Doing Life Together

Attachment StylesWe all develop an insecure or secure bond with our original families. That bond is referred to as an attachment style. The more secure the bond, the better you will deal with conflict.

Two bonding styles make conflict difficult–anxious and avoidant. To feel more secure you want to lower your anxiety and stop avoiding. So take a look at these attachment styles and see where you tend to fall. These are general descriptions. You may lean toward one style more than another.

1. Secure Type (Low Avoidance, Low Anxiety)

Secure people . . .

are generally happy in their relationships

are sensitive and responsive to others

think of connection as comfort and support

feel loved, accepted, and competent

can bring up issues and don’t worry that their relationships are at stake

listen, value, and have empathy for other people

2. Preoccupied Type (Low Avoidance, High Anxiety)

Preoccupied people . . .

worry about what others think of them

don’t consider their own thoughts and feelings

need to be close to others but do it in a clingy way

need validation and approval

are concerned that others don’t value them

doubt their own worth in relationships

3. Dismissing-Avoidant Type (High Avoidance, Low Anxiety)

Dismissive and avoidant people . . .

deny their need to be close to others

need to feel independent and self-sufficient

minimize how important relationships are

hide their feelings from self and others

think of others in less than positive ways

cope by distancing

4. Fearful-Avoidant Type (High Avoidance, High Anxiety)

Fearful, avoidant people . . .

think of themselves as flawed, dependent, and helpless

think they are not worth loving or being cared about

don’t trust others

expect to be hurt

want to be close to others but fear this

avoid intimacy

suppress feelings

Now that you know your attachment style, take the free conflict style quiz!




Source: Adapted from We Need to Talk by Dr. Linda Mintle (Baker, 2015)

Attachment styles: Kim Bartholomew and Leonard Horowitz, “Attachment Styles Among Young Adults: A Test of a Four Category Model. ” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 61 (1991): 226-44.


Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus