Anxious Attachment Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Anxious Attachment. Here they are! All 100 of them:

our culture encourages you [with an anxious attachment style] to believe that many of your needs are illegitimate. But whether they are legitimate or not for someone else is beside the point. They are essential for your happiness, and that is what's important.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
Man was born for society. However little He may be attached to the World, He never can wholly forget it, or bear to be wholly forgotten by it. Disgusted at the guilt or absurdity of Mankind, the Misanthrope flies from it: He resolves to become an Hermit, and buries himself in the Cavern of some gloomy Rock. While Hate inflames his bosom, possibly He may feel contented with his situation: But when his passions begin to cool; when Time has mellowed his sorrows, and healed those wounds which He bore with him to his solitude, think you that Content becomes his Companion? Ah! no, Rosario. No longer sustained by the violence of his passions, He feels all the monotony of his way of living, and his heart becomes the prey of Ennui and weariness. He looks round, and finds himself alone in the Universe: The love of society revives in his bosom, and He pants to return to that world which He has abandoned. Nature loses all her charms in his eyes: No one is near him to point out her beauties, or share in his admiration of her excellence and variety. Propped upon the fragment of some Rock, He gazes upon the tumbling waterfall with a vacant eye, He views without emotion the glory of the setting Sun. Slowly He returns to his Cell at Evening, for no one there is anxious for his arrival; He has no comfort in his solitary unsavoury meal: He throws himself upon his couch of Moss despondent and dissatisfied, and wakes only to pass a day as joyless, as monotonous as the former.
Matthew Gregory Lewis (The Monk)
Anxious people may take a very long time to get over a bad attachment, and they don't get to decide how long it will take. Only when every single cell in their body is completely convinced that there is no chance that their partner will change or that they will ever reunite will they be able to deactivate and let go.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
Basically, secure people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving; anxious people crave intimacy, are often preoccupied with their relationships, and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back; avoidant people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
If you're anxious, when you start to feel something is bothering you in a relationship, you tend to quickly get flooded with negative emotions and think in extremes. Unlike your secure counterpart, you don't expect your partner to respond positively but anticipate the opposite. You perceive the relationship as something fragile and unstable that can collapse at any moment. These thoughts and assumptions make it hard for you to express your needs effectively.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
If you have an anxious attachment style, you tend to get attached very quickly, even just on the basis of physical attraction. One night of sex or even just a passionate kiss and, boom, you already can't get that person out of your mind. As you know, once your attachment system is activated, you begin to crave the other person's closeness and will do anything in your power to make it work even before you really get to know him/her and decide whether you like that person or not!
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
We typically misunderstand what's wrong about consumerism. It's not that it makes us love material things too much. To be a good consumer, you have to desire to get lots of things, but you must not love any of them too much once you have them. Consumerism needs children who do not stay attached to their toys for very long and learn to expect the next round of presents as soon as possible. When consumerism succeeds, our attachments are shallow, easily broken, so we can move on to the next thing we're supposed to get. Being a good consumer means desiring new things, not cherishing old ones. And the new things you're supposed to desire are not always material things. Spirituality is now a consumerist enterprise, too.
Phillip Cary (Good News for Anxious Christians: Ten Practical Things You Don't Have to Do)
With every clash, the anxious person loses more ground: During bitter fights between anxious and avoidant partners, when there are no secure checks and balances in place, people with anxious attachment style tend to get overwhelmed by negative emotions. When they feel hurt, they talk, think, and act in an extreme manner, even to the point of threatening to leave (protest behavior). However, once they calm down, they become flooded with positive memories and are then overcome with regret. They reach out to their partner in an attempt to reconcile. But they are often met with a hostile response, because avoidants react differently to a fight. They
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
You'd be surprised how easy it is to talk an anxiously attached person down from their spiral if you don't leave them in silence to imagine the worst.
Sophie Gonzales (Perfect on Paper)
Other studies have found that faced with a stressful life event ... avoidants' defenses are quick to break down and they then appear and behave just like people with an anxious attachment style.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
participants. This is an important lesson for someone with an anxious attachment style: If you just wait a little longer before reacting and jumping to conclusions, you will have an uncanny ability to decipher the world around you and use it to your advantage. But shoot from the hip, and you’re all over the place making misjudgments and hurting yourself. Once activated, they are often consumed
Amir Levine (Attached: Are you Anxious, Avoidant or Secure? How the science of adult attachment can help you find – and keep – love)
When we are anxiously attached, our inability to trust the intentions and behaviors of others will often lead us to escalate situations and then reject attempts to reassure us. It is a painful and dramatic spiral.
Mary Crocker Cook (Awakening Hope. A Developmental, Behavioral, Biological Approach to Codependency Treatment.)
risks. Thus we take it for granted that, when a relationship to a special loved person is endangered, we are not only anxious but are usually angry as well. As responses to the risk of loss, anxiety and anger go hand in hand. It is not for nothing that they have the same etymological root.
John Bowlby (A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development)
Remember, an activated attachment system is not passionate love. Next time you date someone and find yourself feeling anxious, insecure, and obsessive—only to feel elated every once in a while—tell yourself this is most likely an activated attachment system and not love! True love, in the evolutionary sense, means peace of mind.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
The weakling and the neurotic attached to his neurosis are not anxious to turn such a powerful searchlight upon the dark corners of their psychology.
Sigmund Freud (The Interpretation of Dreams)
Love yourself before you love someone else.
Leslie Becker-Phelps (Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It)
To draw for a moment from an entirely different corner of my life, that part of me still attached to the biological sciences, there is ample evidence that animals — rats and monkeys, for example — that are forced into a subordinate status within their social systems adapt their brain chemistry accordingly, becoming 'depressed' in humanlike ways. Their behavior is anxious and withdrawn; the level of serotonin (the neurotransmitter boosted by some antidepressants) declines in their brains. And — what is especially relevant here — they avoid fighting even in self-defense ... My guess is that the indignities imposed on so many low-wage workers — the drug tests, the constant surveillance, being 'reamed out' by managers — are part of what keeps wages low. If you're made to feel unworthy enough, you may come to think that what you're paid is what you are actually worth.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed)
On the other hand, children whose parents were not dependably attentive typically grow up to be adults with an insecure anxious attachment style, which means they tend to worry and obsess about relationships. They do not listen well because they are so concerned about losing people’s attention and affection. This preoccupation can lead them to be overly dramatic, boastful, or clingy. They might also pester potential friends, colleagues, clients, or romantic interests instead of allowing people their space.
