Did you know that each and every one of us has an attachment style?
In February, I released my most important spiritual work to date. Happy Days: The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace is a handbook for deep, transformational healing. In the book, I share the spiritual and therapeutic tools that I used to elevate every area of my life — including my relationships!
In chapter 9 of the book, I introduce “attachment styles.” If you’ve never even heard that term, don’t sweat it! I’m going deep with attachment styles in today’s episode of the Dear Gabby podcast, and you’ll learn all about them.
what are attachment styles?
But first, I want to give you a little context. Check out this passage from Happy Days:
As children, many of us did not foster a secure attachment with our primary caregivers because our core needs of being seen and secure were not met. Throughout our lives, we’ve been hiding or exiling the parts of ourselves that had unmet needs due to a breach in attachment. We’ve left those wounded inner child parts in the dark because we learned that they didn’t matter or that they were shameful. That emotional denial didn’t just go away. In fact, it has dictated the course of our lives. We’ve lived through the perceptual lens of our early attachment wounds, which can affect every area of life. Learning about attachment styles was a way for me to see myself through the lens of compassion. I could see how I was able to care for myself in the dark moments and guide myself to safety.-Happy Days, Chapter 9, Page 179
learn to see yourself
If you’re not aware of your attachment style, you might not even realize that you can break free from old patterns. “Oh, that’s just the way I am in relationships,” you might think — and fall into yet another relationship that doesn’t serve you.
But when you start to recognize why you act the way that you do in relationships, it’s like a light turns on! You find a deeper sense of compassion for everyone around you — and most importantly, for yourself.
When you understand your attachment style, you can start to undo any patterns that have blocked you from finding freedom, support and connection in all of your relationships.
what’s your attachment style?
So, are you ready to learn your attachment style? Fire up this episode of Dear Gabby! This is a BIG one, and you’ll walk away from it feeling empowered to finally pursue the relationships you crave!
listen to this episode to learn:
- The three types of attachment style — secure, anxious, and avoidant — and which one best describes you (I’ll also break down the styles in this blog — keep scrolling!)
- How to identify others’ attachment styles, and feel deeper compassion for everyone around you (even for your ex!)
- Why you behave the way that you do in relationships
- And, why anyone can overcome uncomfortable attachment styles and finally find freedom and ease in relationships
a guide to each attachment style
Since this whole concept might be new to you, I wanted to share some more information on each attachment style. As you read, see if you recognize yourself in any of the descriptions below.
It’s OK to be vulnerable and admit to yourself that you might have anxious or avoidant tendencies. Believe me, I’ve been there! And if you recognize that you have a secure attachment style, celebrate that!
Awareness of your attachment style is the first step to overcoming any setbacks you’re facing in your relationships. Be proud of yourself for taking this step.
If you have a secure attachment style, chances are that you grew up in an environment where you felt safe. You had a strong bond with your primary caregivers — you knew that you could rely on them, no matter what.
If you have a secure attachment style, you’re comfortable asking for what you need, and you share your feelings openly. You also have strong boundaries …. and a clear sense of what to do when those boundaries are crossed. A secure attachment style allows you to enjoy relationships, and to find success in them.
I used to have an anxious attachment style! So if you can relate to anything that I’m about to describe, know that you are not alone.
If you have an anxious attachment style, you tend to be afraid of losing a relationship. So, you might cling to others for fear of losing a relationship … even if that relationship is not right for you. You might override your own needs for fear of pushing the other person away.
And, even though you crave intimacy, you’re wary of trusting others. This can create a push-pull that’s quite overwhelming at times!
Don’t worry: There is a way out. And, you’re taking the first step toward freeing yourself by reading this blog right now.
If you have an avoidant attachment style, it’s possible that you had unmet needs as a child. As such, you’ve built up a belief system over time that no one can meet your needs, and you are wary of trusting others.
You could even have an unconscious mantra that says: I have to do everything myself, because no one else is going to do it. Who could blame you? You’ve been disappointed by others in the past, and are determined to not let that happen again. But, that might come at a cost. Without even realizing it, you might have built up walls that prevent other people from really getting to know you.
I honor any feelings of discomfort you may face in relationships. Know that in this moment, you are safe — and you are doing brave work to get to know yourself better.
you can change!
As you become more aware of your attachment styles, you’ll start to witness the relationship patterns you’ve built up over time. But no matter what those patterns are, I have good news:
you are not the victim of your attachment style
Knowledge is power. The more you know about yourself and your attachment style, the easier it will be for you to heal the core wounds that live beneath the patterns that hold you back. And no matter which attachment style you identify with now, you can become secure! This is important: Forming secure bonds with others isn’t just something you see in a rom-com: It’s a biological need. Individuals who are in secure, attached relationships feel more at ease, live with less anxiety and tend to be more creative!
I can promise you this: As you become more aware of your attachment style, your relationships will shift in miraculous ways. This episode of Dear Gabby — and this quiz! — will serve you in many, many ways.
get more gabby
The following are helpful resources and books I mention within the episode.
- In my latest book Happy Days, I share tools that you can use to find a deeper sense of security in all your relationships. This book is a guided path from trauma to profound freedom and inner peace. I pray that it lands in the hands of anyone who needs it.
- If you feel you need additional support, please consult this list of safety, recovery and mental health resources. I’m proud of you for your commitment to self-care.
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This podcast is intended to educate, inspire, and support you on your personal journey towards inner peace. I am not a psychologist or a medical doctor and do not offer any professional health or medical advice. If you are suffering from any psychological or medical conditions, please seek help from a qualified health professional.