3.6 Attachment Style
This page was last modified: January 14th, 2023
Video TranscriptWe all have different styles of attachment. What does that mean styles of attachment? Well, when we have a relationship with someone, whether it’s a romantic relationship, or a friendship or a family relationship, we have different ways of acting different ways of thinking, different ways of having sort of beliefs, or even fears about that relationship. That is basically called a style of attachment. We all have different attachment styles. And this is formed initially, in childhood. It’s another thing that’s formed primarily, by that first relationship that you have with your parents. That is a family relationship, and how they acted in that relationship will give you unconscious beliefs and fears and expectations, and you’ll learn sort of ways to act from that relationship. And they’ve studied people, and they’ve sort of categorized these ways of acting. And they’ve put them into three main attachment styles. And they found the children who had these attachment styles in childhood, then grew up and kept these attachment styles in their relationships in adulthood, their romantic relationships in adulthood. So this is a way of looking at your relationships, your romantic relationships, and identifying what kind of attachment style you have. But the important thing is that there are one there’s one attachment style, that’s called secure attachment. And that means that there’s basically there’s not a lot of worries, there’s not a lot of fears, it’s a feeling of general security. And generally, it’s fine. And there are two that are insecure styles, which are basically ways of acting when you’re not entirely sure that you can get your needs met. Now in childhood, as I said, about the original cause of subconscious inadequacy, it is about not getting your needs met in childhood in a timely, judicious manner. When you don’t get your needs met in a timely judicious manner, you will kind of try and find different ways of getting your needs met, one of them might be to continually try and seek proximity to the parents to continually ask them to continually reach out to them. And that’s one style of attachment. Right to just keep asking, keep reaching out, keep trying. And another style is avoidance. And avoidance actually works about as well. They’re both faulty, but works as well. avoidance is kind of withdrawing, not seeking any proximity, not seeking any love not seeking anything, just withdrawing, kind of emotionally shutting off as a way to kind of protect yourself. And that’s another attachment style. In childhood, as I said, you know, this creates a model for how relationships work. But the important thing is that a lot of time elapses between childhood and adulthood and and a lot can change. We all go through many different experiences and there isn’t a complete guarantee that your childhood that your childhood attachment style is going to be identical to your adult attachment style. These can change these do vary in life, depending on the the experiences that we go through, they they do change. So just bear that in mind. This isn’t actually about childhood. This is about the present day. Now. I’m talking about present date attachment. And I want you to look at your present day attachment. I want you to look at the way that you act and the way that you think in relationships. Our first relationship with our parents that is gives us unconscious expectations, fears and beliefs about love and relationships, depending on how responsive and reliable our parents were, which impacts our thoughts, feelings and actions in all subsequent relationships. As I said three attachment styles. About 56% of people have a secure attachment style 19% have an anxious attachment style, which is just continually reaching out and try and 25% of people have an avoidant attachment style. I’m one of them. This fetish will eroticized deep rooted fears of infidelity and feelings of inadequacy and these are both results of an insecure attachment style. If we look at the actual root cause, again of its fetish, subconscious inadequacy and fears of infidelity. This comes from insecure attachment. This is thought to be one of the root causes of well, actually, some people say that this is the root cause of nearly everything and it really does matter. Anyway, let’s have a look by starting at the anxious attachment style. What is an anxious attachment style? Well, like I said, this happens when you just continually reach out to the other person for reassurance of love, reassurance of affection. reassurance that they are there for you. It might involve feelings of jealousy, you might struggle to believe that they really love you and you might need constant reassurance, you might be needy as a result often worried that your partner wants less closeness. You might be preoccupied with the relationship meaning thinking about it all the time obsessing over it, it might play an overly large role in your life. You might call or text too often, or at least be thinking about it or planning it. You might worry excessively about your partner’s whereabouts, or about anything, really anything that makes you doubt the security of the relationship. Or put you legally follow them to work to make sure they’re not flirting with anyone else. Well, we all sort of know that that’s probably wrong. That’s probably not the right thing to do. But you might want to deep down, even though you know it’s wrong. And again, with all these things here, you know that they’re wrong, you may manipulate or play games, or you may have learned not to do that, you might try