Attachment is the ability to bond to others. It is rooted in our beliefs about ourselves and others. And it determines how secure we feel.
Am I lovable? Are others willing to love me? Am I worthy of love? Are others even capable of love?
There are many more questions surrounding our ability to attach. Why is this important? Our beliefs will influence our ability to have healthy relationships with others. It will determine whether we feel needy or safe or suspicious or trusting or optimistic when forming bonds with others. It even influences our ability to trust that God is good or available to us.
These beliefs are developed during our early years, many of them before we can talk. As a newborn baby did I need medical intervention that included being poked with needles and isolated from my parents? When I cried was I comforted? When I was hungry was I fed quickly? Was I born into a tough situation where my caregiver was stressed and could not adequately provide for me?
Fortunately, as humans with the ability to think and grow, we do not have to be permanently hobbled by our beliefs. We can learn to dispel any lies that we have accepted about our worth or the worth of others.
Here is a quick assessment that can help you determine your attachment style – see which style you lean towards.
1. A. I don’t like sharing my feelings with others.
B. I really like sharing my feelings with my partner, but he/she does not seem as open as I am.
C. My feelings are very confusing to me, so I try not to feel them.
D. I find it easy to share my feelings with people I’m close to.
2. A. I don’t like it when my partner wants to talk about his/her feelings.
B. My feelings can get out of control very quickly
C. My feelings are very intense and overwhelming.
D. I like it when my partner wants to share his/her feelings with me.
3. A. I have a hard time understanding how other people feel.
B. I worry about being alone.
C. I feel torn between wanting to be close to others and wanting to pull away.
D. I am comfortable getting close to others, but I also feel comfortable being alone.
4. A. When I get stressed, I try to deal with the situation all by myself.
B. I worry about being abandoned in close relationships.
C. My partner complains that sometimes I’m really needy and clingy and other times I’m distant and aloof.
D. I expect my partner to respect who I am.
5. A. My partner often complains that I don’t like to talk about how I feel.
B. My partner complains that I am too clingy and too emotional.
C. I have a difficult time letting others get close to me, but once I let them in, I worry about being abandoned or rejected.
D. I expect my partner to respond to my needs in a sensitive and appropriate way.
6. A. I don’t really need close relationships.
B. I strongly desire to be very intimate with people.
C. I feel very vulnerable in close relationships.
D. Building intimacy in relationships comes relatively easy to me.
7. A. I highly value my independence and self-sufficiency.
B. In my closest relationship, the other person doesn’t seem as desirous of intimacy and closeness as I am.
C. Sometimes I feel very disconnected from myself and my feelings.
D. I let myself feel my emotions, but I’m rarely, if ever, overwhelmed by them.
8. A. I don’t worry about being alone or abandoned.
B. I worry a great deal about being rejected by others.
C. I can’t decide whether or not I want to be in close relationships.
D. I am able to understand and respond sensitively to my partner’s feelings.
9. A. I don’t worry about being accepted by others.
B. I tend to value close, intimate relationships over personal achievement and success.
C. Other people can really hurt you if you let them get too close.
D. I do a decent job balancing my need for intimacy with my need for achievement and success.
10. A. I tend to value personal achievements and success over close, intimate relationships.
B. When I get stressed, I desperately seek others for support, but no one seems as available as I would like them to be.
C. Close relationships are difficult to come by because people tend to be unpredictable in their actions and behaviors.
D. When I get stressed, I feel comfortable seeking comfort from my partner and/or close friends.
Key (count up the A’s, B’s C’s & D’s)
I Have Mostly:
A’s: Avoidant attachment style — I’m worried about you
B’s: Anxious attachment style — I’m worried about me
C’s: Fearful attachment style — I’m worried about both of us
D’s: Secure attachment style —