How our attachment style affects our lives (part 2)

Hello,

You are now in part two of blog three, where we continue to learn how our attachment style impacts other areas of our lives.

Previously we looked at how our health, workplace behaviour and how we relate to friends are influenced by our attachment style. In this blog, we look at Parenting and romantic behaviours.

Now let’s look at Attachment style and Parenting.

If you are a parent with an Avoidant attachment, you are more likely to be a Permissive Parent:

  • You go beyond sparing the rod and spoiling the child, and you tend to let your kids do nearly anything they want. 

An Anxiously attached parent, you are most likely to be an Authoritarian parent

  • As an anxiously attached parent, you are likely to run a tight ship and supervise nearly every aspect of your child’s life. You may emphasise obedience over emotion.

A parent with a disorganised attachment can have either a Permissive or Authoritative parenting style. You may even be a mixture of the two.

As a Securely attached parent, you’re likely to be an Authoritative parent:

  • The Authoritative parent follows the ideal parenting pattern by blending caring with discipline.

Lastly, we will look at attachment and relationships. 

Let’s find out about your attachment style and your romantic relationships.

As a partner with an Avoidant attachment, you tend to :

  • Distrust partners
  • Avoid closeness
  • Be uncomfortable with sharing feelings
  • Delay commitment
  • Create distance by focusing on your partner’s minor flaws
  • Idealised a previous relationship ( the one that got away)
  • Be hypervigilant to closeness

To keep distance in your romantic relationship, you may use distancing behaviours such as :

  • Flirting with others 
  • Making selfish decisions
  • Ignoring your partner
  • Dismissing your partner’s feelings and needs

In contrast to the difficulties you may face in your romantic relationships, you have strengths which are :

  • You are not needy 
  • You do not demand lots of attention 
  • You respect your partner’s boundaries 
  • You protect your vulnerabilities 
  • You remain independent 

As an Anxiously attached partner, you may:

  • Be preoccupied with the relationship
  • Take things personally 
  • Play games and manipulate your partner
  • Act out emotionally 
  • Be jealous
  • Be hypervigilant about distance

To keep closeness between yourself and your partner, you may engage in protest behaviours such as :

  • Constantly trying to contact your partner by sending many texts without a response, 
  • excessive calling or hanging around places your partner visits.  
  • Keep score – note how long your partner took to respond and take that long or more.
  •  I do not want to make the first move to make up.  
  • Make empty threats to leave if things are not going your way. 
  •  Pretend to be busy or make your partner jealous.  
  • Stonewalling – Withdrawing attention from your partner and sulking.  

The strengths of the anxiously attached individual in romantic relationships include:

  • Falling in love easily 
  • Willing to work on your relationships 
  • Being attuned to your partner’s needs 
  • Helping your partner to see themselves positively 

A Disorganised individual in a romantic relationship tends to: 

  • Crave attention
  • Be dismissive of friend’s needs 
  • Difficulty’ opening up.’
  • Acting out 
  • Choosing unstable partners 
  • Difficulty regulating emotions 
  • Behaving inconsistently 

On the other hand, the Disorganised individual tends to :

  • Be respectful of your partner’s boundaries 
  • Be capable of keeping your individuality and independence 
  • Fall in love easily 
  • Work hard on maintaining relationships 
  • Be capable of being a supportive partner

Last but not least is the Securely attached individual.

Although the securely attached person tends to build and maintain close romantic relationships, there is one key downside.

As a Securely attached individual, you may put up with bad behaviour from your partner!

As a securely attached individual may put up with bad behaviour in the relationship because you have the skills to maintain long-term relations, such as:

  • Being warm and loving 
  • Not worrying about the relationship 
  • The ability to share needs and feelings
  • Being responsive to your partner’s needs
  • De-escalating conflict by problem-solving, forgiving and apologising

Think back to your assessment style

Have you noticed any of the above outcomes in your life?

For example, if you are avoidant, have you noticed that you use distancing behaviours to stop people from getting close to you?

Or, if you are anxious, do you keep score in your relationships?

Maybe you have noticed other symptoms in your life. 

Write your findings in the comment box below. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. 

Ok, so now we know the basics of attachment theory ( blog 1 ). We’ve assessed our attachment style (blog 2), and we have an understanding of how our attachment style can affect our lives. In the next blog, we will learn how to assess other people’s attachment styles. 

Keep safe 

Laura 

How our attachment style affects our lives

Welcome to the third instalment of our attachment series.

In the previous blog, we tried to assess your attachment style using Farley, Waller and Brennan’s (2000) ECR-R Questionnaire.

 This section will see how our attachment styles affect our lives.

First, we’ll look at health, and then we will move on to the workplace. After that, we will look at friendships, then parenting, and finally, we will look at adult romantic relationships.

How does our attachment style affect other areas of our lives?

Our differing attachment styles can harm our lives and cause us stress or have a positive influence and a protective effect on our health and well-being. 

For example, fulfiling close relationships can lower rates of anxiety and depression and increase self-esteem and empathy, which may lead to more trusting and cooperative relationships. Being in a committed, solid, healthy relationship may also help strengthen your immune system, help you recover from disease, and lengthen your life.

