Detachment Styles

Much has been written about attachment styles, starting with ways that infants bond with their caregivers and then extrapolated to how people respond in their romantic relationships.

Here is a summary I made of the four primary attachment styles (information from Psychology Today):

attachment stylesIf you are not familiar with attachment theory, it’s worth a look. It’s amazing how much of how we respond in relationships can be described within this matrix.

Of course, the way we respond at the end of a relationship also depends upon our personal makeup and early experiences. I created a chart of detachment styles based upon the same criteria.

detachment stylesAs with with attachment styles, you will likely recognize yourself in more than one category or realize that you have moved from one box to another over time. These are not fixed traits; you can change your position with intention and effort.

Breaking up happens. How do you want to detach?

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7 thoughts on “Detachment Styles

  1. My attachment and detachment style are the same I’m a Dismissive on both (low anxiety and high avoidance). The tables make it easier to see. I think when someone leaves us with no real closure that can make someone as detached and dismissive as me become highly anxious. I think the way the relationship ends can alter your Detachment Style but that’s my opinion based only on my own life experience.

    1. I completely agree that the way the relationship ends can impact your detachment style. Just as your partner’s attachment style can impact your own (clinginess and aboidance tend to trigger each orher).

  2. I definitely have spent the past few months ruminating over my ex….

    Why didn’t we have more time together? What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t he want to give me a chance?

    I have had so many questions and zero answers. I have had him play mind games with me, which has not been easy, and simply just encouraged more rumination on my part.

    Thank you for sharing the table. It put me into perspective. My actions have not been ones that I can be proud of. I have to do my best to just walk away, even if in my mind he could have made me the happiest I have ever been.

    Breaking up sucks!

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