In an environment where we can initiate and manage online and offline social connections, social media not only serves as a means of entertainment and socializing, but it also serves attachment functions. In this article, you'll learn about the origins of attachment theory, the three main categories of attachment (secure, anxious, and avoidant), the basic behavioral characteristics of each attachment style, and how specific attachment styles affect well-being and relationships, both online and offline. A Brief Primer on Attachment What exactly does attachment mean? As these were accepted, more positive feelings were in evidence. Throughout this period there were insightful learnings which often struck the group member with the full force of a therapeutic insight; As the group discussions continued, many members came to a decision-making and planning phase as they worked out the ways in which they would utilize their learnings in their work in their own community. Opportunity for first-hand experience. It had been recognized that the most significant gains would accrue only if the trainees had the opportunity to put their attitudes and skills into practice. It was very difficult, however, to supply clients in sufficient quantity; In spite of these obstacles, a number of members of each group carried counseling cases, and others engaged people in casual interviews in which they had some opportunity to test out some of the ideas they were acquiring. The groups felt that this first-hand experience in carrying on at least a rudimentary counseling was one of the most valuable portions of the training and wished there might have been more of it. Since it was possible to make recordings of some of the cases handled by trainees, the whole group became identified with the situation as they listened to the recorded interviews, learning a great deal both from the weaknesses and strengths, the mistakes and successes of their fellow trainees. The case analysis period. This seemed so uncharacteristic of my friend, who understands that gender is not binary. When I told her I couldn't endorse the article, she understood. She was ashamed of that aspect of the article. She explained that she wrote the article the way she did under duress from the publisher because she desperately needed the article's advance. She is a brilliant person and a hard worker, but she hasn't had the opportunities that would let her monetize her talents. It's also unfortunate to see how one effect of systemic injustice (in this case, poverty) is to set marginalized people against one another.

As another example, a homeless kid has limited options for making money, leaving them vulnerable to feeling like they need to perform sex work. Then they feel ashamed for the things they do to survive. To add further insult to injury, they are then punished with judgment and legal sanctions, as if it's their fault. It isn't their fault, though. Why and how humans form attachments has always been of great interest to psychologists and scholars in the social sciences. John Bowlby, a British psychoanalyst, is the pioneer of the evolutionary theory of attachment. His theory purports that all humans have an innate, biological predisposition to form attachments and that our drive to build attachments is instinctual and crucial to our survival. Simply put, our lives depend on our attachments. Furthermore, the quality of our early relationships with our caregivers is crucial. This relationship sets the stage for the health and success of our future relationships. One reason our early relationships are as influential as they are in the kinds of attachments we'll form over our life span is because our early relationships determine what's known as our internal working model of the world. We all have an internal working model. It guides our thoughts, behaviors, moods, and expectations about how others will behave and react toward us; I generally believe people are trust worthy or People will take advantage of me and disappoint me or I can rely on my friends and family to help me are all examples of internal working models. One period each day was set aside for case analysis. Interviews from a great variety of cases were presented in recorded form for listening and discussion, or in mimeographed form for detailed analysis of counselor techniques and client process. Some of these were cases handled by staff members; In spite of the fact that listening to recordings is a most demanding task, since the recordings are seldom easily audible, this case analysis portion of the course was rated fourth among eleven activities in which the group engaged (33, pp. The opportunity for personal therapy. In the first group which came for training, the availability of personal counseling help for those who desired it was explained early in the course.

Only a few took advantage of this opportunity, but they were emphatic in their feeling that personal counseling was one of their most meaningful experiences, and made the strong recommendation that this opportunity should be given more stress in later groups. Their recommendation was passed on to succeeding groups, with the result that in some classes 80 per cent of the members sought personal help for themselves. Throughout the successive groups this was regarded as a part of the training which was of markedly significant benefit. The impact of concentrated intimate informal association. The blame rests in a culture that provided no better options for survival. Cultural commentator, blogger, and community organizer Da'Shaun Harrison poignantly makes this point when describing their sister's death by suicide as murder by the state. When I first read Harrison's moving piece, When Marginalized Folk Take Our Lives, It's Because the State Already Has, the wording death by suicide felt awkward and uncomfortable. But point well-taken: the language more familiarly used, committed suicide, conveys shame and wrongdoing, and implies that the person who died was a perpetrator rather than a victim. Viewing suicide as a byproduct of a social (or health) condition, on the other hand, removes the victim-blaming and can also help us better envision avenues for prevention. One particularly strong cultural narrative says that people experience poverty because of their own failures; This explanation locates the causes of poverty in the individual and ignores surrounding social structures. For example, conservatives rail against funding for food assistance programs, suggesting they create dependency. What they are really saying is that people in poverty are lazy and must be forced to fend for themselves, denying the possibility that people would like to provide for their own welfare but cannot, for entrenched structural reasons. Many people believe that poverty results from moral weakness instead of recognizing the economic and social structures that hold people there. One can think of attachment style as being analogous to a relationship style or relationship pattern. The Three Main Attachment Styles Psychologist Mary Ainsworth is best known for expanding upon Bowlby's evolutionary theory of attachment through her research examining young children's separations and reunions with their mothers. Based on numerous observations of mother-child dyads, Ainsworth came up with three general styles of human attachment: Secure attachment. If you were lucky enough to have early caregivers who were consistently available, emotionally attuned, empathetic, and responsive to your needs, most likely you'll fall into this category.