Kate Murphy (You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters)
How eloquent could Anne Elliot have been, - how eloquent, at least, were her wishes on the side of early warm attachment, and a cheerful confidence in futurity, against that over-anxious caution which seems to insult exertion and distrust Providence! - She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older - the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
The one to whom nothing was refused, whose tears were always wiped away by an anxious mother, will not abide being offended. —De Ira 2.21.6
Seneca (Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero)
I purposefully abstain from dates on this occasion,that very one may be liberty to fix their own,aware that the cure of unconquerable passions,and the transfer of unchanging attachments,must vary much as to time in different people.---I only entreat every body to believe that exactly at the time when it was quite natural that it should be so, and not a week earlier,Edmund did cease to care about Miss Crawford, and become anxious to marry Fanny,as Fanny herself could desire.
Jane Austen (Mansfield Park)
Bowlby uses the notion of faulty internal working models to describe different patterns of neurotic attachment. He sees the basic problem of 'anxious attachment" as that of maintaining attachment with a care-giver who is unpredictable or rejecting. Here the internal working model will be based not on accurate representation of the self and others, but on coping, in which the care-giver must be accommodated to. The two basic strategies here are those of avoidance or adherence, which lead to avoidant or ambivalent attachment.
Jeremy Holmes (John Bowlby and Attachment Theory (Makers of Modern Psychotherapy))
In a room full of people, it makes sense to help the person who’s suffering the most, the one we know best, the one we’re most capable of helping. Sometimes that person is you…
Leslie Becker-Phelps (Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It)
I started to seek emotionally present friendships, leaning on the friends who were warm and consistent. This helped me feel supported while I worked on repairing my inner world.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
you—given your anxious attachment style—have certain clear needs in a relationship. If those needs are not met, you cannot be truly happy.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
Anxious attachment stems from a deep sense of inner instability where old wounds make people anticipate that they will be abandoned again and again.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
We will martyr ourselves, suffering under the weight of a non-reciprocal relationship until some part of us bursts in protest. Suddenly, we lose our mind, and allowing ourselves to heap all manner of nastiness, name calling, patronizing, death threats on the “deserving” jerk who has it coming after all we do for him/her! As the final insult rings across the room and we regain consciousness, we are horrified by what has come out of our mouth. After all, we LOVE these people, and we quickly move into anxious terror that this time we have gone too far . . . this time we crossed the line and they will leave us. So, we hunker back down and the martyrdom begins again. It’s a terrible cycle.
Mary Crocker Cook (Awakening Hope. A Developmental, Behavioral, Biological Approach to Codependency Treatment.)
For example, one promising target is the peptide oxytocin, which has been reported to reduce anxiety, promote affiliation, attachment, and affection,33 and facilitate extinction of threat conditioning.
Joseph E. LeDoux (Anxious)
The other thing that is underemphasized in the Minnesota study, Lieberman said, is the fact that parents can overcome histories of trauma and poor attachment; that they can change their approach to their children from one that produces anxious attachment to one that promotes secure attachment and healthy functioning. Some parents can accomplish this transformation on their own, Lieberman said, but most need help.
Paul Tough (How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character)
Avoidants often use sex to distance themselves from their partner. It doesn’t necessarily mean they will cheat on their partner, although studies have shown that they are more likely to do so than other attachment types. Phillip Shaver, in a study with then University of California-Davis graduate student Dory Schachner, found that of the three styles, avoidants would more readily make a pass at someone else’s partner or respond to such a proposition. Intriguingly, they also found that avoidant men and women were more likely to engage in less sex if their partner had an anxious attachment style! Researchers believe that in relationships like Marsha and Craig’s, there is less lovemaking because the anxious partner wants a great deal of physical closeness and this in turn causes the avoidant partner to withdraw further. What better way to avoid intimacy than by reducing sex to a bare minimum.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
Some children perceive their parents as inconsistently available. It could be because the parents are unavoidably focused on pressing life situations or on their own emotional needs. The child’s inherent sensitivity is also a factor. Whatever the reason, children who come to question whether their parents are available are extremely upset even by the thought of their parents not being there for them. This is characteristic of a preoccupied attachment style.
Leslie Becker-Phelps (Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It)
A securely attached child will store an internal working model of a responsive, loving, reliable care-giver, and of a self that is worthy of love and attention and will bring these assumptions to bear on all other relationships. Conversely, an insecurely attached child may view the world as a dangerous place in which other people are to be treated with great caution, and see himself as ineffective and unworthy of love. These assumptions are relatively stable and enduring: those built up in the early years of life are particularly persistent and unlikely to be modified by subsequent experience.
Jeremy Holmes (John Bowlby and Attachment Theory (Makers of Modern Psychotherapy))
Anxiously attached Codependents demonstrate the ability to maximize the attention they get from their partner, regardless of whether it is positive or negative (i.e., "I'd rather be screamed at than ignored"). Manipulation is used to keep the inattentive or inconsistent partner involved by alternating dramatic angry demands with needy dependence. When the partner is preoccupied and not paying attention, the anxious Codependent explodes in angry demands and behaviors that cannot be ignored.
Mary Crocker Cook (Awakening Hope. A Developmental, Behavioral, Biological Approach to Codependency Treatment.)
How eloquent could Anne Elliot have been, -how eloquent, at least, were her wishes on the side of early warm attachment, and a cheerful confidence in futurity, against that over-anxious caution which seems to insult exertion and distrust Providence! - She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
When clients relinquish symptoms, succeed in achieving a personal goal, or make healthier choices for themselves, subsequently many will feel anxious, guilty, or depressed. That is, when clients make progress in treatment and get better, new therapists understandably are excited. But sometimes they will also be dismayed as they watch the client sabotage her success by gaining back unwanted weight or missing the next session after an important breakthrough and deep sharing with the therapist. Thus, loyalty and allegiance to symptoms—maladaptive behaviors originally developed to manage the “bad” or painfully frustrating aspects of parents—are not maladaptive to insecurely attached children. Such loyalty preserves “object ties,” or the connection to the “good” or loving aspects of the parent. Attachment fears of being left alone, helpless, or unwanted can be activated if clients disengage from the symptoms that represent these internalized “bad” objects (for example, if the client resolves an eating disorder or terminates a problematic relationship with a controlling/jealous partner). The goal of the interpersonal process approach is to help clients modify these early maladaptive schemas or internal working models by providing them with experiential or in vivo re-learning (that is, a “corrective emotional experience”). Through this real-life experience with the therapist, clients learn that, at least sometimes, some relationships can be different and do not have to follow the same familiar but problematic lines they have come to expect.
