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GLAMOUR South Africa|March 2020
Do you often find yourself at loggerheads with your partner or repeating similar patterns of behaviour with close friends or family members? It could be because of your attachment style.
SHANNON MANUEL

Attachment theory is one of the best ways to understand your relationships. Established by Psychoanalyst John Bowlby in the ’50s, its key idea is that your attachment style is determined by the early bonds you form as a baby and young child with your caregivers. Once they’re transferred from your caretaker to you, they become a blueprint for your future relationships. The theory explains why people don’t always respond in the same way to emotional intimacy, conflict, communication, needs, emotions and expectations in relationships – both their own and their partner’s.

The way people approach intimate relationships, marriage and parenting can vary. The number of ways in which this theory can be applied or used to explain behaviour is magnified by the fact that relationships take two (or more) people; any attachment behaviours that you display will impact and be influenced by the attachment behaviours of other people. Given the many different types of behaviour, it isn’t surprising conflict and confusion exists in relationships.

These four behavioural styles could explain why you fall into certain patterns in your relationships.

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If this is you, you’re generally more likely to see others as supportive and helpful, and yourself as competent and worthy of respect. You relate positively to others, are resilient, and are more successful in the workplace and your

interactions with your colleagues. You’re also better at considering things from another person’s point of view and tend to trust others. You’re more likely to be satisfied with your relationships, and feel secure and connected to your partner without needing to be with them all the time. You’re honest, supportive, independent and share a deep emotional connection with your partner.

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