Wellness + Wisdom Episode 530: Q + A: Attachment Styles | Are You An Anchor, Wave or Island?
Hey, what's up everybody it's your host Josh Trent. I'm here to answer ALL your questions about anything ⬟ mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial wellness.
Today we'll explore relationship attachment styles and all of my answers are based on the wellness and the wisdom I have cultivated since I started my spiritual awakening, well really, my path of awareness in 2003… 20+ years ago when I quit my job as an auto technician and sold everything I owned to move to Hawaii and find myself, fitness, wellness, spirituality and essentially find God.
Ok, I digress… listen to some other podcasts to hear my own personal story, but when it comes to your personal story right here right now… here's the truth: you and I are loved, we are supported, and we are on the right path.
So if you are looking for a longer form guest interview, click on any of our Tuesday shows and check out our shows on Thursday as well where I take one concept that might be complicated and I break it down simplistically with actionable steps you can take in your life.
This Q+A is really special because someone asked a question that is going to take 10 minutes of strong wisdom and experience to explain so today we are going deep into this question from audience member “PressentMV” who asks:
“I'm healing my childhood trauma… I already feel like I've healed so much until I get into a relationship and I'm back at the beginning. Why are romantic relationships so triggering?”
Romantic relationships can be both fulfilling and challenging. While they can bring us joy, love, and companionship, they can also trigger deep emotional wounds and insecurities. So why are romantic relationships so triggering? Let's explore some of the reasons.
Firstly, romantic relationships always involve vulnerability.
We open ourselves up to another person, share our deepest fears and desires, and allow them to see us in a way that we may not show others. This vulnerability can be scary because it means that we are risking rejection or judgment.
When our partner responds in a negative way or doesn't reciprocate our feelings, it can trigger feelings of shame, worthlessness, and fear.
Secondly, romantic relationships often involve attachment styles that stem from childhood experiences. Our early life experiences with caregivers shape how we view ourselves and the world around us.
If we had secure attachments with caregivers who were responsive to our needs as children, we are more likely to develop healthy attachment styles in adulthood.
However, if we experienced neglect or abuse as children, we may develop insecure attachment styles that lead us to have difficulties trusting others or forming close relationships.
A great example of this, and a big guest on an upcoming podcast is Dr. Stan Tatkin, the author of “Wired For Love.”
So make sure you subscribe at JoshTrent.com/Podcast on your favorite player or the player you were listening to right now!
4 Attachment Styles In Relationships
Dr. Stan Tatkin is a clinical psychologist and author who has developed the theory of attachment styles in adults. His work focuses on how our early experiences with caregivers shape our adult relationships.
There are four attachment styles that Dr. Tatkin identifies: secure, anxious-ambivalent, avoidant, and disorganized.
Each style is characterized by different patterns of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in relationships:
- Secure attachment is characterized by a positive view of self and others, trust, and the ability to be emotionally intimate.
- Anxious-ambivalent attachment is characterized by insecurity, clinginess, and anxiety about abandonment.
- Avoidant attachment is characterized by a negative view of self and others, distrust, and the inability to be emotionally intimate.
- Disorganized attachment is characterized by an incoherent or contradictory view of self and others, fearfulness, and chaotic or unpredictable behavior in relationships. (OCD)
Tatkin's work has shown that our attachment style can have a profound impact on the quality of our adult relationships.
His theory can help us to understand why we behave the way we do in our relationships and how we can change our patterns to create healthier, more fulfilling connections with others.
Island Attachment Style
Individuals with an island attachment style typically prefer solitude and independence. They may have difficulty trusting others or forming close relationships because they fear being hurt or abandoned.
Islands often value self-sufficiency and may withdraw emotionally when they feel vulnerable.
Wave Attachment Style
Those with a wave attachment style tend to be emotionally volatile and crave intimacy in their relationships.
They may experience intense highs and lows in their emotions, seeking closeness one moment and pushing their partner away the next. Waves often struggle with feelings of insecurity and may need frequent reassurance from their partners.
Anchor Attachment Style
The anchor attachment style is characterized by stability, security, and trustworthiness. Anchors are reliable partners who value commitment and loyalty in their relationships.
They have a positive view of themselves and others, which allows them to form healthy attachments without fear or anxiety.
Tatkin's expanded attachment styles theory acknowledges that individuals can exhibit different attachment styles depending on the situation or relationship they are in.
For example, someone who is typically an anchor may become a wave when they feel threatened or insecure in a particular relationship.
Why You Need To Understand Your Partner's Attachment Style
Understanding your own attachment style can help you navigate your relationships more effectively. It can also help you recognize patterns of behavior that may be holding you back from forming deeper connections with others.
By identifying your own needs and communicating them clearly to your partner, you can build stronger, healthier bonds that last a lifetime.
Thirdly, romantic relationships can trigger past traumas or unresolved issues. We may have experienced painful breakups or betrayals in past relationships that still impact us today.
We may also have unresolved issues from childhood that resurface when triggered by certain behaviors or situations in a current relationship.
Lastly, romantic relationships often involve expectations and unmet needs. We may have certain expectations about what a relationship should look like or how our partner should behave.
When these expectations are not met, it can cause frustration and disappointment.
Additionally, if our basic needs for love, validation, or affection are not being met in the relationship, it can trigger feelings of insecurity and inadequacy.
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It's important to recognize our own patterns of behavior and communication styles that may be contributing to the triggers. It's also important to communicate openly with our partners about our needs and expectations so that they are aware of them.
Additionally, seeking therapy can provide a safe space to explore past traumas and attachment issues that may be impacting current relationships.
Therapy can help individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms for dealing with triggers as well as provide tools for better communication and conflict resolution.
In conclusion, while romantic relationships can bring great joy into our lives they also have the potential to trigger deep emotional wounds and insecurities within us.
By recognizing these triggers and seeking support when needed through therapy or other resources such as self-help books on healthy boundaries one can learn how to navigate these challenges effectively leading towards happier healthier connections overall.
Be patient with yourself and celebrate your successes along the way – healing takes time, but it is possible.
So, where will you start? Watch these Wellness + Wisdom podcasts with Josh Trent, about attachment, styles, conscious relating, and how to create the best intimacy possible by doing the deepest work on yourself.
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