What Are The Four Attachment Styles?
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What Are The Four Attachment Styles?

Zoe Kramer February 10, 2023

Discussing attachment styles has become a popular way of parsing through the complexities of interpersonal relationships. Attachment styles fall under the wider umbrella of attachment theory, which is the idea that parent-child bonds can have lasting impacts on the development of relationships throughout a person’s life. You might have heard someone refer to attachment styles, but what actually are they, and what does each type mean? Learning more about this topic can help us build positive and healthy communication with our friends, family and partners. So here are the four attachment styles, and how to tell which one applies to you.

Anxious Or Preoccupied Attachment

The anxious attachment style indicates a level of insecurity within a relationship. Someone with an anxious attachment style desires a high level of validation and reassurance from their partner or friend. They might become upset if someone doesn’t text them back right away or if they are away from someone for too long. These behaviours are often described as “neediness” or “clinginess.” People with this attachment style can work on improving their relationships by building trust and emotional self-sufficiency.

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See also: Affordable Anxiety Remedies For Students

Avoidant Or Dismissive Attachment

Those with an avoidant attachment style often have difficulty expressing their emotional needs. As a result, they often turn away from relationships or become distant. This type of attachment is characterised by difficulty with commitment, a strong sense of independence, and a fear of intimacy. While there’s nothing wrong with independence, breaking down barriers, processing emotions and showing vulnerability can help those with avoidant attachments feel more fulfilled.

Disorganised or Fearful-Avoidant Attachment

Disorganised attachment has elements of both anxious and avoidant attachment. Someone with a disorganised attachment style experiences a conflict between their desire to become closer to others and their difficulty with building trust. They often shift between distancing themselves and seeking out reassurance. They can benefit from working on their emotional regulation as well as their fear of rejection.

Secure Attachment

A secure attachment indicates a healthy relationship. Those with a secure attachment are able to strike a balance between being able to function as emotionally self-sufficient while also expressing vulnerability and seeking out help when they need it. They don’t panic when their partner or friend is apart from them, nor do they experience fear during intimate conversations. They are able to build trust, and are comfortable giving and seeking emotional support.

See also: What Is Workaholism Linked To Mental Health? How It Affects Students

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Zoe Kramer has been writing for GRV Media’s student-centric website Freshered since October 2022 and is now also contributing to HITC. She graduated from Cardiff University in 2022 with a BA in Journalism, Media and English Literature. During her time in university, she worked for her student newspaper as well as completing an internship with a book publisher. She has also written and continues to write book and theatre reviews. She is excited to now be pursuing a career as a journalist and learning something new every day. In particular, she loves writing about student life, books, the Internet, and travel. Originally from the United States, she is enjoying living abroad in the UK.