How to Change Your Attachment Style

attachmentWe’re wired for attachment – why babies cry when separated from their mothers. Depending especially upon our mother’s behavior, as well as later experiences and other factors, we develop a style of attaching that affects our behavior in close relationships.

Fortunately, most people have a secure attachment, because it favors survival. It ensures that we’re safe and can help each other in a dangerous environment. The anxiety we feel when we don’t know the whereabouts of our child or of a missing loved one during a disaster, as in the movie “The Impossible,” isn’t codependent. It’s normal. Frantic calls and searching are considered “protest behavior,” like a baby fretting for its mother.

Attachment Styles

We seek or avoid intimacy along a continuum, but one of the following three styles is generally predominant whether we’re dating or in a long term marriage:

Secure – 50 percent of the population
Anxious – 20 percent of the population
Avoidant – 25 percent of the population

Combinations, such as Secure-Anxious or Anxious-Avoidant are 3-5 percent of the population. To determine your style, take this quiz designed by researcher R. Chris Fraley, PhD.

Secure Attachment. Warmth and loving come naturally, and you’re able to be intimate without worrying about the relationship or little misunderstandings. You accept your partner’s minor shortcomings and treat him or her with love and respect. You don’t play games or manipulate, but are direct and able to openly and assertively share your wins and losses, needs, and feelings. You’re also responsive to those of your partner and try to meet your partner’s needs. Because you have good self-esteem, you don’t take things personally and aren’t reactive to criticism. Thus, you don’t become defensive in conflicts. Instead, you de-escalate them by problem-solving, forgiving, and apologizing.

Anxious Attachment. You want to be close and are able to be intimate. To maintain a positive connection, you give up your needs to please and accommodate your partner. But because you don’t get your needs met, you become unhappy. You’re preoccupied with the relationship and highly attuned to your partner, worrying that he or she wants less closeness. You often take things personally with a negative twist and project negative outcomes. This could be explained by brain differences that have been detected among people with anxious attachments.

To alleviate your anxiety, you may play games or manipulate your partner to get attention and reassurance by withdrawing, acting out emotionally, not returning calls, provoking jealousy, or by threatening to leave. You may also become jealous of his or her attention to others and call or text frequently, even when asked not to.

Avoidant Attachment. If you avoid closeness, your independence and self-sufficiency are more important to you than intimacy. You can enjoy closeness – to a limit. In relationships, you act self-sufficient and self-reliant and aren’t comfortable sharing feelings. (For example, in one study of partners saying goodbye in an airport, avoiders didn’t display much contact, anxiety, or sadness in contrast to others.) You protect your freedom and delay commitment. Once committed, you create mental distance with ongoing dissatisfaction about your relationship, focusing on your partner’s minor flaws or reminiscing about your single days or another idealized relationship.

Just as the anxiously attached person is hypervigilant for signs of distance, you’re hypervigilant about your partner’s attempts to control you or limit your autonomy and freedom in any way. You engage in distancing behaviors, such as flirting, making unilateral decisions, ignoring your partner, or dismissing his or her feelings and needs. Your partner may complain that you don’t seem to need him or her or that you’re not open enough, because you keep secrets or don’t share feelings. In fact, he or she often appears needy to you, but this makes you feel strong and self-sufficient by comparison. You don’t worry about a relationship ending. But if the relationship is threatened, you pretend to yourself that you don’t have attachment needs and bury your feelings of distress. It’s not that the needs don’t exist, they’re repressed. Alternatively, you may become anxious because the possibility of closeness no longer threatens you.


Even people who feel independent when on their own are often surprised that they become dependent once they’re romantically involved. This is because intimate relationships unconsciously stimulate your attachment style and either trust or fear from your past experiences. It’s normal to become dependent on your partner to a healthy degree. When your needs are met, you feel secure.

You can assess your partner’s style by their behavior and by their reaction to a direct request for more closeness. Does he or she try to meet your needs or become defensive and uncomfortable or accommodate you once and the return to distancing behavior? Someone who is secure won’t play games, communicates well, and can compromise. A person with an anxious attachment style would welcome more closeness, but still need assurance and worry about the relationship.