Edward Teyber (Interpersonal Process in Therapy: An Integrative Model)
It seems obvious that any serious reader will have learned long ago how much time to give a book before choosing to shut it. It’s only the young, still attached to that sense of achievement inculcated by anxious parents, who hang on doggedly when there is no enjoyment.
Tim Parks (Where I'm Reading From: The Changing World of Books)
To be detached from the world, (in the sense that Buddhist and Taoists and Hindus often talk about detachment), does not mean to be non-participative. By that I don't mean that you just go through doing everything mechanically and have your thoughts elsewhere. I mean a complete participation, but still detached. And the difference between the two attitudes is this.. On the one hand, there is a way of being so anxious about physical pleasure, so afraid that you won't make it, that you grab it too hard..that you just have to have that thing, and if you do that, you destroy it completely.. and therefore after every attempt to get it, you feel disappointed, you feel empty, you feel something was lost..and so you want it again, you have to keep repeating, repeating, repeating, repeating..because you never really got that. And it is this that's the hang up, this is what is meant by attachment to this world... But on the other hand, pleasure in its fullness cannot be experienced, when one is grasping it.. I knew a little girl to whom someone gave a bunny rabbit. She was so delighted with the bunny rabbit and so afraid of losing it, that taking it home in the car, she squeezed it to death with love. And lots of parents do that to their children. And lots of spouses do it to each other. They hold on too hard, and so take the life out of this transient, beautifully fragile thing that life is. To have it, to have life, and to have its pleasure, you must at the same time let go of it.
Alan W. Watts
Attachment theory designates three main “attachment styles,” or manners in which people perceive and respond to intimacy in romantic relationships, which parallel those found in children: Secure, Anxious, and Avoidant. Basically, secure people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving; anxious people crave intimacy, are often preoccupied with their relationships, and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back; avoidant people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
certain categories of us are more crucial to our identities than the kind of car we drive or the number of dots we can guess on a slide—gender, sexuality, religion, politics, ethnicity, and nationality, for starters. Without feeling attached to groups that give our lives meaning, identity, and purpose, we would suffer the intolerable sensation that we were loose marbles floating in a random universe. Therefore, we will do what it takes to preserve these attachments. Evolutionary psychologists argue that ethnocentrism—the belief that our own culture, nation, or religion is superior to all others—aids survival by strengthening our bonds to our primary social groups and thus increasing our willingness to work, fight, and occasionally die for them. When things are going well, people feel pretty tolerant of other cultures and religions—they even feel pretty tolerant of the other sex!—but when they are angry, anxious, or threatened, the default position is to activate their blind spots.
Carol Tavris (Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts)
It is very likely that men who are more gender role identified would never be seen as codependent because so many of their gender role traits are “normal” for an avoidantly attached codependent. Men with gender role conflict may pre-sent as more anxious, in general, and are more likely to be identified as codependent.
Mary Crocker Cook (Codependency & Men)
When I consider the men (like my father) I have treated in psychotherapy, I recognize the challenge I face as a counselor. These men are in counseling due to an insistent wife, troubled child or their own addiction. They suffer a lack of connection with the people they say they love most. Chronically accused of being over controlling or emotionally absent, they feel at sea when their wives and children claim to be lonely in their presence. How can these people feel “un-loved” when (from his perspective) he has dedicated his life to their welfare? Some of these men will express their lack of vitality and emotional engagement though endless service. They are hyperaware of the moods, needs and prefer-ences of loved ones, yet their self-neglect can be profound. This text examines how a lack of secure early attachment with caregivers can result in the tendency to self-abandon while managing connections with significant others. Their anxiety and distrust of the connection of others will manifest in anxious monitoring, over-giving, passive aggressive approaches to anger and chronic worry. For them, failure to anticipate and meet the needs of others equals abandonment.
Mary Crocker Cook (Codependency & Men)
This is an important lesson for someone with an anxious attachment style: If you just wait a little longer before reacting and jumping to conclusions, you will have an uncanny ability to decipher the world around you and use it to your advantage. But shoot from the hip, and you’re all over the place making misjudgments and hurting yourself.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
We can think of insecure attachment as fitting into two different strategies: anxious and avoidant.
Emily Nagoski (Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life)
Just as you would attend to a hurt child by being nurturing, it is extremely helpful to approach yourself in a compassionate manner.
Leslie Becker-Phelps (Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It)
Those of us who are anxiously attached have a particular vulnerability. Everybody could feel a little bit avoidant to us.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
very short definition of codependency is trying to control another person’s emotions and behaviors so we don’t have to experience our own painful feelings.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
interoception. This means listening to our body’s sensations to bring us into contact with our inner world.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
All your feelings need to know they matter, all our feelings need to be heard, and all our feelings have a right to be acknowledged.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
Either they learned that the only parts of them that were valued were those that focused on work and success, proper behavior, and not showing much emotion;
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
The role of the amygdala is to attach emotional significance to situations or objects and to form emotional memories.
Catherine M. Pittman (Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry)
The majority of our relationships, including our close friendships, are meant to teach us valuable lessons about ourselves so that we can continue to grow and evolve as individuals.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
When they feel the threat of intimacy, which would expose them to the enormous pain of not having their emotions acknowledged, their system shuts down and focuses on the tasks at hand.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
A partner with a dismissive attachment style might provoke more anxious/preoccupied behaviors from us, or being with a more anxious partner might polarize us into being more dismissive.
Jessica Fern (Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy)
mirror neurons, which means that the feelings, moods, thoughts, fears, and actions of each individual are shared. While these originate within one partner, the other is able to sense them.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
freeing than the permission to simply be us—and in a healthy relationship, this permission is granted on both sides in an ongoing, unconditional mutual exchange of acceptance and appreciation.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
According to this theory, there are are four major styles of attachment that people form early in life and carry into adulthood: secure, anxious, avoidant, and anxious-avoidant. A secure person is an at-home person; they’re comfortable with connection and don’t base their worthiness on external sources of validation. An anxious person is the complete opposite; they’re in constant need of validation and come from a place of fear of abandonment. An avoidant person may come across as secure, but they avoid connection out of fear of abandonment. And an anxious-avoidant is a combination of the previous two.
