DEALING WITH BAGGAGE – PART 2

What’s up my viewers,

Today we continue with our topic on DEALING WITH BAGGAGE and we look at the PSYCHOLOGICAL ATTACHMENT THEORY.

ATTACHMENT THEORY

The psychological theory of attachment was first described by John Bowlby, a psychoanalyst who researched the effects of separation between infants and their parents to shows the four ways human beings respond when hurt, uncomfortable or threatened in relationships.

He made parents leave their children in one room and came back later. He observed the behavior of the children when their parents left and when they arrived back. The first group dismissed their parents when they came back and pretended to be just fine and self-sufficient. This once he named their type of insecurity Dismissive avoidant.

The second group of children cried a lot when their parents came back and were clingy to their partners just to show their parents how much they love them, they jumped on their parents and continued to look straight into their eyes in a manner of wanting to get approval that they would never leave them alone again, this group he called the Anxious type of insecurity.

The third group were overwhelmed by their own emotions and cried a lot when their parents arrived and continued to cry even when they were carried by their parents for fear of being left alone again. This third group he called their insecurity fearful avoidant.

The last group of children, never cried when left and when their mothers came back, smiled, jumped on them and went back to play. In other words, they had a strong sense of surety that their parents would just leave and come back. This group he called The secure.

Let’s go ahead and define the characteristics portrayed by children with each of the following types of insecurities.

1. Dismissive Avoidant

This is insecurity from fear of emotional closeness. They fear that if they get close to someone the person may demand too much from them with little return this is because during childhood, emotional connection was associated with pain in some important relationships.

These are people who:

·         avoid emotional connections,

·         are uncomfortable with emotional closeness,

·         appear self-sufficient,

·         are not vulnerable,

·         can shut out people and appear okay,

·         avoid eye contact,

·         Use humor to defuse emotional connections

2. Anxious

This is insecurity from fearing the loss of emotional connection because during childhood, no healthy boundaries were placed for the child. Likely absent parental figures. These are people who:

·         Tend to romanticize life

·         Battle with a savior complex- A messiah complex or Christ complex) is a state of mind in which an individual holds a belief that they are destined to become a savior today or in the near future. The term can also refer to a state of mind in which an individual believes that they are responsible for saving or assisting others

·         Are often demanding and possessive of their partners

·         View anyone close to their partner as an enemy

·         Are clingy to their partners

·         Fear physical distance e.g. travels to another country for a while

·         Over analyze actions of their partners

·         Tend to confuse turbulence in their relationships for passion

·         Suspicious that the one they love does not feel the same way

·         Threaten self-harm when partner decides to leave them

·         Struggle with solitude and have low self-esteem

3. Fearful Avoidant

This is insecurity from fear of being rejected because during childhood they may have suffered rejection, verbal, emotional, physical or sexual abuse. These are people who are:

·         Unpredictable in relationships

·         Often overwhelmed by own emotions

·         Fear being too close to their partner

·         Fear being too distant at the same time because they need connection

·         Tend to self-sabotage the very relationships they need

·         They hurt those who come too close

·         Struggle to be dependent on their partners

·         Easily end up in abusive relationships

4. Secure

These are the kind who are comfortable and healthy in relationships because they had secure relationships with their caregivers growing up. These are people who:

·         Have very high emotional intelligence

·         Have high sense of self-awareness

·         Are very objective people

·         Are very resilient

·         Don’t have mindless allegiances

·         Treat people as individuals instead of clustering them in stereotypes

·         Keep good relationships and discard bad ones

Let’s go ahead and find out the types of parents or caregivers we grew up in their care. This will help you to gauge which kind of parent or guardian you had and how this contributed to the insecurities you are facing right now.

FOUR TYPES OF PARENTS

1.Dominant or Domineering Parent

2.Negligent Parent

3.Permissive/ Laissez-faire Parent

4.Loving and Firm Parent

1. Dominant or Domineering Parent

These are parents who:

·         Holds high expectations to child but offers no warm support to achieve that standard.

·         Have many rules given with no exceptions

·         Communication is often terse and firm

·         Outbursts of anger towards child

·         Home environment is tense

·         Emotional distant from children

·         Often discourage and exasperate children

How children of dominant parents generally turn out

They Often have FEARFUL AVOIDANT type of love attachment and have the following characteristics:

·         Often emerge despondent or aggressive-all this because of low self-esteem

·         Grow up rejecting the standard of the parents in rebellion

·         Tend to disdain those who pursue high standards in life

·         Tend to attract children from similar homes

·         Tend to be loud and defiant

2. Negligent Parent

These are parents who:

·         Are uninvolved in child’s life/ Physically absent

·         Have their attention taken up by divorce or marital problems

·         Can be too absorbed by work, education and chasing their dreams

·         Work away from home and hardly see children

·         Justify negligence with provision

·         Tend not to fulfill their promises

·         Child often raised by house help

·         Parents perceived well by outsiders

·         Parents tend to be harsh when things don’t turn out well at home

How children of negligent parents generally turn out

They Often have DISMISSIVE AVOIDANT type of love attachment and their characteristics are as follows:

·         They Pretend to cope just fine without parents

·         They Tend to cling easily to first person who pays attention to them

·         They Tend to look for attention and approval from their peers

·         They Struggle to be interdependent in life

3. Permissive/ Laissez-faire Parent

These are parents who:

·         Are warm, affectionate and present

·         Often become permissive to counter dominant spouse

·         Are weak at establishing and enforcing rules

·         Make threats but don’t follow through

·         Are controlled by their children who know their threats mean nothing

·         Offer no boundaries for children in the name of freedom

·         Often make their spouse be seen as the bad cop and themselves as the good cop

·         Are liked by children in the early years of marriage

·         Are disliked by children in the later years of marriage

How children of permissive parents generally turn out

They Often have ANXIOUS type of love attachment and they:

·         Tend to make horrible moral decisions because of lack of guidance

·         Easily slip into delinquent behaviour

·         Tend to be curious with evil they shouldn’t touch e.g. pornography

·         Tend to be manipulative and want their own way

4. Loving but firm parent

These are parents who are:

·         Physically present

·         Emotionally open and close to their child

·         Have high standards like the dominant parent but take time to train children how to get there

·         They clearly define rules and boundaries and explain them to the children

·         Make fair warnings and follow through

How children of loving but firm parents generally turn out

They Often have SECURE type of love attachmentand they are children who are:

·         Confident

·         Self-controlled and with low threshold for peer pressure

·         Secure and trusting of parents

·         Content and balanced

·         Have a sense of self-respect

Application Questions.

1.      What kind of parents did you have?

2.      How do you think this affected you?

3.      We subconsciously pick up patterns from our parents and unconsciously apply them to our marriages. What patterns from your mother and father have you picked?

4.      Have you found yourself expecting your partner to align to that pattern?

Oh!

How I look forward to your comments in the comment section below.

Kindly stick around tomorrow as we handle some of the things that your parents/guardians did that hurt you and how to resolve those issues. I know ‘they’ told you that you are a bitter, boring, lonely, clingy, emotional, nagging kind of person. Praise God!! there is Hope for those who are in Christ Jesus. I know you don’t want to miss tomorrow’s session.

Let me leave you with my favorite verse of all time. Matthew 11:28-30 Amplified Classic Version is more powerful. It says,

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

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