Attachment theory teaches us that true autonomy relies on feeling securely connected to other human beings. Current developments in “Attachment theory teaches us that true autonomy relies on feeling securely connected to other human beings. Current developments in the field of attachment science have recognized that bonded pairs, such as couples, or parents and children, build bonds that physiologically shape their nervous systems. Contrary to many Western conceptions of the self as disconnected and atomized, operating in isolation using nothing but grit and determination, it turns out that close-knit connections to others are in large part how we grow into our own, fully expressed autonomous selves.
~Nora Samaran, Turn This World Inside Out: The Emergence of Nurturance Culture
Insecure versus secure
According to psychologists, insecure attachment styles are nothing but an adaptation to having been loved “conditionally” either from emotionally imbalanced good caregivers or troubled ones who are unable to love. Narcissists are, probably, the example that fits the latter context the best.
In the absence of any deterministic and/or up-to-date research about the percentage of insecurely attached adults versus the securely attached ones, I will limit my sharing to my own experience.
Note that the insecure styles described in the current literature are slightly different from the attachment theory classification introduced by John Bowlby, given psychology science is continuously progressing.
You can call it a curse that deepens every day the world’s imbalance, no matter how ugly this reality might sound. Everything in the distorted human behavior is tied to the quality of the subconscious program. It is the reason why I care a lot about educating around the topic. More to the point, we are unconsciously attracted to the bond that we are familiar with, which is the opposite of what we built. For instance, a fearful-avoidant would be attracted to a dismissive-avoidant.
Same thing when it comes to an anxious-preoccupied. It is an unhealthy dynamic, and each party’s needs that were discriminated against during their childhood are unlikely to be met.
What about relationship dynamics?
For those of you who read this article, they might be tempted to ask themselves this legitimate question:
“How can I say that a fearful-avoidant would be attracted to a secure person, then? Am I not contradicting myself?”
It can, undoubtedly, happen from time to time. That’s how one of my quotes, below, was born. Nonetheless, I will always come back and admit it to you, given that I am merely a human being who only knows a drop in the ocean of knowledge. Aristotle said it best, “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know”.
There are so many things I ignore, so many I will probably never know, so many I will always have some doubt about! But what I know for sure is my being and the power of our energy & free acts of kindness in uplifting and inspiring people around us, and in building trust in the long run.
To come back to your question, from my personal experience as well as my continuous education, it seems to me that a fearful-avoidant/fearful-avoidant relationship would be healthy IF they somehow took a chance on themselves to explore a new kind of bond. I am eagerly looking for a more scientific explanation, and I promise to keep you posted!
Interestingly, a secure person, on the other hand, is a servant leader who effortlessly fulfills the fearful-avoidant deepest needs of feeling seen, validated, and worthy. Simply put, how they show up in the world breaks the fearful-avoidant ‘automated’ patterns.
What is even more interesting is that a fearful-avoidant whose basic emotional needs are satisfied would automatically invest the best of themselves — the purest part of their being — as a result. Those are the ones I am honored to call ‘soul friends’!
It comes with no surprise that our attraction to secure servant leaders is uncontrollable not because of chemistry but thanks to how they make us feel about ourselves. We respect, trust, and love them.
If we keep our hearts open to receive what we deserve from the universe, the chances that we will feel honored to follow the lead of those moral authorities are high.
I took care of summarizing a non-exhaustive list of the common patterns I observed here, should you be interested in effectively spotting them.
“Why can I become a servant leader, myself?” could be a question you are thinking of, am I right?
The good news is that you don’t ‘become’ a servant leader. It is already inside of every one of you. S/he was only kept prisoner by your caregivers and is waiting for you to clean the dust off your life-time of conditioning and “un(become) the filter”. By working on your conditioning patterns, you will surely set the servant leader free! The barista in the video below is one of my very favorite samples. I’d love to meet her in person one day!