This is How Positive Change Happens…
Are you muddling your way through trying to understand what the hell is going on in your relationship? You’re not alone in that. Relationships are such an important area in our lives and what’s actually going on in them is often hugely misunderstood.
That’s a big deal. Almost everyone can relate to struggling and suffering because of an intimate relationship feeling stuck, being in a lot of conflict, or feeling disconnected and dissatisfying. We try to understand what’s going on. We try to find explanations or theories. Sometimes this helps and sometimes it actually makes it worse.
I want to share with you a resource I feel is vital to accurately understanding adult intimate relationships. The book Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller explains the confusing behaviour we often encounter in relationships through a scientific lens, specifically, attachment science. At the same time, they communicate this valuable information in an extraordinarily practical way. This book is not a bunch of abstract theory. It’s relevant, useful, and applicable with concrete, life changing results.
Here’s a brief nutshell of what you’ll learn in Attached:
We are dependent creatures who are born into, live in, and die in significant relationships with others, also known as attachment bonds. Being dependent does not mean we are “co-dependent” or “needy”. Dependency is our nature and our biology. When we get into an intimate relationship, even in the very early dating stage, we have a significant impact on each other. That’s just normal. We’re attuned to the degree of closeness we feel, moment to moment, with our prospect or partner. I like to picture the degree of closeness as a dial between the couple that moves up and down between 0-10. And here’s where it gets extra interesting.
Different people due to various previous experiences with significant others (parents, siblings, previous partners) feel different degrees of comfort with where the closeness is at on the dial.
People with an Avoidant Attachment Style desire closeness and intimacy yet when they feel the dial getting closer to 10, they feel uncomfortable with that. They engage in behaviours to try to turn it down. They’re often not aware that they start to do these behaviours. These behaviours are called “deactivating strategies”. Some examples of these strategies are: giving mixed signals, withdrawing affection, not engaging much, and overuse of devices in the presence of one’s partner.
Other people have an Anxious Attachment Style which is characterized by desiring closeness and intimacy at the level of 10 (or near 10) basically all the time. Compared to the Avoidant style, the opposite is true of someone with anxious attachment: they feel uncomfortable when they feel the dial going down. When they sense that (and they tend to be hyper-attuned to the dial), they can sometimes cope ineffectively by anxiously pursuing for more contact through too much texting or calling; overthinking; checking and re-checking; and coming at their partner with critical questions.
Thankfully, there’s also the Secure Attachment Style. Secures demonstrate a pattern of behaviour that is reliable, consistent, and stable. They directly communicate their feelings and needs; offer reassurance freely to their partners and, they’re comfortable being close.
A central message in Attached is: secure attachment style can be learned. Gratefully, Levine and Heller tell us how to do that. Attachment style is not fixed throughout a lifetime. And that’s incredibly important news to all the Avoidant and Anxious types out there.
Check out this insightful and empowering resource now: