Thursday, February 18, 2010

Have You Assessed Your Partner's Attachment Style?

image by konr4d, sxc.hu

Evaluating Relationship Attachment Styles Helps

Though Valentine Day officially got over a few days ago, its aftereffects - as well as aftermath - continue to linger and be felt. The occasion is always a highly-charged period for people in a romantic state of mind, and the day gives them an opportunity to convey their thoughts to that significant someone in ... let's say the proper perspective. The net and the bookstores are abuzz with insightful tips on how to read the subtle and not-so-subtle signals sent out, how to make sure that you in turn send out the right signals so that the other responds in a manner that is desirable to you, and generally how to manage the relationship. Amidst all this buzz, here is another set of insights into relationship management for you.

image by omar_franc, sxc.hu

It is easy to understand an individual's relationship attachment styles once you are tuned into them, and especially when you accept the fact that all of us move around with masks on our persona. So just like you want to put your best foot forward and project all that is good in you in a hyperbolic fashion, the other party also is straining to do so. We therefore have to lookout for the signs that contradict the facade, so that we can understand the real human being behind it in a better way.

image by bluegum, sxc.hu

Behavioral psychologists working on attachment theory suggest that our styles of engagement in a relationship get encoded through the conditioning received by us during the formative days when we had the primary caregivers (such as the mom, grandma, nanny, aunt, dad, or others) to look after us and give us company. Kids who experience sensitive and responsive caregiving that is accepting of the child as an individual, grow up to expect similarly positive and secure relationships with their romantic partner. They have the capability to handle the ups and downs of the relationship well enough, and you can look forward to a good, mutually-enriching relationship with such an individual.

image by irum, sxc.hu

On the other hand, kids who went through rejection and neglect during childhood construct walls around them as a defense mechanism. Such kids grow up into adults to become emotionally remote, and are not willing to allow anybody "in" and take a good look at the turmoil within. There is low disclosure of feelings. So if you find yourself attracted to such a person, and you are puzzled why they are behaving like an iceberg despite their obvious interest in you, now you at least have an explanation.

imageby simmbarb, sxc.hu

The third category is of kids whose caregiving was inconsistent in nature. It swung between rejection and neglect at one end, and overprotection, interference, and intrusiveness at the other end. Can you guess what kind of people these people grow up to be? This particularl category incidentally forms the bell in the bell-curve of statistical distributions, meaning they are to be found in majority; so most likely you might have bumped into such a character some time or the other during your quest for the right Valentine.

image by mattox, sxc.hu

These individuals crumble when facing negative evaluation of themselves from the partner they hold in high regard, and positively bloom and brighten up when the partner gives them a thumbs-up. This is because their self-esteem is highly dependent on what others think about them. Expect a roller-coaster ride of emotions and intimacy if you happen to be in a relationship with such an individual! The tip is to remain vigilant about the words you utter or the body language you let out, even when you yourself might be in a less-than-bright mood.

image by mrgoose, sxc.hu

So far we have talked about the other party's attachment style in the relationship. What about us? The other party's other-party? As self-developer, we have to first turn the searchlight onto ourselves and introspect who we are, how we were fashioned in the childhood developmental oven, and what we have become as a result. After understanding our own personality styles and knowing what we really look for in relationship, celebrating these Valentine Days every year becomes more joy and less trepidation.

image by rknds, sxc.hu

[As human beings, we all crave the attention, love and care of somebody who understands and appreciates us for what we are, without passing any judgment. If such a person is already there in our life, great. If not, then thanks to the internet and social networking sites such as Facebook, the fishing pond has now expanded into an ocean. What are the different personalities that we encounter on the internet? Here is an article that takes a view: "Don't Cry, Shopgirl".]

imageby ba1969, sxc.hu

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