My learning has made a profound difference in my life because I realised that right from childhood, I had the potential to have anxious attachment. There were lots of very happy social times and I had lots of friends but I was very sensitive to fallouts or conflict, taking them very personally.
In a nutshell, here are the descriptions (taken from Attached - Dr Amir Levine and Rachel Heller)
Secure attachment - you are comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving
Anxious attached - you crave intimacy and are preoccupied with your relationships and tend to worry about your partner's ability to love you back
Avoidant attached - you equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimise closeness
Although mostly (75%) we acquire our attachment style during childhood, we can find that as a result of our early romantic relationships during adolescence, we can switch attachment style.
- no longer needing to react defensively in an argument
- more flexible reaction to criticism, willing to think again
- feel more confident about expressing needs, knowing they will be heard
- no interest in 'playing games'
- more able to connect intimately because I feel safe
- quick to forgive
Another book I read which helped me enormously was Greg Baer's book 'Real Love' which emphasises the need for children to experience unconditional love from their parents so that they feel safe and free to make mistakes, knowing they will still be loved.
You can check your attachment style using the link in the Attached book or there are lots of online quizes you can try.
Remember, I can help you if you'd like some coaching on your relationships.