Najwa Zebian (Welcome Home: A Guide to Building a Home for Your Soul)
What do children need from their mothers?”: love, warmth, affection, responsiveness, stimulation, consistency, reliability. What is produced in their absence? Anxious, depressed, and/or poorly attached adults.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
Some children grow up with parents whi have their own strong attachment issues: they experience their parents as sometimes emotionally available, sometimes scared, and sometimes even scary. This variation is confusing and frightening, and these children are unable to find a way to consistently meet their attachment needs. They don’t find solace in either deactivating (trying to go it alone) or hyperactivating (reaching out for attention and acceptance), so they attempt to use both kinds of strategies in a disorganized way. This creates a chaotic and confusing pattern in relationships known as the fearful style of attachment.
Leslie Becker-Phelps (Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It)
Feeling emotional pain and understanding how you maintain problematic patterns do not tell you how to be different or automatically establish healthier patterns. This has to develop over time with new experiences.
Leslie Becker-Phelps (Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It)
We will know we are moving into more healing when we have a different response to the old feelings arising. Now, we recognize their origin, and no longer have to act on them in the same dramatically protective ways.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
Whether you avoid connection and intimacy to protect yourself from being abandoned again, or whether you attach quickly and anxiously in your relationships, the end result is still an absence of authentic connection.
Vienna Pharaon (The Origins of You: How Breaking Family Patterns Can Liberate the Way We Live and Love)
You end up isolated if you don't cultivate the capacity for solitude, the ability to be separate, to gather yourself. Solitude is where you find yourself so that you can reach out to other people and form real attachments. When we don't have the capacity for solitude, we turn to other people in order to feel less anxious or in order to feel alive. When this happens, we're not able to appreciate who they are. It's as though we're using them as spare parts to support our fragile sense of self. We slip into thinking that always being connected is going to make us feel less alone. But we're at risk, because actually it's the opposite that's true.
Sherry Turkle
Children who experience anxious or ambivalent attachments to their primary caregivers may "fall in love" too easily, seeking extreme closeness right off the bat and reacting intensely to any suggestion of abandonment.
Adam Cash
Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.
Leslie Becker-Phelps (Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It)
If you are in love with someone who doesn’t love you back the way you need and loving them more only results in you completely losing yourself, the most profound lesson lies in letting go and realizing that love alone is not enough.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
Seeing that it was dangerous to depend on others in a relationship, avoidant types learned to protect themselves by staying distant from intimacy. They are often dedicated to their careers and tend to back away when closeness threatens.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
don’t beat yourself up about it. Remember, in infancy, you likely learned that in order to get your needs met, you needed to turn up the volume and expand your energy. You may have screamed to exhaustion to try to get a parent to pick you up.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
Old age is the most precious time of life, the one nearest eternity. There are two ways of growing old. There are old people who are anxious and bitter, living in the past and illusion, who criticize everything that goes on around them. Young people are repulsed by them; they are shut away in their sadness and loneliness, shriveled up in themselves. But there are also old people with a child's heart, who have used their freedom from function and responsibility to find a new youth. They have the wonder of a child, but the wisdom of maturity as well. They have integrated their years of activity and so can live without being attached to power. Their freedom of heart and their acceptance of their limitations and weakness makes them people whose radiance illuminates the whole community. They are gentle and merciful, symbols of compassion and forgiveness. They become a community's hidden treasures, sources of unity and life. They are true contemplatives at the heart of community.
Jean Vanier (Community and Growth)
It helps to remember that emotions are part of being human, even when they are painful. It also helps to be patient with yourself; learning to befriend your emotions can be a long-term project and a skill that you will have to practice for the rest of your life.
Leslie Becker-Phelps (Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It)
The patient brings with him into therapy all the failures and suspicions and losses he has experienced through his life. The defensive forms of insecure attachment - avoidance, ambivalence, disorganisation - will be brought into play in relation to the therapist. There will be a struggle between these habitual patterns and the skill of the therapist in providing a secure base - the capacity to be responsive and attuned to the patient's feelings, to receive projections and to transmute them in such a way that the patient can face their hitherto unmanageable feelings. To the extent that this happens, the patient will gradually relinquish their attachment to the therapist while, simultaneously, an internal secure base is built up inside. As a result, as therapy draws to a close, the patient is better able to form less anxious attachment relationships in the external world and feels more secure in himself. As concrete attachment to the therapist lessens, so the qualities of self-responsiveness and self-attunement are more firmly established in the inner world.
Jeremy Holmes (John Bowlby and Attachment Theory (Makers of Modern Psychotherapy))
We become like an octopus, expanding our energy by reaching out in all directions as we engage in a series of what are called activating strategies. Driven by fear and desire, these behaviors will continue until we get a response that reassures us the relationship is intact.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
Children are motivated to stay close to their parents, whom they perceive as a safe haven. And children are motivated to explore the world away from their parents, whom they perceive as a secure base. When all goes well, children learn that they can have closeness and autonomy.
Leslie Becker-Phelps (Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It)
You must allow yourself to let down your defenses and experience vulnerability within a caring relationship. Then you’ll need to develop the inner resilience to continue reaching out even after you feel hurt by your new love (which will happen eventually in any close relationship
Leslie Becker-Phelps (Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It)
significantly in his work by psychologist Mary Ainsworth, a Canadian researcher who helped give shape to his ideas and test them. Together, they identified four elements of attachment: •We seek out, monitor, and try to maintain emotional and physical connection with our loved ones. Throughout life, we rely on them to be emotionally accessible, responsive, and engaged with us. •We reach out for our loved ones particularly when we are uncertain, threatened, anxious, or upset. Contact with them gives us a sense of having a safe haven, where we will find comfort and emotional support; this sense of safety teaches us how to regulate our own emotions and how to connect with and trust others. •We miss our loved ones and become extremely upset when they are physically or emotionally remote; this separation anxiety can become intense and incapacitating. Isolation is inherently traumatizing for human beings. •We depend on our loved ones to support us emotionally and be a secure base as we venture into the world and learn and explore. The more we sense that we are effectively connected, the more autonomous and separate we can be.
Sue Johnson (Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships (The Dr. Sue Johnson Collection Book 2))
Trauma impels people both to withdraw from close relationships and to seek them desperately. The profound disruption in basic trust, the common feelings of shame, guilt, and inferiority, and the need to avoid reminders of the trauma that might be found in social life, all foster withdrawal from close relationships. But the terror of the traumatic event intensifies the need for protective attachments. The traumatized person therefore frequently alternates between isolation and anxious clinging to others. […] It results in the formation of intense, unstable relationships that fluctuate between extremes.
