Understanding our early attachment patterns

Our early bonds shape how we connect. When these bonds are insecure, it can lead to attachment issues impacting relationships and self-esteem. Your attachment style informs the way you relate to other people, to yourself, to your work, and relationships. So many struggles’ people face lead back to their attachment style, which is formed in infancy. You may feel co-dependent, clingy, and needy with partners, friends, Or you may struggle to connect with others, find it easiest to withdraw into yourself, and avoid emotions. These patterns affect the way we relate in relationships during both easy and challenging moments. 

Understanding our early attachment patterns and adaptations can have a huge impact

Attachment theory shows how, from a very young age, having a secure attachment is like having a safe platform from which we can venture out and explore the world. A secure attachment teaches us that we can trust and depend on others, while feeling secure within ourselves. It also creates a model of how we expect others to behave throughout our lives. in childhood when we were first developing our patterns of attachment, hurtful events we experienced may have led to insecure attachment patterns. In turn, we likely developed adaptations and defences within us that left us more guarded when it comes to getting close to someone else. Understanding our early attachment patterns and adaptations can have a huge impact on how we feel and behave in our relationships. Most of us have a “critical inner voice” that coaches us and lures us into self-limiting behaviours.  We come to any relationship armed with a tough inner critic and a complex attachment history, so there are bound to be ways we act in moments that we regret.

Everything from our early attachment patterns to the “critical inner voice” that formed out of experiences that hurt us in the past can start to inform how we perceive loved ones. We can start to accept other people as “good enough” rather than expecting a kind of perfection. When we’re close to someone, we sometimes forget that they are their own person with their own sovereign mind.  Our friend or partner may have a whole world of things going on inside them that we don’t fully understand, so we can try to have a little patience in allowing them to get through their struggles. By being less judgmental, we find new ways in ourselves to nurture a friendship and thrive in a relationship, both as an individual and as a pair.

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