘The Attachment Theory’. He defined it as one way of bonding and relating with intimate giving and receiving relationships with ‘attachment figures’ which could be one s parents, children, or romantic partners.

Attachment plays an important role in terms of survival in childhood and overall well-being as one develops relationships with other individuals. Attachment styles are different ways of interacting and behaving in relationships. They are formed early in childhood; hence, it s hard to trace the behavioral patterns which come as a result, but, we can now try to identify our attachment styles and track unhealthy behaviors which may have stemmed from early patterns. Relationships play an integral part in our lives and relationships are formed through attachment. Attachment has a huge influence on how you select your partner, how your relationship progresses, and how you communicate, act, and deal with emerging problems. 

The way people are treated during their formative years and later in life defines one s attachment. It includes confidence, security, availability, expression of self, and so on. The four main types of attachment styles include-

  • Secure Attachment
  • Preoccupied Attachment
  • Avoidant-Dismissive Attachment
  • Avoidant-Fearful Attachment

What is your attachment style? 

  • Secure Attachment Style: If you ever come across people who have an optimistic point of view even in threatful situations and who believe that they have the resources to deal with and tackle those situations. 
  • Preoccupied Attachment Style: You must have also seen people who indulge in negative thoughts, are concerned about themselves in distressing situations, and have an emotion focussed approach because of which they just keep swimming in their own negative thoughts instead of just coming out of it. 
  • Avoidant-Dismissive Attachment Styles: While some people actively repress negative emotions, some just decode every single aspect of the distressing event, while doing so they also tend to distance themselves from others. They may also show signs of physiological and psychological distress without being aware that they are doing so. 
  • Fearful Attachment Style: Finally, some people just really want to build a connection and trust others, but they simply can t because they fear that they will get too dependent on others and seek independence, while deep down they just want the ones around them to support them. 

If you strongly relate to any of these, that could be your attachment style.

How Does Your Attachment Style Affect Your Relationship?

  • Secure Attachment Style 

It s not that people with secure attachment styles don t face any issues or they don t fight with their significant other, but how they deal with those issues is what makes a difference. They feel secure enough to own up to their mistakes and take help whenever needed. They are confident and don t shy away from showing their interests. Furthermore, they openly seek support and comfort from their partners

  • Anxious- Preoccupied Attachment 

If this is you, you might crave intimacy and closeness with your partner but feel like you re being ‘too clingy’ or ‘annoying’ by constantly asking for it. You may feel worn down by the constant anxiety rushing through your mind regarding whether your partner loves you or not. Building up trust and relying on your partner is something that you might find hard. One may be overly occupied with their partners, where their life revolves around the relationship; hence, their self-worth may not be that high 

  • Avoidant Attachment Style 

In sharp contrast to the preoccupied attachment style, people with an avoidant attachment style are weary of closeness. Instead of relying on others, they want others to rely on them. They may complain about feeling ‘suffocated’ and value their independence above all. They may even feel uncomfortable with closeness and prefer short-term flings as opposed to long-term commitment 

  • Avoidant Fearful Attachment Style 

As the name suggests, you may feel a sense of fear, which may have stemmed from your childhood years and resulted in the individual feeling that you don t deserve love. They may feel extreme emotions of a spectrum, from extreme love, jealousy, and intimacy to hatred. You may find it hard to own up to your mistakes and while you want to build a healthy relationship, you are fearful of getting hurt again

Ms. Priyanka Walia
Ms. Priyanka Walia M.A. Counselling Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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Ms. Muskan Maheshwari
Ms. Muskan Maheshwari M.Sc. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 02 years of experience

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Mr. Nishant Sharma
Mr. Nishant Sharma M.Phil. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 07 years of experience

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Ms. Akshita Bakshi
Ms. Akshita Bakshi Ph.D. Relationship Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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