Ten Steps Toward Secure Attachment and an Awesome Relationship: Step 2
Be attuned to other people
Are you ready to connect better with other people and have easier more fulfilling relationships?
Welcome back to Part Two of my free program: Ten Steps Toward Secure Attachment and an Awesome Relationship.
I’m here to help. We begin your process with a free confidential phone consultation. Apply for a free confidential Attachment Style Strategy Session with me to discuss how your attachment style has been impacting your relationships and what we can do to change it.
You may want to quickly review the attachment styles here.
Now on to step 2: Be attuned to other people
Attunement is awareness of other people’s emotional needs and actions and responding to them. It’s a core part of secure attachment and it will really help your relationships.
For example, have you ever gotten a hug from someone where the person either hugged for longer than you were comfortable with, or it was the barest hint of a hug with no warmth or engagement, and you wondered whether the person wanted to be there?
Or have you had the experience of wanting to end the hug, but the other person just stayed attached?
Conversely, have you had the experience where you pulled away to end the hug, and the person instantly disengaged, following your cue? Which was more pleasant, when they ignored your body language or when they responded to it?
I teach my clients body language to tell if other people are interested in or attracted to them. Some people are afraid to flirt because they aren't sure if their advances are welcome. By paying attention to the signals that someone else is sending, we know whether to give them more attention or less, to engage with them or save our time and energy for someone who is interested in what we have to offer (It’s very rewarding when you learn to make yourself interesting and engaging so they respond and you can notice the difference!)
Another way to be attuned is to practice active listening with others — ask clarifying questions to make sure you "get them” and show them that you care.
Tips for your attachment style
If you have ambivalent attachment:
Notice what happens when you engage with someone. For example, you go in for a hug. You might want to linger a while (the ambivalent adaptation is wanting that security and to know the person won’t leave) but feel into if their own body is pulling away from you.
Notice what happens when you go to say goodbye. Do you have a tendency to cling, not wanting the other person to leave and keeping them engaged? If your conversation partner has avoidant attachment, you could be triggering their own withdrawal and avoidance patterns.
If you have avoidant attachment:
Practice being emotionally present and notice in the other person how they respond differently. If you turn toward them, make eye contact, and smile, how does their body language or tone of voice change? Do they seem more engaged as a result? If they do, notice how that registers for you. Does it feel good or does it feel like too much? Experiment with safely letting in that connection and self soothe as necessary.
Ask yourself, “what am I feeling and needing right now?” What are you feeling and needing when you feel that sense of wanting to get away or distance? At some point, you didn’t get the emotional care at some level that you needed to trust you could get needs met from other people. Dare to believe this is possible for you too.
Become curious — what might they be feeling and needing? Is there something small you can do that will meet a need of theirs while honoring your own boundaries? Connection becomes more comfortable with practice.
You can find lists of feelings and needs here.
If you have disorganized attachment:
Practice the tips for ambivalent and avoidant attachment, since disorganized attachment is a combination of these.
Becoming more secure is a practice, and it takes you to be willing to step up and say yes to this practice.
Take the next step.
Schedule an Attachment Style Strategy Session to take the next step. Everything begins with you. The entire process is customized to fit your needs. Apply today for this free confidential phone consultation, and I’ll design a program to help you change your attachment style and your relationships!