Dec 1, 2016

What Relationship Style Are You?

Me: So how’s the dynamic with that girl who you’re ‘just friends with’?

Sean: Yeah it’s been really easy, we get along well and the conversation just flows naturally

Me: So there’s no sexual tension at all?

Sean: No not AT all, we’ve been friends for like 10 years and I’ve never felt anything

So what’s happening here?

There are two Relationship Styles at play and without an understanding of each other’s, this conversation could have turned pear shaped.

After starting to read Attached (by Amir Levine & Rachel Heller), it was clear to me that Sean and I have two very different styles when it comes to a Relationship.

Luckily, they’re compatible!

BUT because I was aware of these styles, I was able to turn this morning’s conversation around in one minute before it began to go south.

Simply by understanding my own Relationship style and explaining that this is where I was coming from and asking for what I needed in the moment, I diffused his reaction to my questions.

So rather than him becoming defensive and me upset at his defensiveness, the conversation instead turned to an understanding of where the other was coming from which led to more love and connection.

This requires a high level of self awareness to know when you’re reacting and catching yourself in the moment. Couple this with knowing your Relationship Style and Boom!…Connection rather than anxiety.

Here’s the 3 Styles in a Nutshell:

Avoidant

– Send’s mixed signals, Values their independence, Devalues you

Secure

– Reliable & consistent, Makes decisions with you, Flexible view of relationships.

Anxious

– Wants a lot of closeness in the relationship, Expresses insecurities – worries about rejection, Unhappy when not in a relationship.

So which one are you? And who have you been dating or in relationships with?

After reading the book, it would appear that when Avoidant and Anxious are together, it’s difficult.

As the Anxious person tries to get closer and fulfil their need for connection, the Avoidant person pulls away (to avoid the intimacy which can be overwhelming for them). This leaves the anxious person feeling rejected and sad.

And it’s not because the Avoidant person doesn’t want the connection. They do! But their way of getting it is so different, that the anxious person just doesn’t understand.

This means if you’re Anxious, a Secure partner is probably more compatible. Same goes with Avoidant – try someone with a Secure style and see how that goes.

If you’re in a relationship, don’t despair, through a deeper understanding of yourself and an increased level of self awareness, you can head off any potential fires when they spark rather than hosing down the house once they’ve caught fire!

Walking beside you,

With love

Sarah xo

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