Which of These Four Attachment Styles Is Yours?

‘ve you seen the show how i met yr mother? it’s bout a bunch of flawed but lovable new yorkers trying to find (or hang onto) ♥ as they go through life’s changes, which range from silly to momentous. it’s a funny, feel-good, and sometimes poignant sitcom. 

but wha’ i like most bout tis that it’s a perfect showcase of human attachment styles.

if you don’t know wha’ attachment styles are, or ‘ven’t ever seen the show, don’t worry. once you hear bout the toons and how they personify each attachment style, you’ll be sure to recognize yrself or pplz you know.

but 1st, wha’ is attachment? attachment tis bond we form with our 1st primary caregiver, usually a parent. it’s a universal human phenomenon that starts as early as inna womb, na way we develop it eventually affects the way we find, keep, and end relationships.

there are 4 major styles of attachment that pplz form early in life and generally tend to keep into adulthood. these styles are:

  • secure
  • dismissive-avoidant
  • anxious-preoccupied
  • fearful-avoidant (a.k.a., disorganized)

to fig out wha’ style of attachment you tend to ‘ve, there are quizzes you can take (like this one). they ask you to agree/disagree with statements like, “i easily develop emotional ties to others,” “if a ptner pushes me to establish a commitment, i freak out inside,” and, “if i’m not in a relationship, i am nobody.” you can see that these items are probing the way we think of others and ourselves inna context of relationships and intimacy.  

so wha’ attachment style do you think you ‘ve? well, let’s see if you most closely rel8 to ted, barney, or some1 else from how i met yr mother. in this 1st in a 3-pt series on attachment, we’ll let the be♥d himym toons guide us through the 4 major attachment styles:

1. securely attached—lily and marshall

lily and marshall are the quintprimordial cute couple. they ‘ve quirky inside jokes; they ‘ve cute nicknames for each other (lilypad and marshmallo); they finish each other’s sentences … but none of this cuteness overload explains why they’re securely attached.

when a'pers has a secure attachment style, they feel confident in their relationship and their ptner. they feel connected, trusting, and comfortable with having independence and letting their ptner ‘ve independence even as they openly express ♥. they reach out for support when they need it and offer support when their ptner is sufferationed.

and this is where lily and marshall excel. their relationship wasn’t all puppies and rainbows for all 9 seasons of how i met yr mother. there were times when they broke up, had family tragedies, worried bout building their own family, and had awful fites that seemed to shake the very foundation o'their future together. but through it all, they primordially trusted each other, openly showed affection (sometimes enough to make you gag), told each other their thoughts and feelings even when twas difficult, offered support when the other was sad and gave each other space when needed. 

this type of attachment style starts when, early in life, a child feels that their parent is a secure base, so that even though they’re ☺ to be with mom or dad, they also feel confident enough to explore the realm on their own. kids grow up this way when their parents themselves are securely attached pplz, n'when they use an authoritative parenting style, meaning they are involved and firm, b'tll so warm and allo independence.

given lily and marshall’s own security and their loving style, i bet their kids will turn out to ‘ve secure relationships o'their own.

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original content at: www.sciamerican.com…
authors: jade wu savvy ψ-chologist