Anxious and avoidant attachment styles look like codependency in relationships. They characterize the feelings and behavior of pursuers and distancers described in my blog, The Dance of Intimacy and book, Conquering Shame and Codependency. Each one is unconscious of their needs, which are expressed by the other. This is one reason for their mutual attraction. Pursuers with an anxious style are usually disinterested in someone available with a secure style. They usually attract someone who is avoidant. The anxiety of an insecure attachment is enlivening and familiar though it’s uncomfortable and makes them more anxious. It validates their abandonment fears about relationships and beliefs about not being enough, lovable, or securely loved. Distancers need someone pursuing them to sustain their emotional needs that they largely disown and which wouldn’t be met by another avoider. Unlike those securely attached, pursuers and distancers aren’t skilled at resolving disagreements. They tend to become defensive and attack or withdraw, escalating conflict.
Without the chase, conflict, or compulsive behavior, both pursuers and distancers begin to feel depressed and empty due to their painful early attachments.

Changing Styles

Although most people don’t change their attachment style, you can alter yours to be more or less secure depending upon experiences and conscious effort. To change your style to be more secure, seek therapy as well as relationships with others who are capable of a secure attachment. If you have an anxious attachment style, you will feel more stable in a committed relationship with someone who has a secure attachment style. This helps you become more secure. Changing your attachment style and healing from codependency go hand-in-hand. Both involve the following:

  • Heal your shame and raise your self-esteem. (See my books on shame and self-esteem.)This enables you to not take things personally.
  • Learn to be assertive. See How to Speak Your Mind: Become Assertive and Set Limits.
  • Learn to identify, honor, and assertively express your emotional needs.
  • Risk being authentic and direct. Don’t play games or try to manipulate your partner’s interest.
  • Practice acceptance of yourself and others to become less faultfinding – a tall order for codependents and distancers.
  • Stop reacting. This can be a challenge, because our nervous system is used to reacting automatically. It often entails being able to identify your triggers, unhook the causes of them, and learning to self-soothe – all which is hard to do on your own. Listen to some Youtube exercises and read 10 tips on self-nurturing. 
  • learn to resolve conflict and compromise from a “we” perspective.

Pursuers need to become more responsible for themselves and distancers more responsible to their partners. The result is a more secure interdependent relationship, rather than a codependent relationship or solitude with a false sense of self-sufficiency.

Among singles, statistically there are more avoiders, since people with a secure attachment are more likely to be in a relationship. Unlike avoiders, they’re not searching for an ideal, so when a relationship ends, they aren’t single too long. This increases the probability that daters who anxiously attach will date avoiders, reinforcing their negative spin on relationship outcomes. Moreover, anxious types tend to bond quickly and don’t take time to assess whether their partner can or wants to meet their needs. They tend to see things they share in common with each new, idealized partner and overlook potential problems. In trying to make the relationship work, they suppress their needs, sending the wrong signals to their partner in the long run. All of this behavior makes attaching to an avoider more probable. When he or she withdraws, their anxiety is aroused, pursuers confuse their longing and anxiety for love rather than realizing it’s their partner’s unavailability that is the problem, not themselves or anything they did or could do in the future to change that. They hang in and try harder, instead of facing the truth and cutting their losses.

Particularly after leaving an unhappy codependent relationship, people fear that being dependent on someone will make them more dependent. That may be true in codependent relationships when there isn’t a secure attachment. However, in a secure relationship, healthy dependency allows you to be more interdependent. You have a safe and secure base from which to explore the world. This is also what gives toddlers the courage to individuate, express their true self, and become more autonomous.

Similarly, people in therapy often fear becoming dependent upon their therapist and leave when they begin to feel a little better. This is when their dependency fears arise and should be addressed – the same fears that keep them from having secure attachments in relationships and propels them to seek someone avoidant. In fact, good therapy provides a secure attachment to allow people to grow and become more autonomous, not less. Herein lays the paradox: We can be more independent when we’re dependent on someone else – provided it’s a secure attachment. This is another reason why it’s hard to change on your own or in an insecure relationship without outside support.

Suggested reading on attachment:
The many books by John Bowlby
Mikulincer and Shaver, Attachment Adulthood Structure, Dynamics, and Change (2007)
Levine and Heller, Attached (2010)

©Darlene Lancer 2014



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49 thoughts on “How to Change Your Attachment Style

  1. I have been involved with a man for nearly 8 years, we are both mid-40’s. I have two children from a previous marriage. We have always had strife..he tends to be controlling, impatient, rigid, a know-it-all. I have often wondered about bi-polar. One year ago he moved out after an argument with my 15 yr son. We work together daily at our small business. He lives 2 miles from my home. We do nothing outside of dates, no sex, little if any activity BUT he claims we are still “together” and often refers to me as his “wife.” I have tried addressing the physical separation to no avail. I think this is bizarre. How is this acceptable to him?

