We all bask under the same sun, yet there are so many differences among us.
Some can easily open up, while others can take months of bonding to truly open up; Some can easily speak out their heart while others cannot; Some are overly sensitive yet there are others who are over-independent.
Ever wondered why?
The answer is Attachment Style.
What I mean is – It’s mostly because of the way they were brought up.
The way people bring up children can seem insignificant, but they are actually shaping the personality of their children – A personality that would influence their entire future!
You must have definitely come across situations where you pondered why some people,
- Jump from relationship to relationship and still aren’t able to find stability
- Can be super clingy yet others can be ‘loners’
- Some children never leave their parents. Moreover, they cannot be easily consoled when their parents are away. However, there are other children who feel comparatively safer exploring their environment.
This is what happens when parenting goes wrong. And…You definitely don’t want this to happen, right? Or perhaps it has already happened to you and you wanna treat this issue.
So, continue reading!
What is Attachment Style?
Attachment style theory was Introduced by John Bowlby, a psychologist, and psychoanalyst.
He worked on this theory for over a decade before coming to the conclusion that the caregiver-child bond influences the future of the child from all aspects.
In simpler language, Attachment style refers to the way a person bonds with people around them. It influences the cognitive, social, and emotional development of a person.
Based on his observation, Bowlby identified 4 types of attachment styles:
- Secure Attachment Style
- Anxious-Ambivalent / Anxious Attachment Style
- Avoidant Attachment Style
- Disorganized Attachment Style
Today’s blog post features a talk on Avoidant Attachment Style.
Find out your Attachment Style through this Quiz
Definition – What is Avoidant Attachment?
Avoidant attachment refers to the type of bonding where a person is avoidant of people they recently met or don’t trust.
Remember the ‘loner’ in your high school?
Well, perhaps they had this kind of attachment style.
When relationships around them get serious or dense, avoidant people get overwhelmed and they try to get out of the relationship by thinking about how happier they were when during their singlehood or how they will be better off with someone else.
Development of Avoidant Attachment Style
A person can develop avoidant attachment for various reasons.
The main reason behind this kind of attachment style is when the primary caretaker provides food and shelter but ignores the emotional needs of the child.
Following parenting situations in the childhood can further lead aggravate the development of Avoidant Attachment:
- Ignoring the distress or cries of the baby
- Belittling children for sharing their problems
- Getting annoyed when the child shares a problem
- Less physical touch with the child
- Restricting emotions on a child’s achievements or problems
- Insulting them for crying
It is a defense mechanism where the avoidant person CHOOSES to not over bond with people because deep inside they are scared of being left behind.
Out of this insecurity – If they feel threatened, they jump out of the relationship because they fear that another person might eventually leave them.
Unfortunately, this constant marathon of running away from the trauma and problems only gives temporary comfort.
Who is at risk of developing Avoidant Attachment?
Needless to say, people with emotionally uptight caregivers are likely to develop an avoidant attachment.
It especially includes people who are, young parents, drug addicts, divorced or have mentally ill parents.
Signs of Avoidant Attachment
Early identification of signs would save avoidant people from heartbreaks and loneliness. I hope these signs would add value to your journey.
# As a Child they,
- Don’t speak about how they feel
- Avoid physical contact with others
- Rarely ask for help
- Can be socially awkward
# As Adults they,
- Avoid getting help or emotional support from others
- Value Independence above everything else
- Do not rely on anyone for anything
- Seem stable during highly-emotional situations
- Scared of getting too close to people
Avoidant individuals in relationships
Secure and healthy people overlook the little flaws of their partner but avoidant people are the opposite. They zero in on the flaws of a person and they become overwhelmed.
As their defense mechanism, they try to either break the bond or think that they would have been happier if they were single or better off with someone else.
In short, they shut out people when they are threatened. According to them, this ensures them that they are never hurt.
Unfortunately, people who are attracted the most to an avoidant personality are mostly someone with anxious attachment.
Tell me something more disastrous!
Close Relationships are Essential
No matter how much we try to become independent, sometimes we all need someone to share our feelings with.
No matter how much you boast about being independent, there will always be a part of you that will crave close bonds.
I am a person with avoidant attachment, so you can’t tell me otherwise.
