Ever been confused by someone who pushes people away, but in the next moment craves intimacy?
Robin Scherbatsky from the show How I Met Your Mother might come to mind:
A disorganized attachment style may be the cause of this behaviour.
Our attachment style as an adult develops from childhood experiences:
Were our caregivers trustworthy?
Did we receive enough attention?
Were we encouraged to be our true selves?
There are four types of attachment. Each type differs in the positive (+) and/or negative (-) view of yourself and others:
+ view of self, + view of others
- view of self, + view of others
+ view of self, - view of others
-/+ view of self, -/+ view of others
Disorganized types experience insecure attachment as a combination of avoidant and anxious types.
They push people away while also seeking close relationships.
But Why Does This Happen?
Disorganized attachment may develop because of:
Experiences of unresolved trauma.
EG. A verbally abusive household
Inconsistent care as a child because a caregiver was sometimes present, other times not.
EG. A parent who worked 3 jobs and was rarely home
Confusing behaviors from their caregiver when their caregiver's own needs were not met.
EG. A parent who struggled with their mental health and was not emotionally available
Such events have the potential to contribute to a disorganized attachment style because they may signal instability and inspire uncertainty about relationships from childhood.
The resulting fearful response is a coping mechanism to avoid getting hurt again.
Conflicting Feelings About Relationships
A disorganized attachment style often means being excited to enter new relationships but pushing people away the moment things get too serious.
Let's Keep It Casual
Entering casual relationships built on physical intimacy temporarily satisfies the need for connection without having to focus on feelings.
Even if their partner is supportive, a disorganized type may:
Maintain a negative view of themselves
Perceive their partner's support negatively
Show low commitment to the relationship
Which of the following might someone with a disorganized attachment style include in a breakup text?
Better Watch Out
If pressured to share too much, or if they feel that the relationship is progressing too quickly, disorganized types may:
Exhibit unpredictable emotions — responding simultaneously to the fear of abandonment and being smothered
Shut off all communication suddenly and without warning
Make excuses to leave the relationship