Your attachment style determines the way that you connect with others, how comfortable you feel with intimacy, and how you operate within your relationships. Insecure attachment is an umbrella term that encapsulates any attachment style that is not secure. In other words, insecure attachment refers to anxious, avoidant, or disorganized styles of attachment. People who have an insecure attachment style struggle to form secure, trusting, and lasting bonds with others.
Children who are diagnosed with attachment disorders display insecure attachment styles, and these patterns tend to persist over time, into adulthood. The messages and lessons children receive and learn during childhood about parental availability are eventually generalized to all their relationships.
A person exhibiting an insecure attachment style is more likely to also experience depression, anxiety, reduced capacity for intimacy, and lower resilience than a person with a secure attachment style.
When you have a secure attachment style, you find relationships satisfying; you are comfortable with vulnerability and openly expressing your needs; and you’re able to rebound quickly when others disappoint you. With a secure attachment style, you’re able to find balance in your relationships, resolve conflict effectively, and communicate your feelings assertively.
Attached, by Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller, is a wonderful book about the science of attachment and how to flourish in your relationships, no matter your or your partner’s attachment style. The Therapist Uncensored podcast, by Sue Marriott and Ann Kelley, is another helpful resource that sheds light on understanding attachment and trauma, and offers hope about healing.
An insecure attachment style does not have to determine the quality of your life. No matter the nature of your insecure attachment, you can heal from your trauma and learn ways to connect with others that feel emotionally fulfilling.