Judith Lewis Herman
Faith is a gift of spirit that allows the soul to remain attached to its own unfolding. When faith is soulful, it is always planted in the soil of wonder and questioning. It isn’t a defensive and anxious holding on to certain objects of belief, because doubt, as its shadow, can be brought into a faith that is fully mature. Imagine
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul: Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life)
His maternal deprivation had caused what John Bowlby, a famous British psychiatrist, called an “attachment disorder.” Maternal attachment is more important than anything else to a baby—even more important than food. A baby will give up anything to have it. Without it, the child is anxious and unable to explore or deal with the world in any normal way. And attachment disorder doesn’t just affect the relationship with the mother; it affects all social, emotional, and cognitive development. If the child doesn’t experience attachment, that child can’t move forward to step two—trusting and emotionally attaching to others and, eventually, sexually attaching to others. In other words, you can’t grow emotionally if you didn’t have infant attachment.
Catherine Gildiner (Good Morning, Monster: A Therapist Shares Five Heroic Stories of Emotional Recovery)
toward their caregivers goes unmet, they also develop a felt sense, which is the feelings, sensations, and a bodily knowing that there is something wrong with them. As a result, many of us, myself included, enter our adult relationships with this sensation of “wrongness” tucked deep inside and out of sight—until we find ourselves moving toward intimacy and there is no more hiding it.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
the need to see and know ourselves through the eyes of another in a way that allows us to feel supported and safe, and the satisfaction of long-term intimacy with another. In our most intimate relationships, the ones where we feel truly safe and relaxed enough to be our “real” selves, we are able to access even deeper states of being and discover the joy of being accepted for who we truly are.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
A final word for you—the anxious reader. There is no one for whom attachment theory has more to offer than men and women with an anxious attachment style. Although you suffer the consequences of a bad match and an activated attachment system more intensely, you also stand to gain the most from understanding how the attachment system works, which relationships have the capacity to make you happy, and which situations can make you a nervous wreck. We have witnessed people who have managed to walk away from loneliness to find the companionship they longed for, using the principles outlined in this chapter. We’ve also witnessed people who have been in long-term relationships that brought out the worst in them, but understanding and utilizing attachment principles marked the beginning of a new phase of their relationship—a more secure phase.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
When we apply the energy of acceptance to risk-taking, we are able to take risks with much more confidence and steadiness. Acceptance is when we bring trust to a situation. We all take risks, but if we want to master risk-taking we must learn to do so without attaching anxious energy to our decisions. Anxiety disconnects us from our power. Acceptance allows us to relax into our power and move through any circumstance with clarity and confidence.
Cleo Wade (Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life)
One final caution: Don’t be too quick to move past a “nice-but-boring” date. As Levine and Heller (2010) note, sometimes people equate their attachment-related anxiety with the feeling of being in love. When someone is comfortable to be with and seems accepting of you, your attachment-related anxiety might not be triggered. So it’s entirely possible that the “nice person” you met might be a great fit for you—despite the lack of immediate “excitement.
Leslie Becker-Phelps (Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It)
Before coming to the Black Wood, I had read as widely in tree lore as possible. As well as the many accounts I encountered of damage to trees and woodland -- of what in German is called Waldsterben, or 'forest-death' -- I also met with and noted down stories of astonishment at woods and trees. Stories of how Chinese woodsmen in the T'ang and S'ung dynasties -- in obedience to the Taoist philosophy of a continuity of nature between humans and other species -- would bow to the trees which they felled, and offer a promise that the tree would be used well, in buildings that would dignify the wood once it had become timber. The story of Xerxes, the Persian king who so loved sycamores that, when marching to war with the Greeks, he halted his army of many thousands of men in order that they might contemplate and admire one outstanding specimen. Thoreau's story of how he felt so attached to the trees in the woods around his home-town of Concord, Massachusetts, that he would call regularly on them, gladly tramping 'eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or yellow-birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines. When Willa Cather moved to the prairies of Nebraska, she missed the wooded hills of her native Virginia. Pining for trees, she would sometimes travel south 'to our German neighbors, to admire their catalpa grove, or to see the big elm tree that grew out of a crack in the earth. Trees were so rare in that country that we used to feel anxious about them, and visit them as if they were persons'....
Robert Macfarlane (The Wild Places)
I believe that people come into our lives for a reason, and that each person we cross paths with has a valuable lesson to share with us. We just need to be open to receive it. Seen this way, we might say that the underlying nature of all relationships is spiritual. This is why the path to becoming self-full is also a spiritual journey toward wholeness, one in which we seek to establish a connection, not only to our inner selves, but to a source of unconditional love and support that’s greater than anything we can put into words.
Jessica Baum (Anxiously Attached: Becoming More Secure in Life and Love)
How do you let go of attachment to things? Don’t even try. It’s impossible. Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them. In the meantime, just be aware of your attachment to things. Sometimes you may not know that you are attached to something, which is to say, identified, until you lose it or there is the threat of loss. If you then become upset, anxious, and so on, it means you are attached. If you are aware that you are identified with a thing, the identification is no longer total.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Create a Better Life)
Your partner/date has an anxious attachment style. Someone with an anxious attachment style craves intimacy but is also very sensitive to even the smallest of perceived threats to this closeness. Sometimes they’ll interpret your unconscious actions as a threat to the relationship. When this happens, they become flooded with apprehension, but they lack the skills to communicate their distress to you effectively. Instead, they resort to a lot of acting out and drama. This can create a vicious cycle as they become even more sensitive to slights and their distress is compounded. This does sound daunting, but before you call it quits, it is important to know that if you’re sensitive and nurturing enough to calm their fears—which is very doable—you will win a greatly loving and devoted partner. Once you are receptive to their basic needs for warmth and security, their sensitivity can become an asset; they’ll be very much in tune with your wants and will be helpful and dedicated. What’s more, they will also gradually learn how to communicate their fears and emotions better and you will need to second-guess them less and less.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
Intervention strategies like Circle of Security, Group Attachment-Based Intervention, and Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up essentially teach parents of young children how to listen and respond to their babies and toddlers before dysfunctional neural patterns get grooved into their tiny developing brains—that is, before children develop lifelong anxious and/or avoidant approaches to relationships. While the programs focus on helping parents listen to their kids, participants report using the same strategies to improve their relationships with spouses, coworkers, and friends.
