Insecure Attachment – Its Three Different Types

Insecure attachment - its three different types

There are many people who are only able to form uncertain attachments. In other words, uncertain attachment is a style of interpersonal relationship in which the bond between two people is tainted by fear. In a relationship, this is usually expressed as reluctance and other miscellaneous feelings, such as addiction and rejection.

Most psychologists believe that insecure attachment is formed in early childhood. It is seen as a result of the relationships we develop with the people we trust in our childhood. These first few bonds are the foundation of the types of relationships we form in our later lives.

When a child develops a confident affection, it manifests as a healthy bond. In other words, they learn to expect the best from another person, and they believe they are kind-hearted. But when it comes to people with insecure attachment, these expectations are quite the opposite. They expect another person to reject them or hurt them in some other way. This affection can take three different forms: confused, anxious-ambivalence, and anxious-avoidant.

3 types of uncertain attachment

Confused affection

Confused affection is a  bond that is typical of those people who have experienced abuse in their childhood. It is common for them to be left alone and unsupported during times of distress, and for their guardians to use physical punishment to intimidate them. It is also common for their guardians to have had an ambivalent attitude towards them. Such individuals never know what to expect from people who should have protected them. Sometimes they were loving, and they suddenly became aggressive or indifferent, and they didn’t know why.

People with parents or guardians like this tend to repeat similar behaviors as adults. They are unable to maintain consistency between the actions they perform and their thoughts and feelings. They move from obedience to aggression, or away from intimacy, with confusing carelessness. They don’t even understand what’s going on for them.

angry or upset boy

Anxious-ambivalence affection

The main features of anxiety-ambivalence attachment are strong contradictions in human relationships. As with all cases of uncertain attachment, the roots of this attachment lie in conflicting parents. They never knew what to expect when they were children.

As such children grow into adults, they show a really strong need for intimacy and love. Their relationships with other people are really strong. They show dependence, the need for acceptance, and hypersensitivity to combat. 

When they start a relationship, it’s hard for them to stop waiting for something to go wrong. They focus too much on the problems of their relationship and they do not focus at all on the positive aspects of the relationship. All of their relationships cause anxiety in them, and this leads to escapist and evasive behaviors such as substance use and suicide.

insecure attachment causes the partner to hold on to the nail tooth

Anxious-avoidant affection

In anxious-avoiding affection, the most notable trait is the difficulty in establishing close relationships with others,  and this leads to deep emotional pain. Such people tend to develop a distorted right to self-determination. They are independent, but at the same time they enter an extreme state of anxiety as they begin to feel that some person is becoming emotionally close to them.

It’s really hard for them to identify their own feelings. Sometimes they say they are interested in something, but their attitude is reluctant. Or sometimes the other way around – they show that they have no interest in something or a person, but their behavior shows the opposite. They do not do this on purpose, they simply have difficulty identifying their own feelings.

the girl looks out at the rain

In general, people with anxious-avoidant affection have experienced an  upbringing that was characterized by emotionally distant caregivers. They did not receive support from them when they needed it. It is common for these parents to justify their behavior with the idea that distance from the child teaches the child to be responsible. But the truth is that when children grow up this way, they learn not to trust others. They think no one can support or help them.

All of these forms of insecure attachment point to limitations in later life, especially emotionally. But it is possible to change interpersonal patterns by being aware of one’s own behavior, its causes, and its consequences. In this way, these people can get over their attachment problems and live a more complete emotional life.

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