We are all programmed to be attached to other people. That is why the child cries when he is separated from his mother for some time. But depending on the behavior of loved ones in our childhood, personal experience and other factors, each of us forms our own type of attachment. It affects not only our relationships, but also ourselves.

What are the types of attachment


For people in this category, loving and caring for someone is absolutely natural. They are able to form a close bond with another person without worrying about petty misunderstandings.

“Reliable” accept partners as they are and treat them with respect. They do not play games or use manipulation, but openly talk about their successes and failures, needs and feelings. In addition, such people are attentive to the desires of a loved one and try to fulfill them.

The “reliable” ones also have a stable self-esteem, so they calmly perceive criticism and competently cope with conflicts. Instead of heating up the situation, they try to solve the problem, forgive a loved one or apologize.


People with this type of attachment want intimacy and are able to maintain close contact. Their main problem is elsewhere. They are afraid of being abandoned, and for the sake of maintaining relationships, they forget about their own desires and needs in order to please their partner. But as a result, they feel unhappy.

“Anxious” are fully occupied with relationships and are always “connected” to a partner. At the same time, they may worry that he wants intimacy to a lesser extent. This type takes everything to heart and gives a negative connotation to any comment of others in his address, expecting the worst.

To get rid of anxiety, such people begin to manipulate their partner. They deliberately move away to get attention and hear that they are needed. “Anxious” can react emotionally, do not answer calls, provoke a loved one to jealousy and threaten to break up. In addition, this type is quite jealous and tends to often call or write to a partner, even when he asks not to do so.


It includes two subtypes. The first – “disparaging” – is able to easily “cut off” difficult emotions. This category includes daffodils and those who are used to suppressing their feelings. The second – “scared” – wants close relationships, but is afraid of them and does not know how to trust.

In general, people with avoidant attachment tend to shy away from intimacy because independence is more important to them. Of course, this does not mean that they do not like close communication at all. It’s just that for them there is a certain line that should not be crossed.

In relationships, they are independent, rely only on themselves and do not like to talk about their feelings. Avoiders defend their freedom and try their best to delay the moment when they have to make any commitments. And when people with this type of attachment still start a relationship, they keep their distance, notice even the smallest flaws in a partner, nostalgic for a free life or dream of an ideal union.

Avoiders react sharply to any attempts to control them or limit their freedom. In such situations, they begin to distance themselves again: flirt with others, make rash decisions, and also ignore a loved one, his emotions and needs. The partner may complain that they feel unwanted, and also that the “avoidant” is not open enough and does not share his secrets and experiences.

Often a person with an avoidant type of attachment considers his partner to be clingy, and against this background, he is even stronger and more independent. He doesn’t worry about the end of the relationship. However, when a crack appears in a couple, the “avoiders” pretend that they do not need any connections at all and “bury” their feelings even deeper. At the same time, people with this type of attachment have the same need for intimacy as others – it is simply suppressed.

Anxious avoidant

It is also called ambivalent, or disorganized. This attachment variant combines the anxious and avoidant types, respectively, and is commonly found in survivors of abuse. Such people crave love, intimacy and care, but are afraid to enter into a relationship. They are afraid of the prospect of rejection. At the same time, they believe that they are unworthy of good things.

How attachment type affects relationships

Even the most independent of us are surprised when we notice how dependent we become when we enter into a romantic relationship. This happens because an intimate relationship subconsciously stimulates our type of attachment and we begin to either trust a person or be wary of everything that happens.

To better understand how everything works in a couple, you can analyze the type of partner’s attachment and start with his relationship to intimacy. Does he try to meet your needs or aggressively respond to your requests? Does he say that he is uncomfortable, or does he take a step forward and then distance himself? Self-confident people will not play games, show intractability, refuse to compromise.

Anxious and avoidant often form codependent relationships. Each of them does not understand their needs and the needs of the partner. That is why they are drawn to each other. Both types are rarely interested in “reliable” people, simply because healthy relationships are unfamiliar territory for them. And an alliance with someone who has similar problems confirms their fears and feeds the belief that they are not good enough for love.

Another feature of the “anxious” is that they quickly enter into a relationship, instead of pausing and analyzing how a potential partner meets their requirements. They focus on similarities with another person, idealize the chosen one and ignore possible problems. At the same time, the “anxious” forget about their needs and do not know how to properly build communication with a partner.

This is precisely the reason why the anxious type converges with the avoidant. When the “avoiders” begin to move away, the experiences of the “anxious” intensify. They confuse their longing and anxiety with love, not realizing that in fact the problem is not in them, but in the inaccessibility of a partner. And unfortunately, whatever they do, they can’t change it. “Anxious” spend more and more energy on maintaining relationships, afraid to face the truth. And the “avoiders” need someone who will look for meetings with them. It helps them meet their emotional needs.

In addition, unlike the reliable type, “alarmers” and “avoiders” do not know how to resolve conflicts, but instead begin to defend themselves and attack the enemy. Without conflict, impulsive behavior, and “chasing” an unavailable partner, unreliable types sink into depression associated with past relationships.

How to change attachment type

Although most of us do not change our attachment type, it can be adjusted to make us feel more comfortable. Psychotherapy or relationships with a “reliable” partner help with this.

Changing the type of attachment is also inextricably linked with overcoming codependency. You can do this in a few steps:

  • Get rid of the feeling of shame and work on self-esteem. This will allow you not to take everything to heart.
  • Start expressing your opinion more assertively.
  • Learn to notice, respect and express your emotional needs.
  • Be honest – stop playing games and manipulating others.
  • Practice acceptance of yourself and others.
  • Stop overreacting to the little things. It is difficult, but possible, if you identify the main triggers and find out the mechanism for their appearance.
  • Take care of yourself.
  • Practice conflict resolution and compromise.

Anxious people need to take responsibility for themselves and learn to take their time at the initial stage of a relationship. And for the “avoidant” – take responsibility for a partner, deal with their weaknesses, learn to respect and accept their need for love, and build boundaries.

This is especially true for the “anxious” and “avoidant” who recently got out of a codependent relationship. With this development of events, both types may think that if they open again, they will find themselves in an even more dependent position. Actually this is not true. A healthy attachment to another person, on the contrary, helps to become more independent. It provides a reliable and solid foundation for studying the world.