Just here to remind you that,
No human is perfect and these imperfect people cannot (obviously) develop perfect relationships. So, it is essential that we overlook their minor shortcomings just like they overlook ours.
Healing Avoidant Attachment Style
As I mentioned in my earlier post, healing a toxic attachment style isn’t easy and it takes lots of conscious effort. It is especially difficult when the person doesn’t accept this issue.
However, If you are aware of your shortcomings and address them properly, you are likely to develop a secure attachment style.
Perhaps things won’t turn around in one go, but your know what they say,
Rome wasn’t built in a Day!
The best way to develop a secure attachment style is by meeting a therapist. They are well-trained to understand your patterns and their origin.
If you can’t visit a therapist, here’s a digital workbook to get started on your journey. Who knows if this book will be your eureka moment!
Prevention of Avoidant Attachment Style
With the right amount of love, care, affection, and the attachment style of any kind can be steered towards a secure one.
Children imitate their primary caregivers. So, it is important that parents are cautious with their talks and behaviors.
Remember that showing love and affection to the child is not a sign of weakness but a sign of responsible and loving caregiver. It is something to be proud and vocal about.
Because no matter how wealthy, mature, or poor a child is, the best gift you can ever give to them is your time, love, and affection.
Moving on, here are 4 tips on preventing the development of avoidant attachment.
1. Spending Quality time with Child
It’s normal to overlook spending quality time with kids while focusing on getting them a better future by earning better.
But never forget that a child would rather live in a loving family with no roof under their head than living where they are not celebrated and loved.
If you want your child to develop a secure attachment style, prioritize quality time above everything else. If you making it a priority 8 days out of 10, you are going in the right direction.
I’m not asking you to leave your 9 to 5 job and focus only on your kids. The point is, whenever you get time, try to spend it with your kids. They’ll appreciate you for it.
2. Pay attention to the baby’s body language and sounds
If you constantly ignore your baby’s needs (which they express through crying) you are unintentionally conveying that their emotions don’t matter.
And this is not something that you wanna do because they will grow up bottling up their emotions.
Caregivers are the safe haven for their kids. If they don’t feel safe opening up about their emotions and thoughts with you, then who else would they go to?
So, it is important that you pay attention to the baby’s body language and sounds.
3. Avoid Numbing out your Emotions
Numbing out emotions is a quick band-aid fix, but what I do know through experience is that it doesn’t solve the problem.
The more you numb out your true thoughts and feelings, the more unaware you become of yourself. Eventually, whirling into a pool of sadness or depression.
Numbing out emotions may feel like the braver and more productive thing to do because it saves more time.
But do you know what’s even braver?
The ability to face your emotions and learn to manage them properly.
If you are someone who feels that overwhelming can leave you unproductive for days, try to journal and meditate.
Whatever method you choose, just remember that the point is to feel your emotions in a limited time frame, not a single minute more or less.
4. Stay Mindful of your Emotions
Emotions are like huge waves in the ocean which can either make you the master of surfing or crush you down.
If you don’t master your emotions, you’ll be at mercy of your emotions. The process of long and requires lots of patience but the results?
You’ll be absolutely blissful and happy from within! No matter what goes on around you, you’ll have this undying happiness with you.
Everything about Avoidant Attachment Style
Fulfilling the emotional needs of children is just as important as providing them food and shelter. Or else, it would leave them with a huge scar.
If you or someone you know has this kind of attachment style, suggest a therapist. It is the best way to get started.
Since they are avoidant towards people around them, help from your end would not produce good results.
Or even worse, it might leave an unexpected trauma on you!
Prevention is better than cure. Following these practices can prevent the development of avoidant attachment in kids.
- 1. Spending Quality time with Child
- 2. Pay attention to the baby’s body language and sounds
- 3. Avoid Numbing out your Emotions
- 4. Stay Mindful of your Emotions
Needless to say, the Avoidant Attachment style is developed due to toxic parenting, but it is necessary to realize that such parenting can often result due to the parents themselves being the victims of this kind of parenting.
Ummm…You get what I mean, right?
Anyways, here’s a golden lesson that I learned as a person with avoidant attachment.
The universe keeps bringing up fearful situations unless and until we learn to face our fears. So, there is no point in running away!
What is Your Attachment Style and how do you think it developed? Share with us in the comment section down below.