We’ve all heard of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” But when it comes to relationships, it’s not always best.
Instead, it’s best to take it up a notch. Embrace the Platinum Rule: “Treat others the way they want to be treated.”
The Platinum Rule is particularly valuable when responding to your partner’s attachment style. And that’s because it may be the opposite of your own.
About two-thirds of children form secure attachments to their parents. And as a result, they handle stress and conflict in their relationship in a healthy way.
However, the remaining third form an insecure attachment – which follows them into adulthood. And there are two basic types of insecure attachment.
Before I get into them, it’s important to note that it is not a one-or-the-other type of situation. Many people are a mixture of both.
And even people who typically have secure attachments can have insecurities manifest sometimes. Typically, insecure attachment styles tend to be exhibited in a stressful situation.
For instance, one partner goes out for the night without informing the other. In this case, the other partner may react by being clingy and question the commitment of their partner. However, some individuals may play the silent game and try to self soothe.
Let’s take a look at these two types of insecure attachment.
The name says it all. These people tend to be anxious and insecure about aspects of any relationship that they are in. They tend to invest a lot of emotions into a relationship, and they are often clingy and worry about being inadequate for their partner.
Because they have so many insecurities, it is quite common that they end up pushing their partner away.
Quite opposite to the other category, these persons have a great fear of making themselves vulnerable to their emotions. Instead, they take great pride in their independence.
Once faced with an undesirable situation in their relationship, these types of persons often deal with the situation by becoming silent and withdrawn. It’s an effort to protect their ego.
Dealing with Attachment Styles
When your partner displays an insecure attachment style, there are ways you can help him or her to cope – and even change that behavior.
The key is to respond appropriately when you realize that your partner is facing stress. This positive reinforcement, known as partner buffering, is a huge part of influencing attachment styles.
So, when you realize that your partner is stressed and has gone into withdrawal, don’t add unnecessary stress to the situation. Instead, let your partner know that you understand what they are going through. You care about them and how they feel.
In the future, it may make them more comfortable with their emotions. More willing to open up. They’ll know that they can rely on you to support their emotions.
If your partner is more of the anxious type, you should think about what you can do to accommodate their feelings. It may mean that you should reassure them through phone calls or regularly express your commitment and love.
Whatever you do, just make sure that you provide reassurance when needed. In time, your partner will realize that all their insecurities can be put to rest.
In short: it comes down to being sensitive to your partner’s needs and trying to meet them. It may not be how you need to be treated, but it is what your partner needs.
And if you recognize an insecure attachment style in yourself, it is your job to work on your issues. It is important to recognize that your partner may not know what you need.
Communicate clearly, calmly to your partner what you need. It’s best to do so when you are not in a time of stress, so you are both better able to understand one another.
You’re building an understanding of one another as individuals – and that can help you build a much more powerful connection as a couple.
Rooting for you!