Primary attachment style

By Dave Henning / June 13, 2023

“We each likely have a primary attachment style that can inform us about our relationship with God, others, and ourselves. . . .  Each style has different strategies for responding in situational strength — and therefore can be empowered to choose different strategies and rhythms in their journey to become strong like water.”- Aundi Kolber

As Aundi Kolber moves on in Chapter 4 of Strong Like Water, she talks about four types of primary attachment styles.  She covers the first three today.

 1.  Avoidant attachment.  People with this type of attachment typically experienced emotionally distant or cold relationships with caregivers or primary adults.  Often, Aundi notes, the caregiver meets the child’s physical needs, but allows emotional needs to go unmet.

Thus, this person fears overwhelm/engulfment by another’s emotions.  And his/her situational strength strategy = suppress, use anger to shut down, isolate, or think instead of feel.  So, this person needs to build awareness of their window of tolerance.  And understand what feels safe to his/her body.

2.  Anxious attachment.  One develops this attachment strategy when primary adult relationships are attuned on an inconsistent basis.  As a result, children learn to see love as inconsistent or not reliable.

Thus, this person fears being alone — that it’s unsafe and everyone’s going to leave.  Hence, you must keep them there as long as you can.

As a result, this person employs big emotion, fawning, or self-abandonment to remain connected to their attachment figure.  Even if it costs them their authenticity or safety.  Therefore, you need to notice if or when you feel drawn to ‘leaving yourself’ in order to maintain connection with another person.

3.  Disorganized attachment.  Because this person wants to experience connections but also fears it, they find themselves in a double bind.  Thus, despite this deep desire, they remain isolated and alone.

This, Aundi believes, often feels like placing one foot on the gas and the other on the brake at the same time.  So, pacing is critical.  Take small steps toward attachment.  That helps you to best combine safety and growth.

Today’s question: Do you see any of the above as your primary attachment style?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Rest and refreshment places”

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Dave Henning

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