to provoke jealousy act out emotionally threatened to leave or tactically withdraw unexpectedly. These are all just ways, again, of just dealing with the insecurity of your needs. Basically, that’s what this is about. When a parent is unresponsive to their childhood, to their child’s needs, or when they’re sometimes responsive. I think I’ve written this, yeah, when a parent is sometimes responsive to the child’s needs, but unreliably. So the child gets rewarded for their persistence in seeking proximity, because they sometimes succeed, but they never know when. So they try to seek proximity wherever possible. And they’re never satisfied, they never feel secure when their partner is out of sight. This leads to an anxious attachment style. Now let’s look at the avoidant attachment style. Again, this is ways of dealing with the same thing, but in a completely different way. This involves basically withdrawing. So you walk away, you turn to your independence and detach yourself from the relationship and your feelings about it. This isn’t in any particular situation, this is just generally this just generally happens sort of all the time. It’s not in response to anything, you will just naturally want to be independent, detach yourself from the relationship and your feelings about it. You act self sufficient, like you don’t need anything from others. You don’t seek out connection or closeness, you don’t actively chase it, you let them come to you. And if they don’t, you’re pretty indifferent, you don’t really care. You’re emotionally detached, quite often annoyed about your partner’s attempts to control you take up your time or limit your freedom. If you want to withdraw and you want to avoid, then it’s going to be pretty annoying when your partner is always trying to see you and trying to do things with you. You might delay commitment or not commit to get all together, you’ll find excuses as to why whether it’s being too busy, or whether it’s your partner’s flaws, you’ll find a way ongoing dissatisfaction about the imperfections of your partner, which serves to justify the avoidance. Again, you might get preoccupied with things that are wrong with them as weights to justify being avoidant. So maybe you work 80 hours a week, and you get annoyed when your girlfriend actually wants to see you. Or you choose the gym over your girlfriend because of rationalizations as to why the gym matters more, you’ll find a way to avoid her or him and then justify it to yourself. Again, it’s just about withdrawing. That’s the way that you kind of deal with this. general lack of security of getting your needs met. So you’ll withdrawal from the relationship, you won’t let your partners get too close. They’re always at arm’s length. Maybe you date tons of girls but don’t want anything serious. So never take things further. Or maybe you’ve never been in a relationship or not even asked to go out. My first two relationships happened when they asked me out and they did pretty much everything because I was just avoidant. And I never actually went from that. The avoidant attachment style essentially just means taking an emotional step back from relationships. Now all of these things I’m saying are quite extreme, really. It’s often a lot more subtle than this. Okay, these are this is just one end of the spectrum is the extreme end, you might not often have the quite the extent of this. Now let’s look at the secure attachment style. This is someone who doesn’t worry excessively about relationships, no fears of infidelity, or jealousy, but also doesn’t disconnect from their worries and emotional needs. So they do have some worries. They’re just not excessive. It’s a healthy amount. Okay, a normal amount they intuitively know the right distance, distance. They’re not too needy or too distant. They don’t play any games, no manipulation, stonewalling coercion withdrawal. They’re comfortable displaying interest, affection and love. They accept their partners flaws, don’t take things personally, they’re able to share both the highlights and low points and are responsive to their partners to you’re able to correctly prioritize the role of relationships in your life, not feeling like it’s everything that matters in your life depends on it. And also not feeling like it’s trivial and pointless and you don’t care about this attachment style happens when a parent does respond to that child’s needs in a timely, judicious manner. So the child knows that their parent will be there for them when they need it. Now often, we learn that this is kind of the right way to act. And we do this. And you know, for me, I definitely read quite a lot of things about relationships, or read about how I should be acting, what I should be doing, and I kind of came to this style, even though it wasn’t really congruent with what was deep down. And especially as you have more relationships in your life, you learn the things that you’re bad at, you learn, maybe you learn you’re too needy, or you learn you’re too distant, and you make an effort to correct that. And to become a little bit more secure. That doesn’t mean you have a secure attachment style. Because when it’s a conscious thing that you’re trying to override in yourself, you know, obviously that’s, that’s not very good. We’re talking about what’s deep down here. Basically, avoidant, or anxious attachment styles, cause a deep rooted lack of security, fears of infidelity, and a sense of inadequacy. You can be both anxious and avoidant, it’s more like a scale. Okay, it’s a gradient. One of the things that is quite clear and quite interesting really is that anxious people people with an anxious