Monday, 5 June 2017

Over-attachment and Unhealthy relationships

"The root of all suffering is attachment" - Buddha 

For a while now I've always joked about how 'clingy' I am in relationships and have often joked about it with friends as they would use the same word to describe themselves. But when does clingy become very unhealthy attachment? Luckily sooner rather than later I have realised I form unhealthy relationships with at times the wrong people regardless of how unhappy the situation makes me I find myself reluctant to leave. After getting comments from friends like 'just leave them!' and realising how impossible that seemed to me. I ended up doing a random Google search one day and spent a while researching attachment and its link to unhealthy relationships. Like all bad habits this Isn't something I believe can instantly change but being more aware is definitely a step in the right direction.

Attachment Style 
I vaguely remember learning about attachment in psychology at college and the different types people have based on their childhood and attachment to their parents. But cutting out all of the boring complicated theories, people with insecure attachment tend to be the 'clingy' type, those with this attachment type tend to pick people who are not right for them, interesting... 

Here as some insecure attachment traits:
  • Desperate to form a fantasy bond (the perfect fairy tale)
  • Emotional hunger (often mistaken for love, but is actually a need to fill a feeling of emptiness)
  • Looking to be rescued by partner 
  • Constant need for reassurance  
  • Being with someone possessive and/or hostile

People with an insecure attachment tend to base their worth on the mount of care and responsiveness they receive from a partner the less they get the more negativity they feel towards themselves. When I read the things that define an insecure attachment I was slightly relived, there comes a point where you start thinking what is wrong with everyone!? But it may actually be a case of me picking the wrong people based on the insecurity and anxiety I feel when it comes to relationships. The need to stick around even when the person makes you unhappy makes so much more sense and being aware is the first step to more healthy relationships, Oh, and one good thing? those with insecure attachment are not well and truly f*cked its never too late to develop a secure attachment. 

Steps to not being so 'clingy'
Now this is where the Buddha quote comes in and it really is true, being attached can cause all kinds of negative feelings. In Buddhism they believe in non-attachment. Now this doesn't mean being cold and heartless but simply accepting and appreciating the fact that we have no idea when our time with someone is going to end for whatever reason. Coming to peace with this and trying not to cling to pleasure, appreciating that at times we will feel pain but these feelings all come and go.

- Deal with your fears, anxiety and insecurities. For me I have started to see and realise why I am the way I am and although I cannot change these factors I am coming to terms with it. For me not being in a serious relationship and having the time to deal with this has helped. I've spent time getting to know me and what I need this definitely helps reduce the amount of time you spend with people that bring nothing positive to your life.

- Learn to trust, this is probably the hardest one of all for most people. No matter how messed up your past is or the crap and lies you've endured there comes a time where you need to see the beauty of trust again. Obviously don't be blind or naive but I'm a strong believer of until someone give you reason not to trust them. Don't ruin a good thing with lack of trust and insecurities sometimes just go with the flow...

- Do your own thing - whether its making time for your own interests or making time for friends just make sure that time is set aside! I know when I meet someone I want to spend as much time with them as possible and although this is fine know when to say no to yourself and make sure each of you have time to do what you enjoy.

- Most importantly Learn to let go - When you know deep down it's over or the situation isn't making you happy anymore, leave. Life is too short and too precious to spend it with people who don't deserve your time.

Leaving is probably the hardest thing to do and from experience I promise you it really is possible. I know people hang on for different reasons the feeling of not having someone there is probably the worst especially if this person has been in your life for a while. But the way you feel once you get rid of them is literally like a weight has been lifted. I know I've waffled on in this post and you are amazing if you've read this far. I've spent the majority of 2016 trying to achieve non attachment and appreciating letting go, If this post reaches or helps at least one person that's all that matters.


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