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Recognising Your Attachment Style

Picture from Wallpaper Flare

Relationships are an inherent part of human nature. A strong awareness regarding the different attachment styles will allow us to connect better with ourselves and others. Think of relationships like the limbs of your body and the types of attachment styles as ligaments connected to them. Our limbs, much like our relationships, are unable to function without some form of attachment.

For this subject, I speak with Arman Rashid and Kristy Choy. They are counsellors in training and working with Humankind Community Counseling. They were more than happy to share their experiences, insights, and the importance of recognising one's attachment style.

Before we dive further into the topic, what is attachment? According to Arman, he explained that attachment is between two people who share a bond. "However, attachment styles refer to different ways of interacting and behaving in relationships", he says. He also explained that during early childhood, it is how children and parents interact. During adulthood, it is a pattern of attachment in romantic relationships. Arman also shared that most people are still looking for these attachments in their day-to-day lives, and there are different attachment styles that we all have. He says attachment theory and attachment styles are all based on parent-child relationships initially.

According to Arman, there are four types of attachment styles:

  1. Secure

To say one has secure attachment style, they're typically low on avoidance and on anxiety. These types can trust easily and are in-tune with their emotions. On top of that, they're not afraid of intimacy; they recognise emotions well and can communicate directly without worrying. If an upsetting event took place, people under the secure attachment style could precisely express their feelings and needs. Generally, they have a very cooperative relationship.

  1. Anxious-Preoccupied

If one happens to be an anxious-preoccupied type, they would be low on avoidance, high on anxiety and struggle with communicating. People with this type tend to be provoked and get triggered easily. They can also experience jealousy, could be insecure about the relationship and craves to be close with a partner. Furthermore, they may also fear abandonment.

  1. Avoidant-Dismissive

People with this type tend to be low on anxiety but high on avoidance. They may avoid relationships entirely by not wanting to have or establish one. This type has the characteristic to downplay their feelings and does not want to be dependent on others. They may have the impression of being self-reliant and risks being vulnerable in relationships.

  1. Avoidant-Fearful

Those who recognise themselves as this type are high on avoidance and anxiety. They tend to be dependent on relationships but can be dismissive about it. On top of that, these types strongly fear rejection. They could have low self-esteem and have high anxiety while in a relationship.

Why is it important for us to recognise these attachment styles, especially for the youth reading this?

Arman sheds light on why we need to recognise these attachment styles, especially for the youth. He says, "it is important because it leads to healthy relationships, and at the end of the day, it's about self-awareness and knowing your needs." Attachment styles affect how a person reacts when one is emotionally involved with another person. "We strive to understand their experiences by exploring their past, especially during their childhood because most of the issues stem from those relationships, says Arman. "By understanding why certain factors affect them, it would give us more clarity", he adds.

Is it possible to change or work on one's attachment styles?

Kristy explains, "I think it takes a while because it has been ingrained since young. This is why when people come for counselling sessions, we work on issues regarding their past and try to understand how this attachment is formed in the first place. So that they have a better understanding of themselves." She also stated that clients who attend therapy sessions communicate better when steps are taken to understand and work on their attachment styles. Kristy mentioned that people would also have a better understanding of the other party so that there would be less conflict. "at the end of the day, it takes two to tango", says Kristy.

To summarise, one should start their personal self-growth early. It is crucial because, in the end, these attachment styles will affect not only you but people around you, especially family, close friends and intimate relationships.

For those who have any questions or in need of mental support, you can contact Humankind Community Counselling, and from there, you will be assigned to a counsellor. According to Arman, within 24 – 36 hours, there will be a response from them. Also, profit is not the objective here as they are willing to make it more affordable for students.

Delving into one's attachment style can be a challenging process. But this is a journey of understanding your triggers, unresolved emotions, and making current and future relationships secure and fulfilling. Starting early and getting that clarity is something we all should prioritise! To find out what your relationship attachment styles are, here is an attachment style test.

By Reshma Kavtri


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