Many psychologists have written about this subject of how individuals attach and relate to others. The work of Clinton and Sibcy in their book, Why You Do The Things you Do, The Secret to Healthy Relationships, is biblical and easy to read. We use their concepts in our counseling practice to help our clients learn the ways in which they connect with people around them, so they can recognize and practice healthy attachment styles, avoiding the destructive attachment styles.
There are four main Attachment styles. Out of the four styles, one is the healthiest; leaving three that inevitably cause relational issues.
Styles to be aware of and avoid
AVOIDANT ATTACHMENT STYLE comes from believing that 1) you are worthy of love and capable of getting love and respect but 2) others are not trustworthy and therefore will not give you what you need.
AMBIVALENT ATTACHMENT STYLE comes from believing that 1) you are not worthy of love but that 2) others could meet your needs but might not because of your flaws.
DISORGANIZED ATTACHMENT STYLE comes from the belief that 1) you are unworthy and that 2) others are not capable or reliable to give you what you need.
The Style to Shoot For
The best of all attitudes for relating to others is to believe that 1) you are worthy of love, and 2) others are capable of loving you. This is the SECURE ATTACHMENT STYLE.
Okay. By now, you have probably asked yourself which of these styles pertains most to you, and you may even wonder how you got this pattern. In counseling, we explore your personal history in several categories (such as family, financial, spiritual, etc.) While looking at your story, we look for sensitive or unresolved areas that have influenced your choices or have come from your vows, values, or beliefs. Sometimes we begin by asking you to make a timeline of events that stand out to you. Other times, I may suggest that you relax and freely talk about your past.
However we get there, there are ways to a healthier attachment style for you.
If you want more information on this or related topics, contact me at The Keys Counseling.
Reference: Why You Do the Things you Do, The Secret to Healthy Relationships Dr. Tim Clinton, Dr. Gary Sibcy.