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How to have a more secure attachment style?


Nasnas
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So I recently came across attachment style theory. I’ve read about it and done multiple tests and found out that I have a dismissive avoidant attachment style. I relate to most of the signs of a DA type even though I relate to some of the anxious attachment signs. This helped explain some of the problems in my previous relationships. Idk about its accuracy but I know that it helped me understand myself and the reasons behind how I act. I have a question regarding this. 
 

Firstly, I’ve been trying to use google resources for this but I want to know how and if anyone has successfully worked towards developing a more secure attachment style in their relationships? I feel like understanding this can help me have better relationships in the future. 
 

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I did an online test and I don't know how reliable it was which said I do have a secure attachment style. I doubt the reliability of these tests in general unless you're speaking to a professional. 

Do you love yourself? Your first priority is to yourself and take care of what you need before you start attaching and caring for others. Rest assured that things will fall into place after that and associate with company similar to you who give as much as they take. Everything in moderation and with reciprocity.

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39 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

I did an online test and I don't know how reliable it was which said I do have a secure attachment style. I doubt the reliability of these tests in general unless you're speaking to a professional. 

Do you love yourself? Your first priority is to yourself and take care of what you need before you start attaching and caring for others. Rest assured that things will fall into place after that and associate with company similar to you who give as much as they take. Everything in moderation and with reciprocity.

I do love myself but I think it’s also a journey that one continuously learns

I don’t plan to care or get attached to anyone anytime soon, this was just an attempt to better understand myself and just because this resonated with me on a scary level. You’re probably right though, I guess it’s probably not that reliable but I wanted to hear about peoples journey with this that’s all

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What was it you found out?  How do you see yourself?  There's tests of all kinds.  Is best to reach out to a therapist etc, if you feel overly challenged?

I had been analyzed a few times over the years and one time I had an 'avoidant' personality type.  Another time was 'dependant'.. I kinda found it interesting/amusing. Because I knew that yes, at that point, I was not 'dependent' at all, lol.

Presently, mainly anxiety and on my own- no interest in being involved again, as I am 'mentally & emotionally exhausted 😕 . I know I just don't have it in me to 'give' into a relationship at all. So, this is all good that I am this observant, know what I can and cannot handle and know that I just don't have it in me, what is req'd as it takes energy and expectations. So, I am doing okay in this spot. I really don't want to be involved. 🙂 

As for you, is good you're doing some research for yourself and yes, do consider some help along your journey if you find things too overwhelming.  And do give yourself time , as there's really no need to feel a rush to be involved again, especially if aware as to your issue's, as to not end up damaging something again - but feel you need some work and actually do that. 

 

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I went through a couple years of therapy while going through a divorce.  My therapist had me read a book "Attached"  It was pretty good and an easy read.   My guess was that I had an anxious attachment style. My therapist confirmed I have an ambivalent attachment style.

Unfortunatey, while even armed with this knowledge it's hard to undo.  Maybe impossible.  It originates from our up bringing and we can't go back and redo our childhoods.  But what we can do with the information is, be aware of our patterns, where they came from and constantly challenge them.  I would think it would be hard to do outside of relationship.  I've known this for 20 plus years and though things are better, it never really goes away.  I am able to catch it and challenge myself to do things differently.

But in the mean time what you are doing is helpful.  Seeking information, being insightful and questioning patterns.

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On 7/13/2022 at 12:09 PM, Nasnas said:

I want to know how and if anyone has successfully worked towards developing a more secure attachment style in their relationships? I feel like understanding this can help me have better relationships in the future. 

Therapy helped. Thinking and writing about it was also useful, but it wasn't as helpful because it's really just going around in circles in your head.

I've found that, in general, discussing issues with an impartial, trained professional brings things out in the open for examination and really helps gain traction on an issue.

But ultimately, when I found the right partner all of my hesitations and anxieties about relationships went away.

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On 7/13/2022 at 12:09 PM, Nasnas said:

  I feel like understanding this can help me have better relationships in the future. 

