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The Theory Of Attachment And Attachment Styles

1277 words - 5 pages

Attachment is the emotional bond between humans, which is based on our relationship with a parent or early caregiver during the years of childhood. There are four different attachment styles – secure, preoccupied, dismissive, and fearful – each describing a different way in which individuals interact with others, approach social and romantic relationships, and deal with life.
Each attachment style is divided along two dimensions – the fear of abandonment and the fear of closeness. Bartholomew and Horowitz define fear of abandonment as the model of self which describes the belief of an individual to be either “worthy of love and support or not” (1991). They also define fear of closeness as the model of other which describes an individual’s belief of others; “other people are [either] seen as trustworthy and available [or] unreliable and rejecting” (Bartholomew, 1991). By combining these two dimensions, we get a model that shows the four types of attachment.
The secure attachment style is characterized by low fear of closeness and low fear of abandonment. Individuals classified as secure are comfortable with intimacy and autonomy. In other words, secure individuals are comfortable depending on others; but they also feel comfortable having others depend on them. Secure individuals feel generally comfortable with themselves and find it relatively easy to get close to others and are not afraid of abandonment or “about someone getting too close to [them]” (Shaver). Whenever these individuals are stressed or are facing a problem, they seek comfort from loved ones.
I would classify myself as secure. I feel comfortable with intimacy and autonomy and usually find it easy to get close to others. I would also describe myself as having a high self-esteem and whenever facing a problem or being in a stressed situation, I share my feelings and thoughts and seek comfort from my parents or friends. Quiet recently, I had to make a decision regarding my future as an athlete. My sport is very important to me, thus this decision was difficult and stressful. In order to deal with this situation, I talked to my coach, my parents and my close friends and shared my thoughts, feelings, and concerns with them.
The preoccupied attachment style is characterized by low fear of closeness and high fear of abandonment. Individuals classified as preoccupied have a negative model of themselves. Because preoccupies see themselves as unworthy of love and unsupportive, they tend to “strive for self-acceptance by gaining the acceptance of valued others” (Bartholomew, 227) and would do everything to keep people in their life; Preoccupied individuals try to avoid any kind of conflict in order to make themselves loveable and others happy. Despite the fact that preoccupies often see others as trustworthy and available, they also feel that others do not care about them as much as they care about others.
Somebody I would classify as preoccupied would be my ex-boyfriend. He always felt that...

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