attachment style and people with avoidant attachment style will date each other. So an avoidant person will take an anxious person, an anxious person with an avoidant person, but it’s very rare for two avoidant people to be together. Very rare. So if you find that you might be avoidant, then analyze your exes and see if they have an anxious attachment style. Maybe you think they were too needy, maybe you think they were too crazy, maybe you think they will just fit in that bill quite nicely. Again, if you have an anxious attachment style, and see if your exes were distant, see if they were cold, analyze your exes to find out where you stand. And maybe you’re in a current relationship that is like this, too, is worth just taking a step back and thinking about this. Attachment styles can be changed, this is the important thing. They can be changed primarily by forming secure relationships. The whole thing about attachment styles is that they are a way to deal with the fear of not getting your needs met the fear of not being okay, just as you are, if you form secure relationships, you begin to learn that you can get your needs met, and that you are okay just as you are and the other person isn’t going to run away and leave you and they’re not going to neglect you either. They’re going to be there. And you learn that deep down. Also, not just by forming secure relationships, but by boosting your self esteem, you can do this to actually, there are so many so many ways of changing this. Many of these things I do talk about in the course. Accepting others is an important part of this because it’s easy to focus on the flaws of others. And if you focus on the things that are wrong with others, you tend to judge yourself even more to also being assertive of your needs. That really helps. Authenticity is very, very important because the sense of inadequacy and the insecurity in relationships basically causes you to have an urge to be inauthentic to do something different in order to get your needs met. And by being honest and by trying to be as authentic as possible. You learn that it’s okay to be you. social stability is also very important because like I say, this isn’t just about romantic relationships. This happens in friendships, too. You should have a stable social life. You shouldn’t be trying too hard to be friends with people who aren’t going to be friends with you. You should just have friends that you’re very happy with and who are friends with you back. Importantly, therapy can also help change your attachment style because the bond that you perform with your therapist will mimic the bond of a secure attachment. And by acting securely, if you identify yourself doing any avoidant or anxious behavior, you should try not to do it, you will learn patterns of acting in relationships can only be unlearned and replaced. By receiving positive results from acting differently. You have to act differently and then learn that it’s okay to act differently. Your pre existing behavioral patterns are what make you feel safest. And it’s how you got positive results in the past. So you need to break that positive report reinforcement of undesired behaviors by daring to act differently. And by daring to act securely, if you can act securely is actually good, because you will learn that it’s okay to do that, and you’ll naturally kind of shift towards that. So you would stop being avoidant by putting yourself out there seeking closeness and pursuing proximity. And you’d stop being anxious by giving others room to breathe, allowing them distance and relaxing in the comfort that they’ll still be there. This in turn, if you’re in a relationship, this will make your partner feel more secure, which will benefit your perceived security too. They did find that the perceived security of your relationship is what affects these things. So studies have showed positive effects of trust building and intimacy building exercises, and verbal affirmations of commitment in relationships, in changing attachment styles to be more secure, essentially, is the perceived security and stability of the relationship that matters. So if you’re in a relationship, what I’m saying is boost the perceived security and stability of your relationship by engaging in trust building or commitment affirming activities. There are many of these that you can do but the point is that the main way that attachment styles can be changed is by forming secure relationships. Okay? The reason why we want to do this once more is that this is one of the ways that that really causes the Fetish deep down this is deep rooted fears of infidelity, lack of security in relationship all these things which become eroticized through this fetish come from this. This D attachment style is really just another symptom of the problem. But it is a symptom that reinforces itself. So the more avoidant you act, for example, as I know from experience, the more avoidant you become, when you act avoidant, you kind of you go through life like this, and you learn that you get good results from acting avoidant. And so you act avoidant even more, and that never makes you feel really secure in relationships. The same goes for anxious attachment too. So one of the ways that you change this fetish, then is by changing your attachment style. You do this primarily by forming secure relationships, and also boosting your self esteem accepting others being assertive, your needs being authentic, having social stability, and just acting securely to and I’m not recommending therapy, but maybe you’re you’ve considered it. Well, maybe this is another reason. Anyway, that’s attachment styles.
