No, this isn’t one of those “ooh, let’s see who I really am based on my favorite colors, middle name, and state I was born in” posts (even though I kinda like those sometimes, hehe).
This attachment style business is actually from an academic textbook (Interpersonal Communication-Everyday Encounters by: Julia T. Wood) that I am reading for an interpersonal communication class at San Francisco State University. The chapter that I have just read deals with our identity, and provides insight into how our identity shapes how we communicate with others. According to Julia Wood, “parents and others who care for young children communicate through attachment styles, which are patterns of care giving that teach us who we are, and how to approach relationships” (Wood, 1999, p. 45).
If I haven’t lost you yet, read through these four attachment styles and it may give you a lot of insight into why you are the way you are within your relationship, or why your partner is the way there are.
What’s Your Attachment Style?
- Secure Attachment Style: “is facilitated when the caregiver responds in a consistently attentive and loving way to the child. In response, the child develops a positive sense of self-worth (I am lovable) and a positive view of others” (Wood, 1999, p. 45)
- Fearful Attachment Style: “is cultivated when the caregiver in the first bond is unavailable or communicates in negative, rejecting, or even abusive ways to the child. Children who are treated this way often infer that they are unworthy of love and that others are not loving. Thus, they learn to see themselves as unlovable and others as rejecting” (Wood, 1999, p.45)
- Dismissive Attachment Style: “is also promoted by caregivers who are disinterested in, rejecting of, or unavailable to children. Yet people who develop this style do not accept the caregivers’ view of them as unlovable. Instead, they typically dismiss others as unworthy. Consequently, children develop a positive view of themselves and a low regard for others and relationships” (Wood, 1999, p.45).
- Anxious/ambivalent Attachment Style: “is fostered by inconsistent treatment from the caregiver. Sometimes the caregiver is loving and attentive; at other times the caregiver is indifferent or rejecting. The caregivers’ communication is not only inconsistent but unpredictable. Children tend to assume that the adults are always right, and believe themselves to be the source of the problem-that they are unlovable or deserve abuse” (Wood, 1999, p.45).
I know this was like waaay too academic for a blog post, but I hope you were able to learn something about yourself or someone in your life!
Wood, Julia T., and Julia T. Wood. “Communication and Personal Identity.”Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters. Vol. 7. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub., 1999. 45. Print.