What You’ll Learn Today:
- What attachment is
- How to identify your own attachment style
- How your attachment style is affecting your relationship
- My top 7 tips for changing to a healthier attachment style
In the 1940s, John Bowlby, a developmental psychologist and psychiatrist was interested in what happened when children and caregivers were separated for brief or longer amounts of time. He believed that how we attached to these caregivers affected our sense of security, our personality development and our ability to form stable relationships throughout our life.
His theory, known as (you guessed it) Attachment Theory was further developed throughout the 1960s by his student Mary Ainsworth. Attachment Theory has been researched now for decades and it has become one of the basic tenants of psychology and how we think about human development and behavior.
Why are You Telling Me This, Abby?
In the 1980s, psychologists Cindy Hazan and Phillip Shaver began looking at whether how we attach as children could relate to our later adult, romantic relationships. Since then, there’s been tons of research and there’s a lot of agreement: how you formed attachments as a kid definitely affects your later relationships.
Knowing your attachment style gives you a bunch of information, such as:
- What romantic partners (and friends) you choose in your life
- How well those relationships will develop
- What issues you’ll repeatedly face in your relationships
- How your relationships will end (depending on your attachment style, you’ll likely experience the crash and burn, ghosting, or ending up as friends)
Figuring out your attachment style can help you understand why you do what you do in your relationships, why you get stuck and how to move forward.
Resources and Links:
Here’s some research on attachment if you’re interested in checking out where I get my information:
Influence of Attachment Styles on Romantic Relationships
Can You Cultivate a More Secure Attachment Style?
Benefits of Positive Relationship Experiences for Avoidantly Attached Individuals
Hazan and Shaver’s seminal study on how attachment as kids translates to our romantic adult relationships
Tests for Figuring Out Your Attachment Style:
Here’s the longer test developed by psychologist R. Chris Fraley
Attachment Quiz: developed by Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller, authors of the 2010 book Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love.
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