Wondering why you keep repeating the same destructive relationship patterns over and over again?
Here you’ll learn all about attachment theory, the science of how we bond with the special people in our lives. I’ll show you the difference between secure and insecure attachment styles and how attachment trauma develops.
Then, you’ll learn the ingredients that create healthy attachment and how this relates to your adult relationships.
Relationship help starts with self-awareness about what you bring to the table in your intimate relationships. You’ll get a great overview of the attachment styles that will help you with all of your relationships!
So check out this video and start transforming your relationship!
Hi, I’m Gabrielle Usatynski, and this is your Power Couple Relationship Tip. If you like what you learn in this video, please remember to subscribe and hit the thumbs up button and you can also find out a whole lot about how to build a fantastic relationship by going to The Power Couple Formula.
What is Attachment Theory?
Today’s Power Couple Relationship Tip is about attachment, how understanding your attachment style can help you create a fantastic relationship. So what is attachment theory?
Attachment theory is the science of how we bond with the special people in our life.
So we know that all mammals bond with at least one other special person when they’re little.
When we’re talking about babies here, whether it’s a baby duck or a baby fox or a baby person, we all need to form a special bond with an older member of our family, usually our parent, in order to make sure that we survive because we’re not able to take care of ourselves when we’re little. We need somebody to feed us, to shelter us, but also to connect with us, to create a deep, meaningful, emotional connection with us every day.
Now, scientists have been studying attachment theory really since the middle of the 20th century and there’s a whole body of research now behind this bonding process.
And it’s really important that you have the basics about what this is because it has everything to do with how you’re going to be able to create the relationship that you want.
So the way it works with attachment is we know that babies, will organize their behavior into predictable kinds of patterns in order to ensure that they get the maximum amount of connection with their primary caregiver and in this case, we’ll just call it your parent.
Children are, as you’ve probably noticed if you’ve spent any time around kids, they’re very good at figuring out what they need to do in order to get love, in order to stay connected, because connection is, as I said, it’s absolutely critical to our very survival.
From a very young age, even when we’re babies, we learn very quickly to pick up on signals that we’re getting from our parent that tell us how we should be behaving in order to get the love and the approval and the connection that we need.
But here’s the critical thing, we learn these patterns very early on and you could call them like relationship blueprints because they’re things that we actually carry with us into our adult intimate relationships when we become adults.
So depending on how your parents responded to you in those early years, that’s actually going to dictate how you just tend to respond when you’re in an intimate relationship without even thinking about it because all of these patterns are actually deeply unconscious.
The more you understand how these patterns work, the more insight it’s going to give you into your own behavior in relationship as well as your partner’s behavior and it’s just going to unlock a whole lot of insight and understanding into how you get into trouble in relationship, the kinds of patterns and destructive cycles that you might find yourself repeating over and over again, and then exactly what you need to do in order to make that right.
Secure Attachment vs Insecure Attachment
Let’s talk about secure attachment versus insecure attachment. One thing we know about early childhood development is that children need a lot of contact with an older person, usually a parent, when they’re little.
We need face-to-face, eye-to-eye contact with an older person every day.
We need lots of rich relational kinds of experiences, to be held, to be rocked, to be kissed, and soothed, and that that is actually what builds the brain and builds our capacity to be in relationship with other people as we grow.
Now, we come from all different kinds of families and some people come from families with lots of that kind of contact every day, other people come from families that were far less contactful, where maybe parents had a hands-off attitude around children, and maybe if you came from that kind of family, you might have spent a lot more time alone, not having been held as much, rocked as much, or interacted with as much, and that’s going to affect the way you relate to other people when you become an adult.
Similarly, you might have come from a family that had a lot of contact but it was sort of mixed in with other things like people, like grownups being really overly emotional or very needy themselves and putting a lot of pressure on the children.
So there can be a lot of different types of situations here.
The bottom line is that all of these types of patterns are going to directly affect the way you relate to people when you become an adult and especially your intimate partner.
These patterns of interaction generally form into very distinct types because what happens is, we tend to have a lot of similar types of interactions with our parents when we’re little and over time, those get solidified into ways of being with other people, and we call those attachment styles.
What Are The Different Attachment Styles?
So what are these attachment styles? Well, we can kind of break these styles down into two distinct categories, and we would call those secure attachment and insecure attachment.
Secure attachment basically means that you come from a family where you’ve got a lot of that really good, rich relational contact with at least one special older person every day.
So you were brought up to feel loved, precious, special, and you naturally develop a very good sense of self-esteem. Now, in order for a child to develop secure attachment, it means that the parent needs to be following the needs of the child and not the other way around.
What that means is when a child signals the need for contact or to have their diaper changed or to be picked up or be interacted with, that the parent responds to them in a timely way, in a way that is attuned to their needs.
Now, let’s contrast this with the insecure model.
With insecure attachment, the child actually has to develop in response to the needs of the parent.
Now, that could relate to the parent’s self-esteem needs or it could also relate to the parent’s needs for emotional comfort and soothing.
In insecure families, children always have to put their own needs aside in order to take care of the parent’s needs in some way and that’s the hallmark of all of the insecure attachment styles that we’re going to be talking about.
Now, in the upcoming videos on this channel, I’m going to be going into depth on each one of the attachment styles so you can get a really good handle on what they are and hopefully with an eye of being able to identify your particular attachment style, and if you’re in a relationship, the attachment style of your partner.
The great thing about attachment theory is that it’s grounded in science.
And I really love that because there is so much advice out there about relationships and about how we behave in relationships and trying to understand why we do what we do and why our partner does what they do and also trying to anticipate our partner’s behavior and what we can expect in relationships and so on but the real proof is in the pudding.
Because I have this science-based understanding, when I sit with couples and I explain attachment theory to them and help them understand their own personal attachment styles, it really changes everything for them in terms of how they understand themselves, how they understand their partner, and specifically how they understand the types of problems that they tend to get into in their relationship.
And, of course, the fantastic thing about that is that then, we have a really clear understanding of exactly what we need to do in order to turn the tables on that, in order to create something that is really healthy and growthful and satisfying for both people.
So stay tuned for the videos to follow.
I’m going to break down each of the attachment styles. And I think by the end of it, you’re going to have a really new take on what’s going on in your relationship.
So if you enjoyed this video, please remember to click on the subscribe button and give me a thumbs up.
Leave me your comment below about what you’d like to know about attachment styles and I’ll be happy to answer them, and I look forward to seeing you in the next video.