Ten Steps Toward Secure Attachment and an Awesome Relationship: Step 3
Celebrate the connection that's there
Here we go with Step Three of my free program: Ten Steps Toward Secure Attachment and an Awesome Relationship.
You have two options. You could continue on the same path you’ve been on so long with insecure attachment and frustrating unfulfilling relationships, or you could take action and change your life. I’m here to help. Apply for a free confidential Attachment Style Strategy Session with me and we’ll custom-design a plan to help you have awesome healthy relationships!
More attachment style goodness...
Celebrate the connection that's there
Some people get so focused on what they don’t have in a relationship that they forget about all the things that are going well. Or they dismiss what’s there because it doesn’t fit their ideal image — which may not be realistic.
In a study of gratitude and attachment at Eastern Washington University, people with insecure attachment styles were less satisfied in relationships than those with secure attachment — and the secure folks had more gratitude.1
Even when you’re single, you can celebrate connections you have with people in your life or ones from the past who have impacted your life in a positive way. When we focus on what is going well, we tell our brains and the universe to send us more of the same.
Imagine you were ordering food at a restaurant and you told the server what you didn’t want instead of what you did want. Who knows what kind of dish you might get, if you got one at all!
Tips for your attachment style
If you have ambivalent attachment:
The ambivalent adaptation has a tendency to focus on all the things that aren’t working and that they don’t have, and there’s learning there. It’s great to know what we don’t want and to practice good boundaries when we’re looking for a partner, and we’ll talk about partner selection later.
But when we’re overly focused on what’s not working, we can completely overlook what is working. This is an opportunity to practice focusing on what’s going well.
Think of people who have been consistently there for you, now or in the past — consistent, reliable connection. Think of them often and let yourself feel the warmth or presence of that connection physically. Practice gratitude, letting yourself enjoy the feeling of someone there for you.
The ambivalent attachment formed because of a lack of consistent available connection, so by focusing on the connections in your life that are or have been consistent, you are telling your brain what you want more of. Do this exercise while you’re in a relaxed meditative state.
You can take this out into the world by noticing the caring behaviors all around you and practicing gratitude for them with a gratitude journal.
If you have avoidant attachment:
It can be tempting in avoidant attachment to hang on to an ideal of a partner who doesn’t exist, but then we're never satisfied, so where’s the joy in that?
The avoidant adaptation can occur when we don’t feel seen or gotten and our emotional needs aren’t considered. Avoidants often didn’t get the warm loving eye contact early on in development, and so eye contact can feel more uncomfortable for this type and many avoidants don’t really feel seen.
In this exercise, get into a calm meditative state and bring to mind someone with a kind compassionate gaze. This could be a friend, a pet, the Dalai Lama, whoever resonates with you. Imagine their warm and loving gaze as you take relaxing breaths.
Observe what you notice physically as you see their warm and loving eyes looking back at you. Many avoidants I’ve worked with find this exercise both soothing and uplifting.
If you have disorganized attachment:
You can do the exercises for ambivalent and avoidant attachment above, since disorganized attachment is a combination of these types.
Celebrate the connection that’s all around you, in the internal world of your own history and experience, and the external world of your environment.
Take the next step towards connection.
Did you feel fuzzy around how to do these exercises on your own, or not experience them as vividly as you wanted? Let me walk you through them. Contact me today for a free confidential phone consultation, and I’ll help you re-connect with the secure attachment you were meant to have!
1 Konkler, J. (2019). Effect of Priming Attachment Styles on Gratitude in Close Relationships. [online] EWU Digital Commons. Available at: https://dc.ewu.edu/theses/265/