What Is Your Attachment Type?

What Is Your Attachment Type?

From a very early age - the first two years of age - we learn if we can depend on the people around us to meet our needs or not. This influences the way we attach to people in our adulthood.The article below will elaborate on different attachment types.
PsycholoGenie Staff
We all have been born in a certain environment, and now, as young or mature adults, we cannot do anything to change it. As we grow up and begin relating to others, we bring with us our fundamental view about what we can expect from other people. We have a certain criteria or pattern within; we seem to have a stronger attachment to certain people. You can understand this by means of an actual demonstration. Go in an orphanage or a kindergarten, and try to make friends among the children there. You will soon realize how they get attached to you. Each child is different. Some need more attention than the others, and the way they express their need for affection can sometimes be through a keen sense of possession. They want your full attention directed only to them. On the other hand, others are reasonable and understand that your attention has to be equal to all the others.

List of Attachment Types

Secure
  • A secure attachment style is the one that is considered ideal, psychologically.
  • John Bowlby (1969) originally proposed this theory, and he states that secure attachment develops when the primary care giver consistently and successfully meets the needs of an infant child, from birth to about age two.
  • In other words, we learn at a very young age whether the world and the people in it can be counted on to meet our needs, from the most basic need of hunger, to our needs for love and affection.
  • We learn who are the ones we can trust and expect protection from.
  • As we mature and involve in romantic relationships, we inevitably bring with us this deep-seated view about what we can expect from people we are in relations with.
  • A secure attachment style person tends to be positive, optimistic, and constructive in her/his interactions with others. The general tendency of such person is to be more trusting and less prone to loneliness when compared to those who belong to the insecure attachment type.
Preoccupied
  • As Bowlby's theory says, preoccupied attachment develops when the primary care giver inconsistently and/or unsuccessfully meets the needs of an infant.
  • The child perceives that sometimes his needs are met and sometimes they are not, this creates a desire for familiarity, fondness, and love combined with a fear of rejection or abandonment.
  • At maturity, people with preoccupied attachment tend to show a great deal of sincerity and enthusiasm to get close in a romantic relationship.
  • They tend to be emotional, especially under stress, and may show more jealousy than those with other types of attachment.
Dismissing Avoidant
  • The dismissing avoidant attachment type is supposed to develop when the primary caregiver consistently does not meet the needs of an infant.
  • Bowlby originally observed this style of attachment in British orphanages that were overfull after the World War II ended.
  • There were many children and few personnel, therefore the babies were often left alone in cribs for extended periods of time.
  • The only logical explanation these children could come up with was that the world and the people in it could not be counted on to take care of them, as they didn't have their basic needs of hunger and affection met.
  • Therefore, in adulthood, people with dismissing avoidant attachment style tend to be very independent and self-reliant.
  • They don't usually find it easy to open up to others or to let themselves depend on other people. They tend to withdraw from their romantic partner when they or their partner are under stress.
Fearful Avoidant
  • Bowlby has not original included the fearful avoidant attachment type within his theory, but psychologists who specialize in adult attachment have recently observed and studied this pattern.
  • Psychologists do not uniformly agree upon the reasons of this attachment style, however the hypothesis is that the early childhood roots of fearful avoidant and dismissing avoidant attachment type are similar in not having their basic needs consistently satisfied.
  • However, when sex-role socialization begins when these types are toddlers, the styles diverge.
  • Studies based on this hypothesis show that there are more males who are dismissing avoidants and more females who are fearful avoidants.
  • Other psychologists suggest the possibility that the development of a fearful avoidant style may relate to an experience of significant loss or trauma.
  • People who have fearful avoidant attachment have both a desire for closeness as well as a need for space and independence. They may at times lack self-confidence and may maintain and nurture some fears of rejection.
  • They are likely to show more emotion than those who are dismissing avoidants, but may sometimes still find it difficult to really open up to others.
Regardless of what attachment type we might be in, by the fact that we realize its plus and minuses, we can build our way to a more secure attachment, to more stability and self-confidence.

The truth is that there is no such thing like the perfect human being; so being unique is a quality in itself and when we learn to use it for our benefit. In spite of our minuses, we can emphasize our strong points and be overall a pleasant person with a nice character.