Become A Relationship Superhero: How To Turn Insecurity Into A Superpower

Become A Relationship Superhero: How To Turn Insecurity Into A Superpower

1. Karen talks about this in his book Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love, p. 401. ↩
2. Simpson, J. A., W. Ickes, and T. Blackstone. “When the Head Protects the Heart: Empathic Accuracy in Dating Relationships.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 69: 629-41. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.69.4.629 ↩
3. Here is a summary from Adult Attachment of the hormones the attachment system uses to motivate us to seek closeness: “We now know that the action of these genes is mediated by neuroendocrine hormones and physiological systems, such as the neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin, the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, the amygdala, and the HPA axis that connects the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands in a bodily system that responds to threats and stressors.” [Kindle edition. ↩
4. As cited in Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love, by Levine and Heller. Kindle edition, location 794. ↩
5. Ironically, this made me less funny. The pressure to be someone you do not paradoxically make you less enjoyable to be around. When I work with clients who have this similar fear, we get them (back) in touch with what they find funny and help them express that to others, rather than encouraging them to try to be funny on behalf of others. This leads to more authentic relationships. ↩
6. As cited in Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love by Levine and Heller. Kindle edition, location 794. ↩
7. As referenced in Adult Attachment ↩
8. The meaning clingy, attached individuals ascribe to the uncertainty of emotional support, rejection, and abandonment in childhood and adult relationships create an internal belief system that amplifies their inadequacies and tendency to cling to dysfunctional relationships as a way to reinforce perceptions of being flawed and unlovable. ↩
9. What’s interesting about the attachment system is it can lead one to confuse constant anxiety, an always-activated attachment alarm, with passion. So when you meet someone who makes you feel insecure, you may think that overwhelming feeling is love when actually it’s insecurity. ↩
10. The research discovered that the brains of people with a clingy attachment style become more “lit up” than people with other styles when asked to think about negative events such as conflict or breaking up. Source: Gillath, O., Mikulincer, M., Fitzsimons, G. M., Shaver, P. R., Schachner, D. A., & Bargh, J. A. (2016). Automatic activation of attachment-related goals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(10), 1375-1388. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167206290339 ↩
11. As cited in Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love, by Levine and Heller. Kindle edition, location 840. ↩
12. The following protest behaviors were mentioned in Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love, by Levine and Heller. Kindle edition, location 794. ↩
13. Prior experiences offer a person tangible evidence that someone is willing and able to be available in times of need, allowing the individual to develop an internal belief that they are worthy of love and care, a sign of a secure attachment style. When faced with a physically or psychologically threatening event, a securely attached individual uses a direct and vulnerable approach to seeking closeness to an attachment figure. This is achieved by asking for comfort and soothing from an attachment figure such as a romantic partner in adulthood. Even when this romantic partner is not available, a secure person is able to use an internalized representation of the attachment figure to help self-soothe. Despite the difficult events, the primary strategy used by a secure attachment style enables an individual to absorb distressful events in a healthy way that maintains a stable sense of self and enables the person to activate nonattachment behaviors such as exploring, socializing, and focusing on activities outside of the relationship. ↩
14. Insecurity is a biological suggestion, not a commandment for change. Insecurity is often a call to action, but it’s not always accurate. I don’t find it helpful to trust my initial gut reactions all the time, but rather to sit with my insecurity for a little bit and think about what I need. If I’m not sure about the meaning of something my partner might have done, I ask my partner for clarity, rather than assuming negative intent and reacting with protest behavior. ↩
15. Fraley, R. C., P. M. Niedenthal, M. J. Marks, C. C. Brumbaugh, and A. Vicary. “Adult Attachment and the Perception of Facial Expressions of Emotion: Probing the Hyperactivating Strategies Underlying Anxious Attachment.” Journal of Personality,74(2006): 1163-90. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.82.3.419 ↩
16. The person who they believe is secure in their thinking and behavior. ↩
17. The more a person primes their brain to use a secure model for engaging in their relationships, the more they will start to think and behave securely in present interactions. As Gillath, et. al., (2016) argue, it is the “relative availability and accessibility of this knowledge [mental model ↩

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