Understanding attachment styles with the guidance of the book, “Attached”

by Alexa Diego | July 2020

“Most people are only as needy as their unmet needs. When their emotional needs are met, they usually turn their attention outward. This is the “dependency paradox”: The more effectively dependent people are on one another, the more independent and daring they become.” 

Amir Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller

The book “Attached” captures the essence of attachment styles and challenges the notion that dependency is this “bad thing” most of us were taught.

Amir Levine and Rachel Heller show how independence ensues when we allow ourselves to depend on another person who can effectively fulfill our needs. In other words, at the root of healthy relationships lies a mutual fulfillment of emotional needs that encourages independence. 

The authors explain the development of distinct attachment styles during people’s upbringing and categorize the attachment styles (not in order) as:

  • Anxious: overanalyzing partner’s signals, second guessing their feelings, and worrying they may lose interest or end the relationship.
  • Avoidant: learned to fend for themselves and project high self-confidence, acting unaffected if a partner comes or goes.
  • Secure: comfortable with intimacy, develops romantic relationships relatively easily.
  • Anxious-avoidant (disorganized): fears abandonment/loss of their partner’s love, inability to express their needs. 

However, the book does not conclude that we cannot change and develop more secure attachment styles during our adulthood. It is indeed possible to grow out of an attachment style. It takes work and guidance. 

The key to healthier relationships is to become aware of our emotional needs, the tendencies that pertain to our attachment styles, as well as the interactions that may occur with opposing styles.

To learn more about the book itself, visit their website at: https://www.attachedthebook.com/wordpress/about-the-book/

You can also borrow the book from Chicago Public Library at: https://chipublib.bibliocommons.com/item/show/2032625126