What is your interpersonal attachment style, and how might it affect your relationship? Based on the works of Bartholomew and Horowitz, etc., there are four adult attachment styles: Secure, Anxious-Preoccupied, Dismissive-Avoidant, and Fearful-Avoidant. Most people have various degrees of the four attachment styles, which may change over time.
Below are some of the most dominant traits of each type in personal relationships, excerpted from my publications (click on titles): “7 Keys to Long-Term Relationship Success” and “How to Get Over a Break-Up – Keys to Healing and Happiness Again.”
Secure Attachment Style
Those with a strong Secure Attachment Style manifest at least a number of the following traits on a regular basis:
People with the Secure Attachment Style are not perfect. They too have ups and downs like everyone else, and can become upset if provoked. Having said this, their overall mature approach to relationships makes this the healthiest of the four adult attachment styles.
Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment Style
Those with a strong Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment Style tend to manifest at least several of the following traits on a regular basis:
For tips on how to successfully relate to those with the Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment Style, see my book (click on title): "Communication Success with Four Personality Types."
Dismissive-Avoidant Attachment Style
Those with a strong Dismissive-Avoidant Attachment Style tend to manifest at least several of the following traits on a regular basis:
Fearful-Avoidant Attachment Style
Those with a strong Fearful-Avoidant Attachment Style tend to manifest at least several of the following traits on a regular basis:
As mentioned earlier, most people have various degrees of the four attachment styles, which may change over time.
Although those who are predominantly the Secure Attachment Style tend to make strong partners, it is also possible for those who are predominantly the other three styles to be in successful relationships. Self-awareness, mutual-support, mutual willingness to grow, and courage to seek professional help when needed are some of the crucial elements to positive relational development. The absence of these elements, however, may generate issues of incompatibility in relationship.
For more tips on relationship success, see my books (click on titles): “7 Keys to Long-Term Relationship Success”, and "How to Communicate Effectively and Handle Difficult People.”
© 2015 by Preston C. Ni. All rights reserved worldwide. Copyright violation may subject the violator to legal prosecution.
(1) Bartholomew, K., Horowitz, L.M. Attachment Styles Among Young Adults: a Test of a Four-Category Model. J Pers Soc Psychol. (1991)
(2) Pietromonaco P.R., Barrett L.F. Working Models of Attachment and Daily Social Interactions. J Pers Soc Psychol. (1997)