The way that we bonded with our parents when we were infants impacts our relationships as adults. Our early experiences give us unconscious expectations, fears, and beliefs about relationships, which impact our thoughts, feelings, and actions in later relationships. This is known as an “attachment style”. Usually, this is formed depending on how responsive the parent is to their child’s needs.
When children are raised with confidence that their parent will be available to them, they become secure in themselves, and that usually lasts into adulthood. Conversely, if their parents aren’t responsive to their needs, they doubt themselves, don’t have the same confidence, and are more likely to experience fear and insecurity. Of course, a great deal of time elapses between childhood and adulthood, and a lot can change in this time. Childhood attachment patterns aren’t always identical to those in adulthood, and attachment styles can change over the course of our lives.
The cuckold fetish eroticizes deep-rooted fears of infidelity and feelings of inadequacy. These are both results of an insecure attachment style. An insecure attachment style creates insecurity about relationships. This is sexualized by the cuckold fetish. Understanding attachment styles – and how to change them – is key to understanding and overcoming this fetish.
There are 3 main types of attachment styles in adults:
Someone with a secure attachment style doesn’t worry excessively about relationships and displays a healthy amount of warmth and love towards their partner. It means you’re able to be intimate without being concerned about little misunderstandings. Loving comes naturally.
You don’t smother your partner, and you don’t play games or manipulate to get them to do something for you. You also don’t become distant – you don’t repeatedly shun them in favour of work/hobbies/being busy, you know the right balance intuitively. You’re comfortable displaying interest, affection, and love. You can accept your partner’s flaws, and don’t take things personally yourself. You’re able to share both your highlights and low points, and are responsive to those of your partner too. You’re able to correctly prioritize the role of relationships in your life – not feeling like it’s everything that matters and your life depends on it, and also not feeling like it’s trivial and pointless and you don’t care.
About 56% of people have a secure attachment style. When a parent responds to their child’s needs in a timely, judicious manner, the child develops a secure attachment system, and knows that their parent will be there for them when they need it.
People with an anxious attachment style essentially have an over-activated attachment system – they try very hard to feel close to someone, desperately seeking out support, proximity, and love. It’s usually combined with a lack of confidence that these things will be provided, and sometimes with resentment and anger when they are not provided.
If you have an anxious attachment style, you’re preoccupied with the relationship. It plays an overly large role in your life. You’re also often worried that your partner wants less closeness. Maybe you struggle to believe they really love you and need constant reassurance.
You might become jealous at very small things, such as your partner giving the slightest bit of attention to someone else. You might call or text too often, or at least be thinking about it, or planning it. It’s the person who calls their partner 20 times in one night, who worries excessively about their partner’s whereabouts, or who follows them to work to make sure they’re not flirting with anyone else. These are extreme examples and it’s usually more subtle.
You may manipulate or play games, by trying to provoke jealousy, acting out emotionally, threatening to leave, or tactically withdrawing unexpectedly. You often take things personally with a negative twist and project negative outcomes.
When a parent is sometimes responsive to the child’s needs, but unreliably so, the child gets rewarded for their persistence in seeking proximity because they sometimes succeed – but they never know when. Their attachment system gets over-activated and they try to seek proximity wherever possible. This leads to an “anxious” attachment style.
The avoidant style occurs from an under-activated attachment system, and means retreating away from the relationship, trying not to seek proximity, denying attachment needs, and avoiding closeness.
If you have an avoidant attachment style, you don’t let your partners (or other people) get too close. They’re always at arm’s length, never being totally let in to your life. You might delay commitment, or not commit altogether. You’ll frequently find excuses as to why, whether it’s being too busy with work or focusing on your partner’s flaws. You create mental distance with ongoing dissatisfaction about the imperfections of the other person. This is the man who works 80 hours a week and gets annoyed when his girlfriend wants to actually see him on the weekend. Or the man who dates dozens of girls but doesn’t want anything serious, so never takes things further. Or the person who has never been in a relationship, and not even asked a girl out.
