SECURE VERSUS INSECURE ATTACHMENTS & HOW TO COPE
February 22 2023 – Delikate Rayne
Can you recall your early childhood or the moments, whether positive or negative, which shaped who you are today? According to the attachment theory, our adolescent years and relationships we've developed with our parents tell us a lot about the way we operate in our overall --especially romantic, relationships.
A parent is said to have many roles including teaching, disciplining, and taking care of the health of their child. However, most importantly, a parent is responsible for making their child feel safe, loved, and protected. When this happens, a child will grow up and exhibit healthy and secure patterns in love and relationships, but when it doesn't, a child will develop unhealthy habits toward love and relationships as coping mechanisms. This is what we refer to as insecure attachment styles. Below, we explain the difference between the two (secure and insecure):
There are four attachment styles, but the only one that produces good fruits is the secure attachment.
According to our sources, this attachment is developed when a parent is available, sensitive, responsive, and accepting of the child. Adults with this attachment style are able to reminisce on their younger years and feel these qualities regularly in a parent or caregiver. They're likely to remember someone being there to play, comfort and reassure them, allowing them to freely express their emotions whether rational or irrational.
People who developed a secure attachment style are said to trust better, have a healthy self-esteem, be in touch with their feelings, are competent, and have successful relationships overall.
On the other hand, people with insecure attachment styles don't quite reap the same benefits. The three insecure styles include anxious-preoccupied, dismissive-avoidant, and fearful-avoidant. They can also be classified as the ambivalent, avoidant, and disorganized styles.
The anxious attachment is said to happen when a parent responds to their child's needs inconsistently. This leaves room for the child to develop coping mechanisms like not relying on their parent to be there when needed and becoming demanding or clingy. The ambivalent person is said to become needy, angry, and distrustful in unpredictable relationships.
Opposite of that, the dismissive-avoidant may not have any recollections of their needs being met properly. This attachment style is developed when a parent minimizes their child's feelings, rejects their demands, and neglects him or her when difficulty arises in the child's life -- according to our sources. The dismissive child learns to cope by self-soothing and shutting their feelings off, avoiding the parent when in distress.
While the above three mentioned exhibit more "organized" behaviors-- good or bad, the fearful-avoidant is known as the disorganized attachment style due to irregular habits and unpredictable behaviors. This happens when the parent is said to have unresolved trauma from the past and show unusual behaviors when dealing with their child such as rejecting, ridiculing, and frightening their child. This makes the child fearful and anxious around their caregiver, choosing irregular coping habits like refusing care from a parent and becoming super self-reliant.
If you identify with one of the three insecure attachment styles, note that you have the ability to change. While you have no control over your past, you can choose a healthier path for your future love and relationships. You've already done the first step, which is to recognize the pattern. Decide to actively pursue security by developing healthy friendships with secure types and taking up psychotherapy to identify the traumas from your past, locate where your behaviors are stemmed from, and establish a more positive self- and world-view on life.
Source: Healthline & Very Well Mind