Better physical and mental health is not a do-it-yourself situation. Depression and anxiety are treatable problems, just like any other medical problems.

You claimed mental health care is "taboo where you are from"?  But seeing a physician for feeling unwell is a good place to start.

Get some tests done. How do you know you don't have endocrine or other issues? 

Quizzes online are fun but frankly no more accurate than say, reading your horoscope.

Until you address underlying issues you're going to have unsatisfactory relationships.

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On 7/14/2022 at 10:01 AM, reinventmyself said:

... Unfortunatey, while even armed with this knowledge it's hard to undo.  Maybe impossible.  It originates from our up bringing and we can't go back and redo our childhoods.  But what we can do with the information is, be aware of our patterns, where they came from and constantly challenge them.  ...

 

On 7/15/2022 at 4:32 AM, Jibralta said:

Therapy helped. Thinking and writing about it was also useful, but it wasn't as helpful because it's really just going around in circles in your head.

I've found that, in general, discussing issues with an impartial, trained professional brings things out in the open for examination and really helps gain traction on an issue.

Yep! This stuff is NOT intellectual. That's why reflection can use a good challenge--and NOT on the facts.

While there's some value in journalling like a reporter all the details of what happens and what we think and how we deal with it, delving into the cliched question, "How do you feel about that?" is NOT second nature to those of us without a secure attachment personality. Most of us have taught ourselves great tactics to avoid what's below the surface. (But we sure can see it in someone else!)

So by challenging 'patterns,' it's not just about the stuff we can identify as our 'stories'. Lots of our emotional drivers come from all the way back to when we were pre-verbal. We didn't have language for our earliest stored reactions. So even while this may form some of our biggest landmines, it's under our radar--and it never makes it into The Story.

This is why, if we can even recognize emotions during any given reaction to something current, we risk FEELING as though 'this' is far, far deeper than the surface thing that provoked us. If we can cry, we might feel as though we're crying for every tear we've ever (or never) cried in our lifetime.

While this can be cathartic, we may never have learned how to soothe and recover from what's been enlivened, OR, tapping this is too big of a whopper to tackle, so we trained ourselves (young!) to squelch emotions rather than go TOWARD them and push through them.

So often we're left cleaning up seepage that comes out sideways. That's why it's so common to reduce arguments down to facts: who is 'right' or 'wrong' and who 'wins' rather than learning how to privately retrieve the emotional reactions we tend to auto-thwart. We don't know how to bring those to the surface and allow them to course through and become spent--without needing to solve a problem or assign blame or call THIS another instance of PROOF of our most negative defaults.

Braving emotions is valuable because we can learn how to soothe our most tender selves, even while we can separate out the intellectual arguments and 'see' how little those matter in the scheme of things. We can become less reactive or sabotaging, and we can become more skilled at deterring drama until we can spend the emotion, recover and respond in ways that we won't regret later. Even better, we can stop a cycle of 'trauma bonding' in the first place, so that our 'story' stops being about mistreatment--we learn how to walk away before a prolonged story can even come out of that.

How can this address WHO we choose as our attachments? It's incremental and cumulative work through the course of all kinds of relationships--not just with partners. While we don't get to enjoy too many jackpot sirens that feel like instant wins of enlightenment, we develop skills and confidence in uncovering the deep stuff. We keep learning how to address THAT in beneficial ways beyond keeping score, and this cycle changes who we BECOME--who we evolve into.

This changes what attracts us. 

It becomes less about who we attract (like that just happens TO us) and more about who and what attracts US. We stop getting infatuated through an unconscious alliance that says, "You'll tap into all my longings and wounds, because through those I bond--those are what I equate with love...". We can find more secure (and less traumatized) people to be more attractive instead of boring. We'll recognize what's intolerable and walk away from it instead of rationalizing it as something we can accept for 'love'.

Anyway, if you've read all this, thanks for hearing me out. I'm learning more about this stuff, and I'm right with you if you're also trying to benefit from it.
 

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Wrestling with anxious attachment here.

