Written by: Lisa Tahir, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Attachment Style Theory is written about extensively in the psychology/psychotherapy field. The three most common categories of Attachment Styles are Secure, Avoidant, and Anxious. We can identify where we are on the attachment spectrum by looking at how we experience closeness and connection with others. It’s important to understand that each of the three different types connect us with the world in a different way. Each type has a unique way of connecting to others in the outside world.
Many clients I’ve worked with struggle to feel securely attached within themselves. They therefore live in a world with lots of anxiety and uncertainty and thus are examples of the anxious attachment style. Others I work with feel detached from their emotions; therefore others perceive them as cold and unfeeling. This particular type of individual often tells me they feel numb inside, and that they are unsure how to reach out to meaningfully connect with others. These individuals embody the avoidant attachment style.
Securely attached individuals have a sensibility that naturally opens and closes in attunement to and connection with people, places, and things in the world. These individuals form healthy attachments (to people, places, and things) and conversely are able to disconnect when needed.
When you reflect back on the time when you were growing up, were your needs met consistently and predictably (healthy attunement)? Did your healthy attunement leave you with a sense that you, as an adult, now understand how to ask for what you need with relative ease? This ability is called secure attachment. It is all about mastering the ability to identify and express your feelings. Or were your needs met inconsistently and infrequently? If yes is your answer, were you left with an insecure sense that you were needy? Could this be why you are tentative about expressing to others how you feel? This scenario would leave you with an anxious attachment style wherein the world doesn’t truly feel safe and welcoming enough for you to be able to express your authentic self.
Or do you recall feeling smothered and overwhelmed by your primary caretakers? Did they intrude upon your privacy, causing you to tone down your verbal expressions? Perhaps you avoided connecting with them, acting as if you didn’t need them to meet your needs? Perhaps it wasn’t safe to express your needs to them, so you pushed your voice down to self-protect. This pattern leaves you with an avoidant attachment style where you chose to silence your voice for self-protection. As a result, you may minimize your own needs and push others away by creating distance—even when you desire closeness.
Despite the excessive anxiety and avoidance we may have felt living disconnected from our intuitive selves, we can now refer to and move within the attachment spectrum to transcend these core wounds. There are several ways to do this. Self-talk is a powerful and empathetic reattuning tool to use for attachment style disruption. Reassure yourself by speaking to yourself as if you were a trusted loved one.
When reestablishing a baseline of calm to balance out your attachment style, as often as you need to, say things to yourself like, “You are going to be okay,” “I cherish you,” “I will treat you with respect and thoughtfulness,” “You can express your deepest needs safely,” and/or “You are my treasure.”
We draw others in with love, for our attachment system responds to that harmonizing vibration. The establishment and maintenance of a consistently loving relationship starts within us. From there we can expand outward through empowered communication patterns. We are free to plant anything in the garden of our body, our soul, our mind, and our spirit. As with farming, whatever we plant will grow. The soil of earth and of mind sprouts both poisonous plants and edible plants without discrimination. How will you answer your inward invitation to water, weed, or dig up and replant your inner garden so that you will yield something of meaning and purpose at harvest time?
Learn more about healing your attachment style in Lisa Tahir’s book, The Chiron Effect: Healing Our Core Wounds through Astrology, Empathy, and Self-Forgiveness, endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and available everywhere books are sold.
Lisa Tahir, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Lisa Tahir, is an inspirational podcast host of All Things Therapy, where she seeks to "Change Consciousness One Conversation at a Time.' Her book, "The Chiron Effect: Healing Our Core Wounds through Astrology, Empathy, and Self-Forgiveness," has been acclaimed and endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Tahir draws her strength through combining the psychological with the spiritual, and as a licensed therapist seeks to help others in visualizing and creating their very best lives no matter what has been true in the past.