Do you find yourself drawn to people who are bad for you? People, who are emotionally unavailable, abusive, or narcissistic? If so, you're not alone. Many people are drawn into relationships with people who have personality traits that are harmful to them. And while it can be difficult to understand why we do this, attachment theory can provide some answers.
Attachment theory is a psychological framework that explains how our early childhood experiences shape the way we relate to others in our adult lives. According to attachment theory, we develop different "attachment styles" based on our relationships with our primary caregivers. These attachment styles can be categorized as secure, anxious-ambivalent, or avoidant.
People with a secure attachment style tend to have positive, healthy relationships. They're able to trust and be trusting of others, and they feel comfortable being emotionally intimate. People with an anxious-ambivalent attachment style often find themselves in relationships with people who have an avoidant attachment style, however, this is not always the case. People with anxious-ambivalent attachment styles often feel insecure, clingy, and have a hard time trusting their partners. People with avoidant attachment styles often struggle with emotional intimacy and being vulnerable to deepen a connection with their partner. Avoidant attachment style individuals are often emotionally unavailable, to also include individuals who are narcissistic and/or emotionally withdrawn. They might have a hard time being emotionally intimate, and they might distance themselves from their partner emotionally and/or physically.
While attachment theory can't explain everything about why we're drawn to certain people, it can provide some insight into why we might be attracted to people who are harmful to us. If you find yourself in a relationship with someone who is emotionally withdrawn, abusive or narcissistic, attachment theory can help you understand why. And if you're looking for a healthy, long-lasting relationship, understanding attachment theory can help you identify the qualities you should be looking for in a partner. If you find yourself involved in an unhealthy relationship dynamic it is strongly encouraged that you seek professional assistance from a trained and licensed clinician who can guide you in the healing process.
Thank you for reading my blog post! I hope that it was helpful and informative for you.
Renee Cherowitz is the founder of RC Counseling, a counseling practice in Winter Park, Florida. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Trauma Hypnotherapist, Master ART therapist and Qualified Supervisor. She specializes in attachment, trauma, C-PTSD, PTSD, and victims of narcissism. Renee has helped countless individuals heal from attachment wounds, build healthy relationships, and overcome narcissistic abuse. She is passionate about helping people heal and grow, and she firmly believes that change is possible for everyone.