Why do you behave the way you do in your adult relationships?
This may be analyzed through the theory of attachment initially
proposed by psychoanalyst John Bowlby who observed the distinct
reactions toddlers would have when they were separated from
and eventually returned to their parents.
This research evolved into the proposal that an
adults abilility to form relationships was likely
to be influenced by their upbringing as a child.
Researchers Hazan and Shaver separated these attachment styles
into three categories...
Secure attachment, defined by the statement:
"I find it relatively easy to get close to others
and am comfortable depending on them and having
them depend on me. I don’t worry about being abandoned
or about someone getting too close to me."
Avoidant Attachment defined by the self-statement:
"I am somewhat uncomfortable being close to others;
I find it difficult to trust them completely, difficult to
allow myself to depend on them. I am nervous when
anyone gets too close, and often, others want me to
be more intimate than I feel comfortable being."
And lastly, anxious attachment,
defined by the self-statement:
"I find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like.
I often worry that my partner doesn’t really love me or won’t
want to stay with me. I want to get very close to my partner,
and this sometimes scares people away."
So, why is this important?
The relationship that you had with your
caregivers as a child shaped your attachment
style and thus, how you behave in
Created by Stephanie Garcia
Music by moovly
Media by moovly
Fraley, R. C. (n.d.). Attachment through the life course.
Noba. Retrieved November 1, 2022,