I recently learned about attachment styles in my Interpersonal Communication class, and I realized how useful this information would have been while I navigated relationships in my life. Someone’s attachment style is basically how a person relates to others in their relationships, whether friendships or romantic connections. Your attachment style is created from an early age and is usually derived from your relationship with your parents or your primary caregiver.
There are three primary attachment styles that we can fall into: secure, anxious, and avoidant. Secure attachment style is the most common, with 60% of people fitting into this category. This style represents people who are comfortable with intimacy and giving/receiving affection. They are people who had secure attachments in their childhood and, therefore, seek the same types of attachment in their adult lives. Someone secure probably has a positive view of themselves and is not anxious to be by themselves, but they still have close relationships, forming a stable balance between both.
The next attachment style is anxious, which makes up 10% of people and is mainly characteristic of people who feel anxiety in their close relationships and are uncomfortable giving/receiving affection. People with anxious attachments fear being abandoned by their partner or friends, and this may originally come from a relationship with a parent. They tend to cling to their partners and feel insecure or jealous when their partners are close to other people. The avoidant attachment style is the opposite since there is less anxiety involved and just a general feeling of wanting to be distant in their relationships. Avoidants form 25% of society, and they typically feeling discomfort or awkwardness in intimate relationships, so they tend to just avoid them. They’re usually detached in relationships and may not be as considerate of the other person’s feelings because of this.
So why is important to know any of this? If you’re aware of which attachment style you resonate the most with, then you can also be aware of what your strengths and weaknesses are in relationships. You can read more about your attachment style and take note of any traits that can turn into toxic behavior and affect your partnerships. Knowing this topic also helps you assess the attachment styles of those close to you and rationalize their behavior a bit better. It can allow you to adjust to their style once you have a better understanding of why they act the way they do and vice versa.
If you want to do some self-reflection and analyze the way you relate in your relationships, then learning about your attachment style is a great first step. You can even search up attachment style quizzes online and answer the questions if you’re not too certain which category you fall into; there is also a chance that you possess qualities from two of the styles, but it just may be depending on the type of relationship. Overall, this is an interesting topic to become knowledgeable about, and it may help you as you go forward with your relationships!