A place to start is understanding your attachment style

You’ve probably heard about different ways to know your personality better.

There’s the Myers-Briggs test, the Enneagram, and so on. Maybe you haven’t heard of attachment styles, though.  Knowing and understanding my attachment style and how to become healthier in my life was transformational for me and for my closest relationships

Knowing your attachment style is a way to understand how you relate to other people.

It gives you a clearer way to look at your relationships, and your role in them. Your attachment style is rooted in our attachment to our primary caregiver during our first two years of life.

There are four attachment styles: Secure, Anxious-Preoccupied, Dismissive-Avoidant, and Fearful-Avoidant.

You can see these four styles represented in the quadrants of the graph below:


To identify your own attachment style, you’ll need to know the definitions and what they look like:

  • The Secure attachment style is not anxious or avoidant. Such people feel positively toward themselves and others.
  • The Anxious-Preoccupied style is anxious and insecure. Such people view others as better themselves, and their anxious attachment reflects this. They tend to doubt their worth, and this takes a toll on their relationships.
  • The Dismissive-Avoidant style is self-important and avoidant of others. Such people value themselves more positively than others. They avoid attachment outright and think of relationships negatively.
  • The Fearful-Avoidant style means a constantly changing view of the self and others. Such people may want close relationships but find it hard to trust others. (This attachment style is common for people who experienced trauma and/or abuse at a young age.)

Knowing how to identify these traits in your relationships, and what secure attachment looks like, can help you work toward a healthier attachment style.

Which of these attachment styles do you see in your own behavior? 

By Matt Burton