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How to Have Better Relationships

We all want lasting love, to be able to give and receive love, and to build healthy relationships with others. Yet there’s often a lot of confusion and pain to get there. And the most challenging one can be to truly love ourselves. What if it didn’t have to be that way?


What if there were certain guidelines that could ease your journey and help you navigate the challenges that come up? 


Today we’re talking about understanding your Patterns.


Another name for these is Attachment Styles which stem from how safe you felt as a child. There are 4 styles, and though these styles can and do change in life, it is a major clue to how we behave , and how we give and receive love today. 


I  found it fascinating to learn my style, and use this guide to figure out my husband’s style and also my kids'. It really helps you know people in a deeper way, and it gives you more freedom to chart you best course. The categories of the attachment styles are:

  1. Secure
  2. Anxious
  3. Avoidant
  4. Fearful-Avoidant (disorganized)


I'll tell you about each one, so you can see which one or more you resonate with most. Then , I’ll give you ways to navigate through, in order to create the life you want and deserve. Ok, let’s jump in:



Which one sounds most like you? These categories are pretty broad, and might not perfectly describe your emotions and patterns. You may have one style with your parents, and one with your partner, one at work. These styles can and do change with time, but the main idea is to move towards a secure attachment style. For now, be like a detective and see what aspects speak to you most…


1.Secure Attachments: This is thought to come from receiving what’s called the 4 S’s as a child: feeling seen, safe, soothed and secure.  In adults it shows up as being comfortable on your own skin, and in relationships, being able to experience both intimacy and autonomy.

  • You can give and receive love.
  • You can get very close to someone yet keep to your values.
  • No one is forcing you to do something you disagree with. 
  • You have a positive view of yourself and your relationships.
  • You feel confident and connected  
  • You look for healthy long-term relationships with loving partners, there for each other,
  • who can grow together, and give and receive love. 

You will recognize them because  they have authenticity and empathy,  and they strive to see the best in people. 


2.Anxious (or Ambivalent) Attachment

 Those with an anxious attachment style often had caregivers that were not attuned to their needs.

So, they are anxious about abandonment and rejection.

  • Many will over give of themselves so they feel loved.
  • They NEED to have someone love them in order to feel loved.
  • But there’s an unconscious low self-esteem
  • Even if people treat you as valuable, it’s hard to take it in.

You may look to others for validation, but invalidate your own feelings and emotions (sometimes feeling I’m too much or I’m not enough…)  which makes you work harder to earn the external love you crave.


3.Avoidant Attachment:

This attachment style can stem growing up with people who were emotionally unavailable. So now, it’s hard to trust others or express your needs.  You might prefer to avoid emotional or social interactions, and it can come off as aloof.

  • Can’t trust people. 
  • You get overwhelmed and block out emotions to protect yourself,
  • You want to maintain your independence and not lose your freedom. 
  • Emotional intimacy, vulnerability, and commitment are a challenge because there’s shame due to a core fear of being deficient
  • It’s harder to put efforts into relationships and it’s safer not expect too much from them. 
  •  The experience of love can feel rare and fleeting. 
  • Its harder to take in the love around you, as there’s underlying fear is that “if someone gets too close, they won’t like who I am.”

You tell yourself that you are independent , and don’t need others. The dilemma is that to receive love means you need it in the first place, and that is a scary thought.  


4. Fearful-Avoidant (disorganized) Attachment: 

This style is all about an Inner conflict which shows up as: sometimes you want to get close to others, sometimes you’ll push them away. This is often related to some childhood trauma, abuse, or neglect.  

  • It’s harder to regulate your emotions.  
  • Being vulnerable emotionally is not in your comfort zone.   
  • You really want to have a close relationship and intimacy, but at the core feel somewhat unlovable.  
  • There’s a suspicion of others and a push-pull dynamic that makes it hard to trust in a relationship.

So you still may be wondering - what is my attachment style?

I am linking a quiz, so explore... 





1.Tips for a Secure Attachment Style:

Give and receive love - take it in.

Choose like-minded people to spend time with - no drama.

Choose people that mirror your values, and contentment

Be open and curious about new ways to expand… growth and novelty are important - you always want to keep growing.


2.Tips for an Anxious Attachment Style:

Choose people with qualities that you need, instead of those you are drawn to.

As an example - You may have a friend who always dates the guys that treat her badly, who are never there for her. And nothing you can do will change the pattern. It’s interesting that

an anxious attachment style, is often attracted to an avoidant type (the reason is they’re replaying a childhood dynamic and confusing being triggered with being in love.

But… if you have the anxious style of attachment, for a lasting relationship,  you want to feel more at ease, so  in new relationships I’d tell my friend to look for qualities that soothe rather than activate her. She may not listen; she has to be open, but there’s science behind this . Psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and director of the SecureLab at Columbia University, Dr. Amir Levine, author of “Attached,”  has created this acronym for certain qualities an anxious style person should look for in partners.  It is  spelled:


  • consistency
  • availability
  • reliability 
  • responsiveness
  • predictability 


Challenge Negative Thoughts: Learn to recognize if fears of abandonment are real and replace those thoughts with more realistic ones.


Nurture Self-Sufficiency:  Don’t make your partner your whole world. Keep up old friends and and cultivate new interests, hobbies and friendships outside the relationship. Make your world bigger.


Balance closeness with personal space. Both you and your partner need both.


Adopt Rituals: Clinical psychologist Coda Derrig, PhD recommends ‘rituals of separation,’ where both partners agree that before they go out for the day, they give each other a kiss. They say, ‘I’ll see you tonight.’ They send a text during the day to say they’re thinking of each other. Whatever it is, they make a conscious effort to acknowledge that they’re leaving and also that they will be back,” “That can help a person with an anxious attachment to feel confident their partner will not abandon them.”  


3. Tips for an Avoidant Style

Know and regulate your feelings  For this style, it helps to regulate your emotion by reconnecting with your feelings through the body’s cues. Ask do I feel a headache, stomach pains, brainfog, and then ask what feeling represents this sensation that you are feeling in your body? It’s a somatic approach (see Feeling /Emotions Wheel - this really helps) 

So, instead of suppressing or minimizing emotions, acknowledge them , learn to identify, label, and experience them and that it is safe to explore this.


Do anything self- expressive, journal, make art, play music…

And if you’re with an avoidant type, for them  to feel safe, it’s better if you move at their speed. Like, if you see they’re agitated, say it’s ok, we can talk later. It’s important to be non-judgmental.


Set Boundaries in order to build trust gradually: This is important for every relationship style, but if you are avoidant, and fear that others will disappoint you, or that sharing too much about yourself too quickly will make you want to pull back, then slow things down. Observe your own emotions and share them. Let your partner know that you need time to open up, and you’ll only be sharing what feels safer to you, and let them know that this is a gradual process. It is not too much to ask. This builds trust gradually. 


Observe and Question: Notice when you are pulling back and ask yourself why the situation is triggering you. As you make those associations, you gain more awareness to understand your needs and when it feels safe to let others in.

Inner Child Work Consider working with a therapist to reparent your inner child  -that can be really helpful.


4. Tips for a Fearful - Avoidant (disorganized) Style

Trauma Informed Therapy: If you have traumatic memories, think of working with a therapist specializing in EMDR Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocessing or CBT: trauma focused Behavioral Therapy.


Somatic Practices- Tune into your body: do you feel a headache, stomach ache, tight shoulders? Ask what feeling represents this sensation that you are feeling in your body? You can look at a Wheel of Emotions to give you clues. This helps you have better self-awareness,  and define your emotions.


Practice Self-Compassion - It’s normal for people with fearful-avoidant attachment to be very self-critical and think negatively about themselves.  Instead, be gentle with yourself, and practice talking to yourself as you would a best friend.


Learn to manage intense emotions. Have 2-3 tools at the ready to elevate your energy and change your state. Breathwork or movement exercises or things like holding an ice cube can help too.


Create a support circle of safe relationships. You are influenced by your inner circle and support team. Choose wisely.


We all want to let in more love, and this is an invitation to use these attachment styles to know people better and help you look deeper into any changes that you want to make.

You deserve more love and happiness. Play with these to see how you can improve all of your relationships, especially the one with yourself that is the source of it all. 




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