The 4 Attachment Styles

attachment styles codependent narcissist peoplepleaser relationship advice relationships toxic relationships Aug 22, 2022

Why learn more about attachment styles? First off, knowledge is power! The more you know about how you operate within relationships and how your partner operates within relationships the less frustration you’ll experience. You’ll also set yourself up for more happiness and fulfillment because you will become more self-aware and therefore more empowered. There is no “wrong” attachment style, we are all on a journey and our journeys begin as children trying to make sense of our experiences growing up. What happened to us and how we responded as a child paved the path for our relationship style going forward. Once you are aware of this, you can work on growing as a more secure person and partner.


The 4 Attachment Styles.


  1. Anxious Attachment Style: You desire and love close connection and intimacy with your romantic relationships. You however have a fear that your partner doesn’t want the same closeness to you. Your relationships consume much of your emotional energy. You are sensitive to fluctuations in your partner’s mood and actions, while you are usually accurate, you tend to analyze and take things personally. You can be easily upset within your relationship and can react in ways you might later regret. If you are with a partner that offers a lot of security and reassurance, you can become more content.
  2. Avoidant Attachment Style: You place importance on maintaining your independence and self-sufficiency, preferring autonomy in your romantic relationships. While closeness appeals to you, it feels uncomfortable and you prefer to keep a space between you. You view closeness as a loss of your freedom and independence. You don’t often think about your romantic relationships or rejection. You don’t open up emotionally to your partners which bothers them. You’re sensitive to any sign of control or intrusion on your territory by your partner.
  3. Secure Attachment Style: Expressing warmth and love in relationships comes naturally to you. You enjoy intimacy without worry. You aren’t easily upset within your relationships. You communicate your needs and feelings effectively and pick up on emotional cues from your partner. You share your highs and lows with your partner and are there for them to share theirs as well.
  4. Anxious-Avoidant Attachment Style: Also known as “Fearful-Avoidant Attachment Style”. This is a combination of both Anxious and Avoidant Attachment Styles. You are anxious and want constant connection and validation from your partner yet fear your partner will leave you or lose interest. You also fear romantic relationships and push potential partners away. In other words, you crave and fear closeness. This can be emotionally exhausting for both you and your partner. You have a tendency toward introversion. This deprives you of affection from others and yourself making it difficult to ever feel fulfilled and happy. 


After learning about each of the attachment styles, you probably have a good idea of what your attachment style is.  If you still aren’t sure, click here to take a short quiz to find out, you can also take a quiz to find out your partner’s attachment style.


If you find that you are an anxious, avoidant, or anxious-avoidant attachment style, this is an opportunity to begin to notice when the characteristics of your attachment style show up. You will get better and better at detecting these traits and when you do you can work on modifying them in a secure direction. This is something best done with the support of an expert but remember, awareness is everything! Empowerment and healing can only happen after you experience awareness.  Learn to accept yourself, the light, and the shadows. No one is perfect so give yourself a lot of credit for being willing and open to personal growth. 


In addition, you may wonder why you seem to always attract the same type of person. It doesn’t seem to make sense that anxious and avoidant attachment styles would be attracted to each other because they trigger each other with conflicting styles of relationship, yet they are commonly attracted to each other. The reason for this is that we are attracted to what feels familiar to us, so our parent’s or caregiver’s style of relationship is going to influence who we feel drawn to as adults. You may even make a conscious effort to choose someone who seems completely opposite of your parent and yet they end up being just like them. This is totally normal, however, if your parent had an unhealthy or destructive relationship style, you will want to do a little work to understand what you are subconsciously seeking. Doing this will explain why you have the attachment style you do as well. 


Be excited and encouraged about this knowledge, you are on the way to having healthier, happier, and more fulfilling relationships! If you think you would like my support on this journey, click here.


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