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These are the 4 attachment styles and how they impact your relationships

attachment styles
attachment styles

Having a better understanding of the four main attachment styles will help shed light on who you’re most compatible with — and could lead to you finally finding the right person for you. In this episode of ITK: Things You Should Know, our host, Eli Rallo (@eli.rallo), explores each of these attachment styles.

Attachment theory began in the 1950s when psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby started investigating how to understand interpersonal relationships. Eli explains, “His research showed that the experiences you have with your primary caregiver have a profound effect on your relationships later in life.”

Bowlby identified four distinct attachment styles:

  • Anxious attachment

  • Avoidant attachment

  • Fearful-avoidant attachment

  • Secure attachment

“Our attachment styles can change and mold throughout our lives as we mature and grow,” Eli says. “We won’t always have the same attachment style, and we can work toward — and strive for — secure attachment.”

Eli explores each of these attachment styles for us:

Anxious attachment

“People may have a largely negative view of self, but a positive view of others, leading to feelings of being less worthy of love and, subsequently, anxiety,” Eli explains. “Basically, these people fear being abandoned. They could also fear a relationship ending or have trouble trusting a romantic partner.

Avoidant attachment

Eli explains that in this attachment style, “the person has a largely positive view of self and a negative view of others. They’re independent, self-reliant and consequently tend to avoid intimacy, especially when they feel their partner is becoming reliant on them. These types tend to feel claustrophobic in romantic relationships and tend to believe they don’t need anyone else because they are confident in relying on themselves.”

Fearful-avoidant attachment

Elis says that this attachment style can show traits of the first two, depending on circumstance. “They crave the intimacy of a relationship but also have trouble trusting and depending on others,” Eli says.

Secure attachment

The secure attachment style is something we can all strive for, as Eli explains. She says, “People with this attachment style have no problem expressing their emotions and are fine with both depending on their partner and having their partners depend on them.”

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