Signs of a Disorganized Attachment Style

Do you crave love but run from it? Enjoy being with someone but also long for independence? Do you pull back because you fear getting hurt? If this resonates with you, you might have a disorganized attachments style.

    What is a Disorganized Attachment Style?

    Disorganized attachment style, sometimes known as disoriented attachment, is one of the patterns of attachment that individuals may develop early in life, which can persist into adulthood and affect relationships.

    It's considered to be the most complex of the attachment styles, because individuals who exhibit this style don't fall into a predictable pattern of behavior, and may show an array of unpredictable and seemingly contradictory actions and reactions in relationships.

    How Did I Develop Disorganized Attachment?

    Disorganized attachment style is believed to have roots in early childhood. Typically, when a child is raised in an environment where the caregiver is inconsistent in their responses, or where the caregiver is at times nurturing but at other times frightening or frightened, the child can develop a disorganized attachment style.

    This is because the child is conflicted: they want to seek comfort from their caregiver, but simultaneously may find their caregiver to be a source of fear.

    Signs of a Disorganized Attachment Style

    So how can you tell if you might be strutting to the rhythm of disorganized attachment? Here are some signs:

    1. Ambivalence: You might desire close relationships, but you're also anxious about building them. You may simultaneously want intimacy and be frightened of it.
    2. Unpredictability: Your responses in relationships can be erratic. For instance, you may be very warm and close at one moment, and distant or disengaged the next.
    3. Difficulty with Trust and Control: You can be difficulty trusting others, alongside a struggle with issues of control, either by being overly controlling or overly submissive.
    4. Disassociation: In times of stress, you might disassociate. Disassociation is a defense mechanism where an individual disconnects from their thoughts, feelings, memories or sense of identity.
    5. Challenged Sense of Safety: you often struggle with feeling safe, which can be both in terms of physical safety as well as emotional security.

    Triggers for a Disorganized Attachment Style

    People with disorganized attachment style often find themselves unexpectedly pulled into a whirlpool of emotional reactions. Key triggers include:

    1. Intimacy: The prospect of getting emotionally close to someone can trigger fear and anxiety, even if intimacy is something they desire.
    2. Abandonment or Rejection: Real or perceived abandonment or rejection can be highly triggering, as they may deeply fear being left or discarded.
    3. Conflict: Engaging in conflicts or confrontations can evoke intense emotional responses and uncertainty on how to react.
    4. Authority Figures: Encounters with authority figures may trigger fear and uncertainty, especially if the person had a troubled relationship with caregivers who were supposed to be authority figures.
    5. Loss of Control: Situations where they feel like they are losing control over circumstances or relationships can be triggering.
    6. Criticisms: Receiving negative feedback or criticism can create internal turmoil, as they may find it difficult to process such information without feeling threatened.
    7. Major Life Changes: Any significant change, such as moving, a job change, or the end of a relationship, can exacerbate the internal conflict and anxiety.
    8. Physical Touch: Unexpected or unwanted physical touch can be a trigger, as it may be associated with vulnerability or invasion of personal space.
    9. Commitment: The prospect of committing to a relationship or responsibility might cause distress due to fear of being bound or entrapped.
    10. Reminders of Past Trauma: Anything that reminds them of past traumas or adverse childhood experiences can be highly triggering.

    Why Affirmations Help

    Positive affirmations can wield more power than you might think. From a neuroscientific standpoint, affirmations can be instrumental in rewiring your brain. Think of it as a mental workout that, with consistent practice, can fortify the neural pathways associated with positivity, self-assurance, and healthy relationship patterns.

    Here are ten affirmations you may find useful:

    1. I am deserving of love and acceptance
    2. I am stable and secure.
    3. My voice carries weight and importance.
    4. My emotions are valid and acknowledged.
    5. I can establish and respect healthy boundaries.
    6. Trust is within my capability.
    7. Vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.
    8. I am complete, just as I am.
    9. My past does not dictate my future.
    10. I am worthy of happiness.

    How to Heal a Disorganized Attachment Style

    If you're really struggling with disorganized attachment style, our self therapy journal How to Heal a Disorganized Attachment Style helps you to understand your attachment style.

    It will teach you about its origins, take you through guided prompts to access your subconscious mind to heal past trauma, give you daily affirmations and help you to become securely attached.

    Check it out

    Final Thoughts

    To sum up, disorganized attachment style is a paradoxical blend of anxious and avoidant attachment traits. While it has its roots in your past, healing and growth are possible through consistent introspection, understanding your triggers, and using positive affirmations.

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    Author Bio

    I wanted to share the lessons I've learnt in a cool place and write in a way that appeals to all generations. I cover all things neuroscience, psychology and spirituality with a special interest in pop culture trends.