Attachment theory is an area of psychology that describes the nature of emotional attachment between people, starting with your parents. The quality of how well you were cared for will then influence the nature of your relationships later in life.
There are four attachment strategies: secure, anxious, avoidant, and anxious-avoidant.
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50% of the population is secure attachment types.
Our attachment styles are influenced by how we related to our parents as infants and set the pattern for how we perceive relationships as we mature.
As we get older, we continue to build on this pattern when we form relationships with our peers and other people.
Different attachment types tend to configure themselves into relationships in predictable ways.
Your attachment style can change over time to a more secure style or an insecure style if they're not careful.
An extreme negative event, such as divorce, death of a dear one, a serious accident, etc. can cause a secure attachment type to move into a more insecure attachment type.
Anxious types can work on developing themselves, creating healthy boundaries and fostering a healthy self-image.
Avoidant types can work on opening themselves up to others and share more about themselves.
An avoidant attachment style often stems from a parent who was unavailable or rejecting during your infancy. Since your needs were never regularly or predictably met by your caregiver, you were forced to self-soothe.
As someone with an avoidant-dismissive attachment style:
The aim of Gaslighting is to deny the other person's reality or experiences. It is a sign that you don't really believe your partners' feelings are real.
For example, if your partner says: "I'm really upset that you canceled our date", you respond with something like: "You're not really upset, it's your fault I canceled and you're just trying to blame me for it."