 

I found this video insightful (it also made me feel really sad for every single one of us who has had their sense of okay ness with intimacy messed up. It can feel hopeless at the bottom of the hole!)

 

He mentions that people can manifest that attachment trauma in different ways depending on who they’re partnered with that and I can relate to that too. 
 

Lately the thing that has been helping me the most is listening to Eckhart Tolle talking about heartbreak. And just listening to/reading Eckhart Tolle in general and then practicing being in the present moment. I feel my anxious anxiety thought patterns starting to get going and I make a conscious choice to redirect my attention to my breathing, my surroundings, the way my clothes feel against my skin, what can I hear. What is in my present moment? Can I be grateful for it whatever it is, good or bad and have no complaints?

 

Also, trying to remove my ego from my interactions with the person who most triggers my anxiety and trying to not react to our interactions by overlaying my own narrative about what’s happening. (The narratives usually make me sad). 

 

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10 hours ago, catfeeder said:

 

Yep! This stuff is NOT intellectual. That's why reflection can use a good challenge--and NOT on the facts.

While there's some value in journalling like a reporter all the details of what happens and what we think and how we deal with it, delving into the cliched question, "How do you feel about that?" is NOT second nature to those of us without a secure attachment personality. Most of us have taught ourselves great tactics to avoid what's below the surface. (But we sure can see it in someone else!)

So by challenging 'patterns,' it's not just about the stuff we can identify as our 'stories'. Lots of our emotional drivers come from all the way back to when we were pre-verbal. We didn't have language for our earliest stored reactions. So even while this may form some of our biggest landmines, it's under our radar--and it never makes it into The Story.

This is why, if we can even recognize emotions during any given reaction to something current, we risk FEELING as though 'this' is far, far deeper than the surface thing that provoked us. If we can cry, we might feel as though we're crying for every tear we've ever (or never) cried in our lifetime.

While this can be cathartic, we may never have learned how to soothe and recover from what's been enlivened, OR, tapping this is too big of a whopper to tackle, so we trained ourselves (young!) to squelch emotions rather than go TOWARD them and push through them.

So often we're left cleaning up seepage that comes out sideways. That's why it's so common to reduce arguments down to facts: who is 'right' or 'wrong' and who 'wins' rather than learning how to privately retrieve the emotional reactions we tend to auto-thwart. We don't know how to bring those to the surface and allow them to course through and become spent--without needing to solve a problem or assign blame or call THIS another instance of PROOF of our most negative defaults.

Braving emotions is valuable because we can learn how to soothe our most tender selves, even while we can separate out the intellectual arguments and 'see' how little those matter in the scheme of things. We can become less reactive or sabotaging, and we can become more skilled at deterring drama until we can spend the emotion, recover and respond in ways that we won't regret later. Even better, we can stop a cycle of 'trauma bonding' in the first place, so that our 'story' stops being about mistreatment--we learn how to walk away before a prolonged story can even come out of that.

How can this address WHO we choose as our attachments? It's incremental and cumulative work through the course of all kinds of relationships--not just with partners. While we don't get to enjoy too many jackpot sirens that feel like instant wins of enlightenment, we develop skills and confidence in uncovering the deep stuff. We keep learning how to address THAT in beneficial ways beyond keeping score, and this cycle changes who we BECOME--who we evolve into.

This changes what attracts us. 

It becomes less about who we attract (like that just happens TO us) and more about who and what attracts US. We stop getting infatuated through an unconscious alliance that says, "You'll tap into all my longings and wounds, because through those I bond--those are what I equate with love...". We can find more secure (and less traumatized) people to be more attractive instead of boring. We'll recognize what's intolerable and walk away from it instead of rationalizing it as something we can accept for 'love'.

Anyway, if you've read all this, thanks for hearing me out. I'm learning more about this stuff, and I'm right with you if you're also trying to benefit from it.
 

Beautifully said!

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Do You Need Reassurance? Stop It Li...
Do You Need Reassurance? Stop It Like This

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