What Does It Mean to Be Attached? Why Does Attachment Matter?

Hello!

Integrating the concept of attachment has completely changed how I engage in my practice with clients and in my personal relationships. I'm really excited to be sharing this information with you! I’m spending the month of February reflecting on the concept of attachment and the power it holds in our lives when we fully embrace it and understand it. Attachment and love go hand in hand—and having a deeper appreciation for attachment can help us have more love and joy in our lives. I'm pretty into that!

When we talk about attachment, we are talking about a pattern of relating. When we talk about love, we are talking about a feeling and way of being. We have feelings related to attachment as well, but it’s more about our emotional response to the pattern at play, our emotional triggers related to the pattern, and the way we behave as a result of the emotional trigger. Our attachment patterns come out full force when we experience the vulnerable and beautiful emotion of love and can hijack us and throw us into a very different experience. You know that feeling when you’re having the best time and everything is going great, and then your partner says something and all of a sudden you are NOT having fun and this is NOT great and you just want to go home? Yep. You know what I mean. Hijacked!

As we grow up, our interactions with our caregivers give us a relationship blueprint. We learn how to be in relationships with other people, what it means to be/not be responded to, and whether our needs are important. Through our early relationships, we start to perceive our importance in the world (side note: even if you didn’t grow up feeling important, I want to remind you that you are). This informs how we relate to adults in romantic partnerships, friendships, and even business relationships.

This week, I’m sharing all the reasons I believe it’s important to understand attachment. If you’re anything like me and you’re hearing this for the first time, it might change everything for you. Once we understand where our concept of relationships came from, why we have specific emotional triggers and what they are, and how we behave as a result of them, we are totally empowered to own the way we show up in relationships. We are able to name what’s happening, hold space for that, and do it differently. Isn’t that incredible?!

I am calling this set of videos The Kitchen Table Series—because I believe that there are so many small ways we can connect with each other--through brief moments at the coffee shop, on long walks, in deep conversations in our comfy clothes, and over dinner at the kitchen table. Embracing this and knowing that we can change our relationship with our attachment patterns by building in tiny secure, solid, and stable interactions is why I do the work I do, and why I love this concept so very much.

I'm including some links below the video this week so you can gather some more information about the concept of attachment. Next week, we'll be talking about the different attachment styles and you'll learn more about where you fall in the attachment spectrum. This information is so empowering!

Want more information about attachment?

New York Times article: Yes, It's Your Parents' Fault

Attachment Injuries: How Do We Fix This?

Do you have questions or comments? What has your experience with attachment concepts been like? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Take good care and I will talk to you soon,

Elizabeth