In contrast, unfulfilling relationships can lead to loneliness, depression, anxiety, strokes and heart disease. Long-term feelings of loneliness can reduce our cognitive abilities, such as concentration, decision making, and problem-solving.

Attachment and health 

If you have an Avoidant attachment, you tend to be fearful or dismissive of intimacy. Therefore, you may perform behaviours that increase your likelihood of ill health. For example, you may:

  • Have trouble trusting health care professionals 
  • Delay reaching our for support 
  • Miss health care appointments 
  • Disregard preventive self-care recommendations for your chronic disease
  • Self-medicate with substance use

Anxiously attached individuals crave emotional intimacy. As a result, you may be more inclined to perform Risky sexual behaviour.

Individuals with a Disorganised attachment can have a mixture of avoidant and anxious health behaviours. In addition, individuals with a Disorganised attachment are more likely to be diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder.

An insecure attachment style ( Avoidant, Anxious or Disorganised) increases the chance that you will engage in negative health behaviours such as:

  • Smoking 
  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Casual sexual relationships
  • Dysfunctional eating behaviours 
  • Poor adherence to preventative self-care recommendations 
  • Substance abuse 

As a result, if you have an insecure attachment style, you are more likely to be diagnosed with: 

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Coronary heart disease 
  • Angina 
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 

A secure attachment lowers your likelihood of engaging in harmful and risky behaviour and reduces the risk of disease and ill health. Unfortunatley, a secure attachment doesn’t stop you from becoming sick. But, being securely attached does help you recover from your illness quicker than those with an insecure attachment style. 

Attachment in the workplace 

Now let’s move on to the workplace.

How does an Avoidant attachment play out in the workplace? You’ll recall that those with an avoidant attachment retreat from closeness and create emotional and physical space between themselves and others.

Individuals with an avoidant attachment in the workplace are more likely to:

  • Experience less positive and more negative emotions 
  • Avoid interpersonal closeness
  • Prefer to work alone 
  • Avoids social events 
  • Have a negative view of and criticises the leader 
  • Resist leadership and new information when forming judgements 
  • Distrust others in general and leadership 
  • Not follow the group’s wishes 

Although there are negatives associated with Avoidants in the workplace, there are also positives to having avoidant individuals in the workplace; for example:

  • You may work well independently 
  • You can sustain focus on the task at hand and finish your work
  • You are quick to act in times of danger (effectively without hesitation)
  • You are task orientated 

The Anxiously attached individuals need closeness in their relationships and may face challenges in the workplace, such as: 

  • The constant need for approval 
  • Feelings of underappreciation and dissatisfaction in your job 
  • Feeling like you are unable to work on your own  
  • An overwhelming desire for closeness with your peers and investment in social relationships.
  • Negative expectations regarding your boss’ behaviour 
  • Hypersensitivity to feedback
  • Counterproductive work behaviour and constantly wanting to leave your job

In contrast to your challenges, you also have strengths in the workplace, for example:

  • You are better at detecting and responding to risk
  • You are more accurate at detecting deceit
  • You create less friction in the workplace 
  • You are aware of your shortcomings and seek ways to improve – which has a positive effect on performance 

Individuals with a Disorganised attachment are a mixture of avoidant and anxious attachment. If you have a disorganised attachment, you move away from intimacy and crave closeness. As a result, your experience in the workplace may include:

  • Feeling a mixture of Anxious and avoidant tendencies 

In addition to experiencing the challenges of the avoidant and anxious attachment outcomes, you also get to enjoy the benefits such as : 

  • A quick response to threats 
  • The ability to be independent and not rely on the support of colleagues 
  • Focus is on the job and productivity 
  • Communicate effectively and seek help when necessary 

The Securely attached individual will face ups and downs in the workplace. Still, they have the tools to navigate negative situations by:

  • Forming strong bonds 
  • Being perceived as valuable in the workplace 
  • Having little difficulty completing tasks 
  • Being likely to show trust 
  • Being the least likely to put off work
  • Enjoying high job satisfaction 
  • Having better well-being and fewer symptoms of illness 

Attachment and friendships

Now let’s look at the Avoidant attachment and how they behave with their friends. In friendship relationships, you tend to :

  • Build surface-level bonds with others 
  • Refuse to ask for help 
  • Be highly independent 
  • Be Self-reliant
  • Find that vulnerability makes you feel uncomfortable and suffocated 
  • Emotionally disconnect when you get close to others 
  •  want physical and emotional space 

In contrast to the negative aspects of your friendships, you also bring strengths such as:

  • Being friendly and popular 
  • Having confidence 
  • Being the life and soul of the party 
  • Not demanding of friends’ time 
  • Not needing friends to disclose emotions
  • Thinking logically rather than emotionally 

On the other end of the attachment scale, we have the Anxiously attached friend. When in friendships, anxiously attached individuals tend to: 

  • Come across as suffocating 
  • Cling on to friends 
  • Be Needy 
  • Come across as controlling
  • Be Insecure 
  • Become preoccupied with your friendships 

Your strengths as a friend include:  

  • Enjoying closeness and connectedness with friends 
  • Being friendly and accepting of others 
  • Becoming the caretaker of the group
  • Working hard to maintain friendships

As a friend with a Disorganised attachment, you may:

  • Crave attention
  • Be dismissive of friends’ needs 
  • Difficulty ‘opening up’
  • Act out 
  • Have difficulty regulating emotions 
  • Behave inconsistently 

On the plus side, you are:

  • Capable of showing affection to friends 
  • Capable of being supportive 
  • Able to show respect and accept support from friends 
  • Seen as adventurous and cool 

As always, the Securely attached individual has the best outcome in friendships. As mentioned above, Securely attached individuals behave differently under stress and lay the groundwork for fulfilling friendships by:

  • Having a good sense of assurance about yourself
  • Forming a trusting and lasting relationship with anyone. 
  •  Reaching out to connect with people
  •  Respecting your friend’s boundaries
  •  Being unlikely to have any resentment or repressed emotions towards your friends
  •  Preferring to seek out social support and share them with your friends.

That’s enough for this blog.

In the next instalment, we will see how our attachment style affects how we parent and how we behave in romantic relationships.

Which style are you?

Understanding attachment styles allows us to easily predict and understand people’s behaviour in relationships (including our own).

Have you ever wondered why you behave the way you do in relationships?

Have you asked yourself why your relationships differ from your friends and family?

Continue reading “Which style are you?”

How attached are you?

Have you heard of attachment theory before?

I believe it is becoming more popular in the public domain!

Uncovering your attachment style is an excellent way to help you understand why you behave the way you do. It may help you to understand others too. 

Continue reading “How attached are you?”

UEL and ME

Hey, ya’ll,

How are you?

What have you been up to?

At the Independent Mum’s Handbook, we have been busy connecting with universities and helping mothers prepare for university life in September.

Take a look at our publication with UEL to learn more about my journey as a mother and student and why I chose to write The Independent Mum’s Handbook.

Continue reading “UEL and ME”

How to be happy

 

Spring is in full swing, and summer is on its way.

How can anyone not feel happy?

I can think of a few reasons why it may be challenging to feel a sense of happiness and contentment. Can you?

I don’t want to dwell on the negative, so this blog is about happiness. Throughout our time together today, we’re going to find out what happiness is, learn about emotions and finish with a few tips on how we can increase life satisfaction!

Continue reading “How to be happy”

The life cycle

Ever heard of the Life Cycle Theory of Financial Management? It’s something I’ve covered in the Independent Mum’s Handbook, which I’m proud to say is now available from Amazon and other leading booksellers. Here’s an excerpt:

“The Life Cycle Theory is a well-known economic theory created by Franco Modigliani and his student Richard Brumberg in the early 1950s, as they researched people’s spending and saving habits throughout their lifetime.

The theory has a few assumptions, the main one being that you want to get the most happiness from each pound you spend – and that’s the essence of this book. It aims to give you the tools to find financial stability to get the highest sense of fulfilment from your life.

I like this theory because it’s simple, and it helps to relieve anxiety and increase wellbeing throughout your life. This book isn’t about getting rich. It’s about being happy and content; it’s about giving you the tools to live a financially stable life.”

Want to learn more about the Life Cycle Theory and discover whether it can help you?  There’s a dedicated activity in the book. Download on Kindle for just £4.99 or order your copy today. Thank you for your support, all reviews welcomed!

Stress

Feeling stressed? It’s part and parcel of life. Here’s an excerpt about stress from my book, The Independent Mum’s Handbook…

“Stress is a part of life, and it doesn’t cause us too much trouble until it becomes intense.

“Stress can come from many places; even positive situations may cause us to feel a small degree of stress. Everyone has stress in their life; it just looks different for different people. With that in mind, it’s important you know how to manage stress to maintain your mental health. A great way to reduce stress in your life is to find balance.

“You can find balance by prioritising what needs to be done and putting off things that can wait. Here is an exercise to help you find balance in your life…”

Fancy trying the exercise? The Independent Mum’s Handbook is available from Amazon, Kindle edition only £4.99. If you’re kind enough to buy, please give us a review!

Sneaky Peak

More sneaky peaks into The Independent Mum’s Handbook… have you ordered your copy yet?!

“As a mother, our wants and needs often get pushed to the side as we tend to all the other demands and responsibilities in our lives. I believe that, with the right information and coaching, you can meet your personal goals, as well as tend to the other obligations you may have.

“I’m not sure about you, but I’ve always thought that I was two steps behind. This book aims to catch you up; it uses the life cycle theory of money management to help you make sense of your financial decisions. The basic logic of this theory is that you should spend when it gives you the most happiness, and save in times of plenty.

“You can use this book to help you navigate the challenges of life, and by the time you reach the end, I hope to have given you the confidence to control both the personal and financial aspects of your life.”

Kindle edition just £4.99. Go on, treat yourself, or gift it for Mother’s Day!