What’s Your ‘Attachment Style’?

‘Attachment styles’ develop as we grow up and play a huge role in our relationships with people, and also how we survive or thrive at work and study.

Identify your attachment style, and you can take control of how you manage your time.


Attachment styles.

There are 4 main styles of attachment:

1. Secure
2. Anxious-preoccupied
3. Dismissive-avoidant
4. Fearful-avoidant

If you’re SECURE, you generally fare best when it comes to managing your time. You are comfortable prioritising tasks and asking for help when you need it. You also feel comfortable setting healthy boundaries and pushing back when necessary, and you do not often engage in fear-based behaviour.
Stay secure but be aware. Regularly ask for direct feedback so if there is something that you need to work on, you can make changes.

If you operate from an ANXIOUS attachment style, your attention will get hijacked whenever you experience a perceived “threat.” Your anxious brain jumps to negative conclusions and gets obsessed with issues until they are resolved.
To improve your time management, you’ll need to calm your nervous system to get out of fight-or-flight mode every time something happens at Uni or work.
The best calming strategies include positive self-talk and peer support. In terms of self-talk, it may sound something like “Let’s wait and see what happens” or “Everything will be O.K.”

Individuals with DISMISSIVE avoidant attachment tend to think they are smart and everyone else is stupid.
For those around you, your biggest time management issue is most likely that you miss deadlines and don’t do the work that THEY consider most important.
To make a change, you need to start by acknowledging that other people may have a point.
You may not agree with their stated priorities, you may think you know better, and you may even think that the work is stupid.
But if you want to achieve greater success, have people micromanage you less and work fewer hours, there will be times when you are better off listening to and doing what other people say.

“Stuck” is the best word to describe those with a FEARFUL avoidant attachment style. They have the fear of those with anxious attachment without the confidence that they can make things right.
They don’t trust themselves or the system, so there is an undercurrent of “why even try?” in their day-to-day life.
If you fall into this pattern, you’ll need to reduce your fear and take gentle action to get your work done. Small bits of progress where you realise you can do something and it didn’t kill you lead to greater success later.

Inspired by an original article in The New York Times.

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