The good news is there is a reason for it. Whether you’re able to create a healthy relationship or not relates to how positively you bond or attach to others. This is known as attachment.
In this article, you can discover enlightening information from a seasoned relationship coach about how childhood attachment shapes our relationships. Read on.
How Your Attachment Style Impacts Your Relationships
The first attachment we experienced was with the relationship between ourselves and our primary caregivers (parents, guardians). This first relationship dictates how we bond with others.
If you attach securely in your first five years of life, then you will develop a strong foundation for positive attachment with others. If not, then you may have a childhood attachment wound that impacts your current relationships.
And if you do have attachment wounds or specific survival patterns that get triggered, then you’re going to struggle to form healthy attachments until you understand where the behavior comes from.
Although, becoming more aware does not lead to perfection. It will allow you to be aware of unwanted behaviors and help you to stop these patterns more regularly.
Understand Your Story Through The Lens Of Attachment
Just because you didn’t have a positive foundation in your first five years, it doesn’t mean you can’t develop healthy attachment now.
The first step is to understand your story through the lens of attachment.
For example, if a child grows up watching their parents go through a painful divorce, their experience influences their view of attachment.
That child then typically must learn two ways of being relational in two different homes, which is a struggle. This generally leads to the child becoming ambivalent in their own relationships in the future.
On the other hand, a child who grew up feeling controlled by their parents, most likely won’t trust intimacy because they won’t feel like they can breathe.
They will want to avoid intimacy and uncomfortable situations in their relationships because they feel that connecting to others means losing their voice and not being seen for who they are.
The Effects Of Poor Attachment In Later Life
For many individuals who grew up in a controlling environment, they may process their feelings by turning to addiction… food, sex, work, or exercise. Something that they can control and use to avoid intimacy.
And finally, if a child grew up experiencing neglect or abandonment, then they may attach anxiously, as they crave connection. They may also engage in high-risk behavior when they feel uncomfortable in a relationship or when they feel the threat of neglect or abandonment.
Regardless of your childhood pain or trauma, you can learn to have healthy attachments and healthy relationships.
What Is A Secure Attachment?
People who have healthy attachments can think, feel, and do congruently and in a healthy manner. This means they can experience conflict, express their feelings, and respond in a healthy way.
People who have a healthy attachment don’t feel the need to defend, run away, or question everything in their relationship. Instead, they feel secure.
How To Develop A Healthy Attachment Style
When you can correlate your relationship issues with your survival patterns or attachment styles, then you can take the first step to make a change for the better.
When you know which wound is being triggered and why then you can use that awareness to change how you respond.
For example, I now know that when I feel like I’m losing someone, I start to feel scared and anxious. In the past, I dealt with this by avoiding my feelings. I would quickly find a new relationship; go shopping or go out drinking.
However, by reacting in this way, I only numbed my painful feelings. It didn’t help me process or deal with the issue in my relationship.
The break-through for me came when I recognized why I did these behaviors and saw that these actions weren’t helping me.
Steps To Building Healthy Attachments
The steps I follow when my wound is triggered has helped me have healthy attachments. These three steps are:
When your wound gets activated it’s critical to know how to take care of yourself at that moment;
- Social awareness:
You need to understand who you are surrounded by and how to protect and care for others;
You then need to decide what you are going to do and take action.
By taking these three steps, you will be able to feel, manage, and tolerate your feelings.
The result? You will experience relational freedom. This means you’ll know what’s happening in the moment, instead of being held hostage by your past wounds. You’ll be aware of your feelings; know why you feel that way and be able to change your behavior.
Reach Out To A Relationship Coach Online & Overcome Childhood Wounds
Relational freedom means that if you can think, feel and do in a healthy and congruent way – then you can attach to others in a healthy way. The good news is that no matter what childhood experiences you’ve had, you can create healthy relationships.
If you want help to heal from unsupportive attachments and create relational alignment and freedom, PIVOT is here for you. Our carefully designed online individual coaching and comprehensive relationship workshops and retreats can help you escape emotional numbness and center yourself. Reach out to us today!