Kate Murphy (You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters)
The same is true for those who do not work hard to find a good and rewarding job, perform the kind of work they like to do, and secure a good position in their chosen career. Even if they achieve a good standard of living, no amount of material wealth can relieve the emptiness in their hearts. They experience the same anxious spiritual state. They live a life of discontentment because they are so passionately attached to this world, they remain ambitious for wealth and possessions, and they regard everything and everyone around them as simply another opportunity for personal profit.
Harun Yahya (Those Who Exhaust All Their Pleasures In This Life)
Avoidants and the Anxious-Preoccupied are in a sense complementary: the Preoccupied values relationships too highly and thinks about them too much, while the Avoidant (especially the Dismissive) devalues relationships and tends not to be too concerned about them. If the Preoccupied were a bit more secure they’d be able to dial back the attention to their relationships to a healthier level that would make them happier and more successful, while if the Dismissive could only surface those attachment feelings lurking in his subconscious and value his relationships more consciously, he would also be happier and more successful.
Jeb Kinnison (Avoidant: How to Love (or Leave) a Dismissive Partner)
The more subtle, and often less easily spottable, combination from hell is when partners of different tendencies date but can’t accommodate. Initial attraction may be strong – contrast makes for interest – and when we’re safely in love there may be no trigger for attachment wobbles. But fast forward a little: inject any kind of stress or insecurity and the dynamic will make both sides crazy. Anxious plus avoidant means one of us clings, the other pulls away. Avoidant plus attacking means one of us runs, the other pushes to engage. Attacking plus anxious means one fights, the other fears. The result can be a Tom and Jerry cartoon-type chase, with A emotionally pursuing B round the room of the relationship.
Susan Quilliam (How to Choose a Partner: The School of Life)
likely to form a secure attachment. The less secure the relationship attachments in our first two years, the harder it is to have good relationships throughout our lives. Little or no response to a distressed child from a caregiver may result in the child developing an avoidant behavior pattern, and low self-esteem. When a caregiver is inconsistent in response to the child’s needs, the child will likely form ambivalent relationship patterns, anxiously uncertain about whether they can trust people. Finally, frightening behavior, intrusiveness, withdrawal, negativity, role confusion, and maltreatment lead to a disorganized attachment, and cause a child to feel dazed and confused. This child dissociates and compartmentalizes the traumatic experiences as
Heather Hans (The Heart of Self-Love: How to Radiate with Confidence)
If I know the classical psychological theories well enough to pass my comps and can reformulate them in ways that can impress peer reviewers from the most prestigious journals, but have not the practical wisdom of love, I am only an intrusive muzak soothing the ego while missing the heart. And if I can read tea leaves, throw the bones and manipulate spirits so as to understand the mysteries of the universe and forecast the future with scientific precision, and if I have achieved a renaissance education in both the exoteric and esoteric sciences that would rival Faust and know the equation to convert the mass of mountains into psychic energy and back again, but have not love, I do not even exist. If I gain freedom from all my attachments and maintain constant alpha waves in my consciousness, showing perfect equanimity in all situations, ignoring every personal need and compulsively martyring myself for the glory of God, but this is not done freely from love, I have accomplished nothing. Love is great-hearted and unselfish; love is not emotionally reactive, it does not seek to draw attention to itself. Love does not accuse or compare. It does not seek to serve itself at the expense of others. Love does not take pleasure in other peeople's sufferings, but rejoices when the truth is revealed and meaningful life restored. Love always bears reality as it is, extending mercy to all people in every situation. Love is faithful in all things, is constantly hopeful and meets whatever comes with immovable forbearance and steadfastness. Love never quits. By contrast, prophecies give way before the infinite possibilities of eternity, and inspiration is as fleeting as a breath. To the writing and reading of many books and learning more and more, there is no end, and yet whatever is known is never sufficient to live the Truth who is revealed to the world only in loving relationship. When I was a beginning therapist, I thought a lot and anxiously tried to fix people in order to lower my own anxiety. As I matured, my mind quieted and I stopped being so concerned with labels and techniques and began to realize that, in the mystery of attentive presence to others, the guest becomes the host in the presence of God. In the hospitality of genuine encounter with the other, we come face to face with the mystery of God who is between us as both the One offered One who offers. When all the theorizing and methodological squabbles have been addressed, there will still only be three things that are essential to pastoral counseling: faith, hope, and love. When we abide in these, we each remain as well, without comprehending how, for the source and raison d'etre of all is Love.
Stephen Muse (When Hearts Become Flame: An Eastern Orthodox Approach to the Dia-Logos of Pastoral Counseling)
Having a TV—which gives you the ability to receive information—fails to establish any capacity for sending information in the opposite direction. And the odd one-way nature of the primary connection Americans now have to our national conversation has a profound impact on their basic attitude toward democracy itself. If you can receive but not send, what does that do to your basic feelings about the nature of your connection to American self-government? “Attachment theory” is an interesting new branch of developmental psychology that sheds light on the importance of consistent, appropriate, and responsive two-way communication—and why it is essential for an individual’s feeling empowered. First developed by John Bowlby, a British psychiatrist, in 1958, attachment theory was further developed by his protégée Mary Ainsworth and other experts studying the psychological development of infants. Although it applies to individuals, attachment theory is, in my view, a metaphor that illuminates the significance of authentic free-flowing communication in any relationship that requires trust. By using this new approach, psychologists were able to discover that every infant learns a crucial and existential lesson during the first year of life about his or her fundamental relationship to the rest of the world. An infant develops an attachment pathway based on different patterns of care and, according to this theory, learns to adopt one of three basic postures toward the universe: In the best case, the infant learns that he or she has the inherent ability to exert a powerful influence on the world and evoke consistent, appropriate responses by communicating signals of hunger or discomfort, happiness or distress. If the caregiver—more often than not the mother—responds to most signals from the infant consistently and appropriately, the infant begins to assume that he or she has inherent power to affect the world. If the primary caregiver responds inappropriately and/or inconsistently, the infant learns to assume that he or she is powerless to affect the larger world and that his or her signals have no intrinsic significance where the universe is concerned. A child who receives really erratic and inconsistent responses from a primary caregiver, even if those responses are occasionally warm and sensitive, develops “anxious resistant attachment.” This pathway creates children who feature anxiety, dependence, and easy victimization. They are easily manipulated and exploited later in life. In the worst case, infants who receive no emotional response from the person or persons responsible for them are at high risk of learning a deep existential rage that makes them prone to violence and antisocial behavior as they grow up. Chronic unresponsiveness leads to what is called “anxious avoidance attachment,” a life pattern that features unquenchable anger, frustration, and aggressive, violent behavior.
