The human being harbors a biological need aimed at the formation of emotional bonds since, among other functions, they provide security on a psychological level. Thus, couple relationships constitute, in adulthood, one of the bonds that provide a greater sense of protection and emotional balance. But, what does the quality of the emotional ties between a couple depend on?
Until the mid-1980s, with the research of Hazan, Shaver and Bradshaw, solid theories on adult affective styles were not achieved. The results indicated that loving bonds would be determined by different attachment styles, whose objective is to seek protection and emotional security. So, The quality of the attachment bond would depend on the strategies that were useful to us in childhood to achieve this feeling of security with our parents or caregivers.
To date, four attachment styles have been identified that have a decisive influence on the dynamics of couple relationships and the emotional ties established with other people: secure, preoccupied, elusive (away or fearful) and disorganized attachment. ; Would you like to know which one is yours?
Secure attachment bond
People who establish a bond with their partner through the secure attachment type are autonomous in different areas of their life. and they feel safe because they trust in themselves and in the positive response of others.
Secure people do not distrust their “attachment figures” (parents, friends, partner), they are confident that they will help them when they need it.
Thus, the characteristics of the fundamental secure attachment emotional bonds are:
Memories of childhood emotional ties are mostly positive.They are open, easy to get to know, autonomous, with high self-esteem and a positive image of others. They lack serious interpersonal problems and show trust in others.They enjoy a balance between emotional needs and autonomy staff.
Worried attachment bond
Preoccupied attachment, also called ambivalent or dependent, It is characterized by feeling insecure regarding the availability of attachment figures, in this case the couple.
The worried person develops a state of anxiety and ineffectiveness that makes them feel that they are not loved enough, so they constantly seek confirmation that they are loved by the other person and, at the same time, suffer fear of possible rejection or abandonment. Like this, orThe peculiarities of this type of emotional ties are:
Lack of self-esteem that comes with dependent attitude and an excessive desire to obtain the approval of others.High concern in their relationships. Constant demands for attention.
Affective bond of distant, elusive attachment
People with this attachment style maintain relationships based on emotional distance and emotional coldness. In escaping, distant people, the apparent emotional self-sufficiency acts as a defense mechanism against the possible rejection they may experience. The characteristics of people who present these types of emotional ties are:
Idealization of relationships with parents, where the only remembered experiences are based on the rejection and coldness of their parentsThey put the appreciation of their achievements first and deny the existence of emotional needs They keep others at a distance to preserve their shell and not unbalance their emotions They have a positive mental model of themselves but a negative one of othersThey feel uncomfortable in privacy and they consider interpersonal relationships as something secondary in their lifeThey may show a state of detachment in situations of separation or loss by suppressing their emotions.
Affective bond of elusive fearful attachment
People who establish an emotional bond through a type of fearful elusive attachment also They operate with a negative mental model towards themselves and otherslack of assertiveness, low confidence and self-concept, as well as a powerful fear of rejection.
The difference with the distant, elusive type is that the fearful obtain their source of security through the approval of others.
Likewise, they comply with the following patterns in their relationships:
Their fear of rejection prevents them from starting intimate relationships, so their social network is minimal.They combine extreme dependence and avoidance at the same timeso they are easily affected by loneliness, frustration and depression. Their behavior is passive.
Disorganized attachment bond
This attachment style has its origins in a childhood of mistreatment or abuse. in which the caregivers simultaneously represented a figure of fear or discomfort so the children could not turn to them as a source of support and/or security.
The disorganized attachment system pattern is the most dysfunctional because people seek physical closeness at the same time as mental distance, which causes great disorientation, in addition to:
Conditioning their worth through defensive actions based on an extreme need to please and care for others in a controlling way.Inability to assess situations considered threatening.Stress and increased cortisol.
Change the way we relate
In this sense, Insecure attachment styles have been established when, in childhood, the search for proximity has not been resolved and other strategies have been used to achieve it. In adults, these systems would be maintained over time due to the resistance to change in mental models of relationships. That is, these rigid beliefs about relationships already shape one’s personality and self-concept.
Likewise, relationship patterns become automated, activating repetitive behavior unconsciously and filtering out all the signs that do not support them. One solution would be to be aware of which of these relationship models or emotional bonds are being fostered. to be able to review it and assess if it is still valid for our well-being.
It is very important to practice mental flexibility and strengthen confidence in oneself and others, in addition to admitting the possibility of interacting with your partner in a safer, more relaxed and pleasant way.
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