You act self-sufficient and independent, taking care of yourself and acting like you don’t need anything from others. You don’t seek out connection or closeness. You detach yourself from emotions. Just as the person with an anxious attachment style is always concerned about signs of distance, you are concerned about your partner’s attempts to control you or limit your freedom. If they suggest you do something different, you reject that notion instantly, dismissing their feelings and needs. Your partner might often seem needy or “crazy” to you, but this makes you feel independent and strong.
Essentially, the avoidant attachment style means taking an emotional step back from relationships.
Avoidant or anxious attachment styles are indicative of deep-rooted and unconscious feelings of not being secure in relationships. It indicates a deep-rooted fear of infidelity and sense of insecurity. Some people say that attachment styles are the core of most psychological problems, and given the effects they have on deep-rooted insecurity, that could well be true of fetishes too.
How to change your attachment style
This is done primarily by forming securely attached relationships. That means your intimate partner shouldn’t be avoidant and distant, and they shouldn’t be anxious and covert. The more secure your partner acts, the more secure your attachment style becomes (and the inverse is true too). If your partner has an anxious or avoidant attachment style, it INCREASES your fears of infidelity and feelings of inadequacy. A relationship with someone with a secure attachment style does the opposite – it decreases feelings of inadequacy and fears of infidelity.
Also: Act secure yourself. Because you’ll learn that you can still get your needs met without being avoidant/anxious. Being avoidant/anxious also affects your partner in a negative way, because they can have bad effects – they can make your partner feel less secure, and thus act less secure. So, by acting securely yourself, they act more securely themselves in response. Also, you can boost the percieved security of your relationship by doing things that build trust, security, intimacy, and affirmations of commitment.
Furthermore, your friendships should be secure too. Attachment doesn’t just happen in romantic relationships, it’s all relationships, including friendships. It’s possible to have avoidant/anxious patterns in friendships and all non-romantic relationships too. You should make sure that your friendships give you a sense of security.
Often, people with an anxious attachment style seek out people with an avoidant style and cling to them. People with an avoidant attachment style might avoid relationships so much that the only people who make it through are people who repeatedly seek them out and try to get close – anxious attachment style. It’s therefore extremely common for your partner or ex-partners to be the opposite style. It can be easier to analyse others than yourself, and by doing so, you’ll be more sure of where you stand.
It’s also possible to be both avoidant and anxious. There are also different extents – some people are VERY avoidant, some only a little. We also can “cover it up” if we learn certain things are “wrong”, even though we’re naturally drawn to them deep down.
In addition, you can change your attachment style with the following things (as well as many of the other points in this course):
Self-esteem. Learning to accept yourself, but also to accept other people. The more we judge others, the more we’ll unconsciously judge ourselves. Learn to accept other people, just as they are, without fault-finding or trying to “help” them.
Assertiveness, particularly when it comes to your needs.
Authenticity and honesty. It’s hard to be authentic and honest, because that means being real. Being real is not desirable when we have insecure attachment – we want to protect ourselves by never being real. Being real means being vulnerable. It means opening yourself to rejection and learning that rejection doesn’t end your life (or even affect it significantly).
Social stability. Your friends shouldn’t cause anxiety, self-doubt, low self-esteem, or mistrust. You should have a secure group of close friends – male and female – that are there for you. In this age of instant messaging, you can talk to them nearly every day; that’s what a good friendship is (although it’s better to see them in person, of course).
Therapy. Therapy is a great way to nurture a more secure attachment style. The bond with your therapist will mimic a secure attachment and they will ensure you stay there without being anxious or avoidant. It’s particularly well suited to people with many other problems.
If you still aren’t quite sure which one you are, or you like this topic and want to learn more, here’s an entertaining video explaining these attachment styles through film characters, including the occasionally mentioned ‘fearful’ type (which is essentially avoidant + anxious).
Author(s) || Connor McGonigal
Website || howtostopbeingacuckold.com
Article || 3.6 Attachment Style
Date || Between May 11th and 21st, 2019
contributors: ["Connor McGonigal"]