People with secure attachment styles tend to exhibit confidence, healthy self-esteem, and an ability to regulate emotions and are more likely to have and enjoy healthy reciprocal relationships. Anxious attachment. Anxious attachments are likely to be formed if your early caregivers were inconsistent with their ability to be responsive, empathic, and emotionally attuned. As adults, anxiously attached individuals tend to doubt their self-worth, show higher degrees of ambivalence, fear rejection, seek reassurance and approval, and long for constant closeness. One phase of the training program proved to have much more importance than had been foreseen by the staff. The men were together for a minimum of eight hours a day, as a whole group, in subgroups, and in groups of two, three, or four for coffee or lunch or dinner. Since most of them stayed at nearby hotels, the discussion and interaction not infrequently continued until the small hours of the morning in heated bull sessions in which the trainees reviewed and reconsidered from every angle the issues of the course and the effects these ideas were having upon their own personal integration and philosophy. In these ways, which had not been adequately foreseen, the training course had a deep total impact. A considerable proportion of each group, when it came time to leave, felt that the total training program experience had been one of the high points of learning in their whole lives. When one considers that this was not an adolescent group but a group in their thirties, this enthusiasm seems to have significance. It appears rather clear that if one were planning such a program for its maximum impact, the trainees and faculty might do well to live together as well as work together, to the full degree that this is practicable, since the informal association appears to have an important influence upon the assimilation of new concepts and ways of behaving. A Trainee's Reactions Before proceeding to a research analysis of the outcomes of this training course, it may be possible to suggest something of its effect upon the lives and attitudes of the participants through some brief excerpts from interviews. In several instances trainees who requested personal therapy for themselves permitted the interviews to be recorded. With this as a dominant narrative, it makes sense that impoverished people internalize those messages and believe that the problem is in them. The problem is not in the individual. The solution is not that the individual needs to try harder. As Mary O'Hara astutely writes in The Shame Game: Overturning the Toxic Poverty Narrative, The people in desperate need swallowing their pride to turn up on the doorsteps of foodbanks in the fifth richest nation on earth [Britain] or relying on food stamps in the richest nation on earth [United States] are not doing so because they are flawed, failed people. The solution is to create an economy defined by opportunity and the chance for anyone to thrive. SHAME AND EDUCATIONAL STATUS

Educational status is yet another loaded example of a shame-inducing way we stratify one another. My friend, for example, tells me that she always dreads the inevitable Where did you go to college? Revealing that she went to a community college makes her vulnerable to the stigma of being less intelligent and worthy than others. Hearing that question can be even harder for someone who never attended post-secondary school. When the anxiously attached are emotionally distressed, the urge to connect with others is heightened, and efforts made to connect often bring about negative emotional consequences. Avoidant attachment. This style of attachment is thought to be a consequence of an early caregiver's general lack of availability and responsiveness. As adults, avoidantly attached individuals can be excessively self-reliant and mistrustful and might avoid intimacy. People in this group tend to use attachment-deactivating strategies--for example, never showing an outward desire for closeness or affection in most of their relationships. Meet Kayla, an Anxiously Attached Social-Media User Kayla, a petite and strikingly attractive twenty-five-year-old and second-year law student, cried out in session, I'm so attached to my computer that I can't sleep without it! Kayla initially came to me for treatment for help to improve her friendships and her romantic and professional relationships. Ever since Kayla could remember, she'd struggled to form meaningful and lasting attachments. Brief portions of one of these cases are illustrative. In the following excerpt the trainee has just described some previous therapy he has had, in which he feels the relationship was a very dependent one. The defining of the self and the development of it is what's important. You feel that . Uh, I also want to add, when you have -- there's a -- almost might put it, a faith-concept here. That in itself produces a different mental set.