Secure Attachment Style — A secure attachment is developed in childhood when the child regularly gets their needs met. They feel comfortable around their parents and exhibit a clear understanding of how they should be treated. The child feels safe, nurtured, and in touch with their parents. Adults with a secure attachment feel comfortable with their emotions and relationships; they know how to draw boundaries, express their emotions in a healthy manner, and feel secure and connected to their partners. They also are not afraid to leave an unhealthy relationship because they recognize and understand that it is harmful to them. They are also capable of handling rejection because they know it’s not the end of the world if it happens. Overall, individuals with a secure attachment form trusting and long-lasting relationships.
Anxious Attachment Style — An anxious attachment is developed in childhood when the child receives an inconsistent amount of love and care; the child is oftentimes left feeling empty and confused. Adults with an anxious attachment style feel nervous and insecure about their relationships. These individuals need constant reassurance and communication to feel peace within themselves. There is also a lack of trust from these people because they have a difficult time believing that their partners actually love them. They want to feel a secure, safe, and loving bond with their partners but they oftentimes become clingy and possessive. Overall, individuals with an anxious attachment style tend to idealize their relationships but live in constant fear of abandonment and rejection.
Avoidant Attachment Style — An avoidant attachment style is developed in childhood when only a portion of the child’s needs are met. For instance, they may be fed but left emotionally neglected. The parent may discourage the child from crying or have little to no response to when the child is hurting. Adults with an avoidant attachment style tend to distance themselves from emotional intimacy and may feel uncomfortable with affection and love. These individuals tend to isolate themselves and would prefer to live a rather independent lifestyle. They tend to rationalize their emotions and deny their own feelings to avoid confrontation. Overall, individuals with an avoidant attachment style may constantly keep their partner at arm’s length due to their fear of feeling vulnerable with another person.
Fearful Avoidant Attachment Style — A fearful-avoidant attachment is developed in childhood when the child is neglected or abused in their household. They have a difficult time connecting with others and simultaneously crave intimacy while wanting to remain independent and distant. These individuals usually get into very dysfunctional and unstable relationships. Adults with a fearful-avoidant attachment style live in two conflicting worlds; they share both the characteristics of anxious and avoidant attachment styles and inevitably end up feeling a negative storm of emotions. Overall, individuals with a fearful-avoidant attachment style have a “push-pull” dynamic where they want to feel close and loved but also want to avoid any feelings of intimacy at the same time.