Al Gore (The Assault on Reason)
Everything on earth is in a state of constant flux. Nothing keeps the same, fixed shape, and our affections, which are attached to external things, like them necessarily pass away and change. Always beyond or behind us, they remind us of the past which is no longer or anticipate the future which is often not to be: there is nothing solid in them for the heart to become attached to. Thus the pleasures that we enjoy in this world is almost always transitory; I suspect it is impossible to find any lasting happiness at all. Hardly is there a single moment even in our keenest pleasures when our heart can truly say to us: 'if only this moment would last for ever', and how is it possible to give the name happiness to a fleeting state which still leaves our heart anxious and empty, and which makes us regret something beforehand or long for something afterwards? But if there is a state where the soul can find a position solid enough to allow it to remain there entirely and gather together its whole being, without needing to recall the past or encroach upon the future, where time is nothing to it, where the present lasts for ever, albeit imperceptibly and giving no sign of its passing, with no other feeling of deprivation or enjoyment, pleasure or pain, desire or fear than simply that of our existence, a feeling that completely fills our soul; as long as this state lasts, the person who is in it can call himself happy, not with an imperfect, poor, and relative happiness, such as one finds in the pleasures of life, but with a sufficient, perfect, and full happiness, which leaves in the soul no void needing to be filled. The feeling of existence stripped of all other affections is in itself a precious feeling of contentment and peace which alone would be enough to make this existence prized and cherished by anyone who could banish all the sensual and earthly impressions which constantly distract us from it and upset the joy of it in this world.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Reveries of the Solitary Walker)
In attunement, it is the infant who leads and the mother who follows. “Where their roles differ is in the timing of their responses,” writes John Bowlby, one of the century’s great psychiatric researchers. The infant initiates the interaction or withdraws from it according to his own rhythms, Bowlby found, while the “mother regulates her behaviour so that it meshes with his... Thus she lets him call the tune and by a skillful interweaving of her own responses with his creates a dialogue.” The tense or depressed mothering adult will not be able to accompany the infant into relaxed, happy spaces. He may also not fully pick up signs of the infant’s emotional distress, or may not be able to respond to them as effectively as he would wish. The ADD child’s difficulty reading social cues likely originates from her relationship cues not being read by the nurturing adult, who was distracted by stress. In the attunement interaction, not only does the mother follow the child, but she also permits the child to temporarily interrupt contact. When the interaction reaches a certain stage of intensity for the infant, he will look away to avoid an uncomfortably high level of arousal. Another interaction will then begin. A mother who is anxious may react with alarm when the infant breaks off contact, may try to stimulate him, to draw him back into the interaction. Then the infant’s nervous system is not allowed to “cool down,” and the attunement relationship is hampered. Infants whose caregivers were too stressed, for whatever reason, to give them the necessary attunement contact will grow up with a chronic tendency to feel alone with their emotions, to have a sense — rightly or wrongly — that no one can share how they feel, that no one can “understand.” Attunement is the quintessential component of a larger process, called attachment. Attachment is simply our need to be close to somebody. It represents the absolute need of the utterly and helplessly vulnerable human infant for secure closeness with at least one nourishing, protective and constantly available parenting figure. Essential for survival, the drive for attachment is part of the very nature of warm-blooded animals in infancy, especially. of mammals. In human beings, attachment is a driving force of behavior for longer than in any other animal. For most of us it is present throughout our lives, although we may transfer our attachment need from one person — our parent — to another — say, a spouse or even a child. We may also attempt to satisfy the lack of the human contact we crave by various other means, such as addictions, for example, or perhaps fanatical religiosity or the virtual reality of the Internet. Much of popular culture, from novels to movies to rock or country music, expresses nothing but the joys or the sorrows flowing from satisfactions or disappointments in our attachment relationships. Most parents extend to their children some mixture of loving and hurtful behavior, of wise parenting and unskillful, clumsy parenting. The proportions vary from family to family, from parent to parent. Those ADD children whose needs for warm parental contact are most frustrated grow up to be adults with the most severe cases of ADD. Already at only a few months of age, an infant will register by facial expression his dejection at the mother’s unconscious emotional withdrawal, despite the mother’s continued physical presence. “(The infant) takes delight in Mommy’s attention,” writes Stanley Greenspan, “and knows when that source of delight is missing. If Mom becomes preoccupied or distracted while playing with the baby, sadness or dismay settles in on the little face.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
The experiment is called the Strange Situation, and you can see variations of it on the Internet. A mother and her toddler are in an unfamiliar room. A few minutes later, a researcher enters and the mother exits, leaving the youngster alone or with the researcher. Three minutes later, the mother comes back. Most children are initially upset at their mother’s departure; they cry, throw toys, or rock back and forth. But three distinct patterns of behavior emerge when mother and child are reunited—and these patterns are dictated by the type of emotional connection that has developed between the two. Children who are resilient, calm themselves quickly, easily reconnect with their moms, and resume exploratory play usually have warm and responsive mothers. Youngsters who stay upset and nervous and turn hostile, demanding, and clingy when their moms return tend to have mothers who are emotionally inconsistent, blowing sometimes hot, sometimes cold. A third group of children, who evince no pleasure, distress, or anger and remain distant and detached from their mothers, are apt to have moms who are cold and dismissive. Bowlby and Ainsworth labeled the children’s strategies for dealing with emotions in relationships, or attachment styles, secure, anxious, and avoidant, respectively.
