We’re on a mission to provide an affordable channel to boost your mental health. So, each week, we’re checking in with our community to see how they’re working on their mental health and their goal towards happiness. We invited toJessica Da Silva, Relationship Recovery Coach to share us some advice on attachment style.
Q: “I tend to question my feelings a lot and never feel like I’m 100% committed to feeling a particular way and then to the appropriate course of action. I split up with my last boyfriend of five years as I didn’t feel sure enough of how I felt and even now when dating, when things start to become more exclusive, I tend to question my feelings frequently. This however doesn’t stop me from dating a lot?”
A: “I’m a strong believer that the way in which we all experience love is closely tied to our personal Attachment Styles. Meaning, our learned ways of relating and connecting to ourselves, other’s and the world at large. Being indecisive with oneself and in dating can be a result of an insecure attachment style.
The 4 Attachment Styles are: Anxious, Fearful Avoidant (aka Anxious-Avoidant), Dismissive Avoidant and Secure Attached. I would have to inquire more about your thoughts pertaining to the indecisiveness to determine what specific attachment style you are, but the fact that you tend to doubt or distance yourself from the relationship when things become more “exclusive” might suggest that you have some avoidant tendencies, whether that be Fearful Avoidant or Dismissive Avoidant.
These avoidant tendencies usually stem from being disconnected from your emotions to some degree. Perhaps your emotions weren’t properly met by your caregivers growing up, or that you weren’t taught to identify & embrace your feelings, or that perhaps you believe emotions are “bad” or “painful” so therefore you disconnect yourself from them entirely, which would explain the indecision you experience when it comes to matters of the heart.
If you’re Fearful Avoidant, however, the fear of “closeness” can come from not wanting to be betrayed or being taken advantage. It’s important to note that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with you, attachment styles are learned behaviors. And just as you’ve learned to experience love in an insecure manner, you can learn to become more secure within yourself and in your relationships by implementing new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.
If you struggle with avoidant tendencies, I would suggest first discovering your Attachment Style (I have a free Attachment Style quiz on my website). This will give you so much clarity on how and why you experience love the way you do and even take away some of the shame you might be feeling. For anyone struggling with a lack of connection to their emotional world, I would suggest starting a journaling practice. Write down the different feelings you experienced throughout the day and how they made you feel. Note the experiences that made you feel “good” and the experiences that made you feel “bad”. This will help you become more in tune with your emotions and your personal needs.
I’d also suggest practicing vulnerability and expressing yourself (doing this in a journal can be quite helpful), and be as honest as possible, even if it makes you feel like a horrible person, WRITE IT ALL OUT. The point here is to begin embracing your emotional world. Another great thing to do is to question your commitment beliefs. Is it that you’re perhaps afraid that relationships will take away your independency or freedom? Or are you perhaps afraid that you can’t trust people and they will hurt you? Write down all of your fears and question the validity of them. Byron Katie’s “The Work” method is a great resource to help you reframe your beliefs. If you need additional support, I offer 1:1 Relationship Recovery Coaching to help individuals overcome their insecure attachment styles and to feel more secure within themselves and in their relationships. Don’t hesitate to reach out. Wishing you the best!!” – Jessica Da Silva, Relationship Recovery Coach