December 13th, 2013

I Want to Believe

Attachment Types

I find the topic of relationship attachments / relating to be a fascinating one, especially as I have challenges in this area.  Daniel Goleman’s book “Social Intelligence” offers information from the psychologist Phillip Shaver. Shaver says there are three types of attachment. The secure type of attachment is made up of 55 percent of Americans. Securely attached people “see themselves as worth of concern, care and affection, and others as acceptable, reliable, having good intentions toward them”.

The anxious type is made up of 20 percent of Americans. Anxiously attached people are “often angst ridden, they are beset by fears they will be left or found wanting in some way… can be hypervigilant and jealous about imagined dalliances.

Lastly, the avoidant type is made up of 25 percent of Americans. Avoidant people are uncomfortable being emotionally close, finding it hard to trust a partner or share feelings, and getting nervous when their partner seeks to get more emotionally intimate.

I find myself squarely in the avoidant type. I have few of the anxious traits. I have too many of the avoidant traits. I am getting better, moving toward secure, but that’s where I am now. The good news is that I am not a stereotype, and almost nobody should be. Case in point, Shaver says that it was difficult to find avoidant women for a study because of the requirement that they be in a serious long-term romantic relationship. It is noted that few were. I deviate from this in that I started later in life when it came to relationships, but I’ve been in non-stop relationships for the past twenty five years. I suppose my empathic intuitive side mediates the avoidance!