Sue Johnson (Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships (The Dr. Sue Johnson Collection Book 2))
hesitation they lost their lead. Adult attachment theory teaches us that Karen’s basic assumption, that she can and should control her emotional needs and soothe herself in the face of stress, is simply wrong. She assumed the problem was that she is too needy. Research findings support the exact opposite. Getting attached means that our brain becomes wired to seek the support of our partner by ensuring the partner’s psychological and physical proximity. If our partner fails to reassure us, we are programmed to continue our attempts to achieve closeness until the partner does. If Karen and Tim understood this, she would not feel ashamed of needing to hold his hand during the stress of a nationally televised race. For his part, Tim would have known that the simple gesture of holding Karen’s hand could give them the extra edge they needed to win. Indeed, if he knew that by responding to her need early on, he would have had to devote less time to “putting out fires” caused by her compounded distress later—he might have been inclined to hold her hand when he noticed that she was starting to get anxious, instead of waiting until she demanded it. What’s more, if Tim was able to accept Karen’s support more readily, he would probably have bungee jumped sooner. Attachment principles teach us that most
Amir Levine (Attached: Are you Anxious, Avoidant or Secure? How the science of adult attachment can help you find – and keep – love)
Anxious: You love to be very close to your romantic partners and have the capacity for great intimacy. You often fear, however, that your partner does not wish to be as close as you would like him/her to be. Relationships tend to consume a large part of your emotional energy. You tend to be very sensitive to small fluctuations in your partner’s moods and actions, and although your senses are often accurate, you take your partner’s behaviors too personally. You experience a lot of negative emotions within the relationship and get easily upset. As a result, you tend to act out and say things you later regret. If the other person provides a lot of security and reassurance, however, you are able to shed much of your preoccupation and feel contented. Secure: Being warm and loving in a relationship comes naturally to you. You enjoy being intimate without becoming overly worried about your relationships. You take things in stride when it comes to romance and don’t get easily upset over relationship matters. You effectively communicate your needs and feelings to your partner and are strong at reading your partner’s emotional cues and responding to them. You share your successes and problems with your mate, and are able to be there for him or her in times of need. Avoidant: It is very important for you to maintain your independence and self-sufficiency and you often prefer autonomy to intimate relationships. Even though you do want to be close to others, you feel uncomfortable with too much closeness and tend to keep your partner at arm’s length. You don’t spend much time worrying about your romantic relationships or about being rejected. You tend not to open up to your partners and they often complain that you are emotionally distant. In relationships, you are often on high alert for any signs of control or impingement on your territory by your partner.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
In Separation, the second volume of his great trilogy on attachment, John Bowlby described what had been observed when ten small children in residential nurseries were reunited with their mothers after separations lasting from twelve days to twenty-one weeks. The separations were in every case due to family emergencies and the absence of other caregivers, and in no case due to any intent on the parents’ part to abandon the child. In the first few days following the mother's departure the children were anxious, looking everywhere for the missing parent. That phase was followed by apparent resignation, even depression on the part of the child, to be replaced by what seemed like the return of normalcy. The children would begin to play, react to caregivers, accept food and other nurturing. The true emotional cost of the trauma of loss became evident only when the mothers returned. On meeting the mother for the first time after the days or weeks away, every one of the ten children showed significant alienation. Two seemed not to recognize their mothers. The other eight turned away or even walked away from her. Most of them either cried or came close to tears; a number alternated between a tearful and an expressionless face. The withdrawal dynamic has been called “detachment” by John Bowlby. Such detachment has a defensive purpose. It has one meaning: so hurtful was it for me to experience your absence that to avoid such pain again, I will encase myself in a shell of hardened emotion, impervious to love — and therefore to pain. I never want to feel that hurt again. Bowlby also pointed out that the parent may be physically present but emotionally absent owing to stress, anxiety, depression, or preoccupation with other matters. From the point of view of the child, it hardly matters. His encoded reactions will be the same, because for him the real issue is not merely the parent's physical presence but her or his emotional accessibility. A child who suffers much insecurity in his relationship with his parents will adopt the invulnerability of defensive detachment as his primary way of being. When parents are the child's working attachment, their love and sense of responsibility will usually ensure that they do not force the child into adopting such desperate measures. Peers have no such awareness, no such compunctions, and no such responsibility. The threat of abandonment is ever present in peer-oriented interactions, and it is with emotional detachment that children automatically respond. No wonder, then, that cool is the governing ethic in peer culture, the ultimate virtue. Although the word cool has many meanings, it predominately connotes an air of invulnerability. Where peer orientation is intense, there is no sign of vulnerability in the talk, in the walk, in the dress, or in the attitudes.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
• No matter how open we as a society are about formerly private matters, the stigma around our emotional struggles remains formidable. We will talk about almost anyone about our physical health, even our sex lives, but bring depression, anxiety or grief , and the expression on the other person would probably be "get me out of this conversation" • We can distract our feelings with too much wine, food or surfing the internet, • Therapy is far from one-sided; it happens in a parallel process. Everyday patients are opening up questions that we have to think about for ourselves, • "The only way out is through" the only way to get out of the tunnel is to go through, not around it • Study after study shows that the most important factor in the success of your treatment is your relationship with the therapist, your experience of "feeling felt" • Attachment styles are formed early in childhood based on our interactions with our caregivers. Attachment styles are significant because they play out in peoples relationships too, influencing the kind of partners they pick, (stable or less stable), how they behave in a relationship (needy, distant, or volatile) and how the relationship tend to end (wistfully, amiably, or with an explosion) • The presenting problem, the issue somebody comes with, is often just one aspect of a larger problem, if not a red herring entirely. • "Help me understand more about the relationship" Here, here's trying to establish what’s known as a therapeutic alliance, trust that has to develop before any work can get done. • In early sessions is always more important for patients to feel understood than it is for them to gain any insight or make changes. • We can complain for free with a friend or family member, People make faulty narratives to make themselves feel better or look better in the moment, even thought it makes them feel worse over time, and that sometimes they need somebody else to read between the lines. • Here-and-now, it is when we work on what’s happening in the room, rather than focusing on patient's stories. • She didn't call him on his bullshit, which this makes patients feel unsafe, like children's whose parent's don’t hold them accountable • What is this going to feel like to the person I’m speaking to? • Neuroscientists discovered that humans have brain cells called mirror neurons, that cause them to mimic others, and when people are in a heightened state of emotion, a soothing voice can calm their nervous system and help them stay present • Don’t judge your feelings; notice them. Use them as your map. Don’t be afraid of the truth. • The things we protest against the most are often the very things we need to look at • How easy it is, I thought, to break someone’s heart, even when you take great care not to. • The purpose on inquiring about people's parent s is not to join them in blaming, judging or criticizing their parents. In fact it is not about their parents at all. It is solely about understanding how their early experiences informed who they are as adults so that they can separate the past from the present (and not wear psychological clothing that no longer fits) • But personality disorders lie on a spectrum. People with borderline personality disorder are terrified of abandonment, but for some that might mean feeling anxious when their partners don’t respond to texts right away; for others that may mean choosing to stay in volatile, dysfunctional relationships rather than being alone. • In therapy we aim for self compassion (am I a human?) versus self esteem (Am I good or bad: a judgment) • The techniques we use are a bit like the type of brain surgery in which the patient remains awake throughout the procedure, as the surgeons operate, they keep checking in with the patient: can you feel this? can you say this words? They are constantly calibrating how close they are to sensitive regions of the brain, and if they hit one, they back up so as not to damage it.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone)