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A Complete Guide to Different Attachment Styles

Everyone has a different attachment style based on their early childhood relationships with caregivers, and consequent upbringing. Essentially, it’s believed that we mirror our childhood dynamics with caregivers well into our adulthood through our attachment style. This includes our emotional responses, interactions, and behaviors around other people.

The four main attachment styles include secure attachment, anxious attachment, avoidant attachment, and fearful-avoidant—the last three considered as insecure attachment styles. Here’s all you need to know:

Secure attachment

The secure attachment style defines the ability to create loving, secure relationships with others. Individuals with this attachment style are able to trust and be trusted, love and accept others’ love, and get close to people with ease. They don’t fear intimacy, nor do they have a negative reaction to their partner needing space or alone time. They’re able to create a healthy balance between depending on others without becoming too dependent.

According to research, around 56% of adults have this attachment style.

Anxious attachment

The anxious attachment style is marked by an incredible fear of abandonment. Individuals with this attachment style are often rather insecure regarding their relationships and worry about their partners leaving them, making them needy for frequent validation. This attachment style may make affected individuals very anxious if their partner doesn’t respond to their texts fast enough, or needs personal space, and are constantly haunted with the feeling that they don’t care enough about them.

Around 19% of adults have anxious attachment styles.

Avoidant attachment

Avoidant attachment style is defined by a strong fear of intimacy—with difficulties developing close bonds with others and trusting them in relationships. Relationships often make individuals with this attachment style feel rather suffocated, leading them to maintain distance or be emotionally unavailable in their relationships. These people often prefer to rely completely on themselves and be independent.

A quarter of the adult population embodies this attachment style—also known as dismissive-avoidant attachment.

Fearful-avoidant attachment

A combination of both the avoidant and anxious attachment styles, individuals with the fearful-avoidant attachment style crave affection but also avoid it at any cost. They have an innate need to feel wanted and loved, yet are extremely reluctant to actually develop close romantic relationships with others. This might be due to issues with trust or childhood neglect, leaving adults confused about healthy relationships.

Also known as the disorganized attachment style, this particular style is often associated with relational and psychological risks such as difficulty in regulating emotions and heightened sexual behavior.

Figuring out your attachment style is important to working through past issues and creating healthier bonds with your loved ones. Dr. Stempel is a mental health expert at Stem Wellness who can work with you to help you identify your current attachment style and the reasoning behind it in order to move towards a more secure style.

Our services also include psychotherapy counseling, marriage or relationship counseling, and family therapy in New Jersey.

Contact us to find out more today.

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