  2. Hi, I just finished your interesting article and also read the dance of intimacy.
    I found out that I have an anxious att. But in past I was an avoidant. How this can be possible? Thank you.

  3. A question: is it necessarily your attachment style when you have a physical deformity or other vulnerability that *does* cause people to have mixed feelings about you/leave you? I score as preoccupied, but I could take this test as the person I was before I ever dated and probably not get that result.

  4. Darlene
    I am avoidant and I would very much like to change that.
    I am making headway, but I am challenged in discerning between distancing patterns and real challenges, ex parenting. I am working with a therapist but I was wondering if you had thoughts on how one can determine the difference between real issues of compatibility and avoidant criticism? I recently broke up with a woman I love and It is the first time in life I have missed someone. We disagreed over parenting for a good but spirited child whose behaviour often made us both unhappy.
    Thanks for any thoughts you can share.

  5. Hi Darlene,
    Thank you for the great article. I found out recently that I am anxious preoccupied, and I am wondering how would anxious – anxious pairing work? Seems like if we both want the same thing, we will make sure to do everything possible to never leave each other. That logically seems like even a more perfect match than anxious secure. Yet I can find no information on the internet about this pairing, it’s all about “look out for the avoidant and stay away”.


    • It’s an interesting question. It predicts a codependent relationship. I presume it’s a new relationship, which is why you’re asking. My guess is that the avoidance-ambivalence will eventually emerge in time, but meanwhile develop your autonomy and heal your anxiety.

      • Hi, maybe I am misunderstanding your reply but. I’m not in a relationship right now. I’m just saying since I am anxious preoccupied, and need intimacy and reassurance as my foremost need. Would it make sense for me to look for and try to find another anxious preoccupied, who wants the exact same thing, and we can completely relate and understand and help each other to feel safe?

        • The anxious-anxious pair cannot give each other the reassurance each one needs because both are fixated on their own anxiety/insecurity. From my experience (as an anxiously attached person who has dated anxious-ambiv individuals), both will push away at the same time or pull in opposite directions. There is something to be said for the ability to empathize with one another, but that isn’t enough to sustain a relationship.

  6. I’ve been in a 10 year off and on relationship with a severe avoidant. We love each other deeply and have had issues leaving one another’s lives for good, but acknowledged and understood our intense anxious-avoidant pattern several years ago. Working to just be friends now. Still, he wants me always. I want him always. But, we’ve become highly aware of our “patterns” and how we trigger one another.

    The problem is outside of him I’ve been single 11 years. I can’t find someone new to date. Most men I meet just want casual sex or polyamory. So, I stay in love with my avoidant. What do I do if I can’t move on and find new, secure love?

    • It sounds like the pain of being alone or fear of it is worse than your relationship. Until that equation changes, nothing will change. Perhaps, go to couples counseling so you can change your pattern together, or invest in creating a happy life single. Also, there are many men who want a serious relationship, so I’m not sure why or whom your attracting or attracted to. See my blog on emotional unavailability. I discuss this in more depth in Conquering Shame and Codependency

  7. I am realizing that when Im talking with people I feel a need to keep the conversation going ..and it relates to a slight feeling of abandonment, as they are detaching . I see it in their eyes and i feel this weird sense of my spirit lodging away from me as they pull away…almost like a small panic attack. I do well socially but I am now realizing how this has caused me to talk too much, when things were going great . and I wreck it. I now know thanks to writers like you, that I have not been nurturing myself all of my Im watching every one else’s tv or movie , but my own ..and when they leave I feel abandoned

    • Your last sentence is very sad, but your insight is incredibly powerful. I think you’re accurate that the need to fill the space probably pushes others away. Another reason people keep talking is not to be judged, or even seen, if they’re silent. I recall using this defense around my mother, who could unexpectedly be judgmental. Experiment with being silent, and see what happens.

  8. Hi Darlene
    Thank you for an interesting and helpful article. I have been working on codependency issues for some time now. From my own experience, it seems that people with different attachment styles can sometimes ‘react to’ one other. In a previous relationship I was the ‘clingy’ partner fearing rejection, which eventually alienated the other person (who, in hindsight, perhaps wasn’t all that committed to the relationship anyway). In my present relationship my partner seems to need a lot of reassurance and validation, and as a result I crave more separateness and autonomy. Do you have any advice on how to create more of a balance?

  9. Dear Darlene, this article was helpful! However I think I need some advice… So recently I’ve been feel a lot less secure so I did some research and ended up on the attachment theory. I took multiple tests and quizzes online and I got anxious-preoccupied for all of them. On the anxious scale I would always receive very high marks and low marks on the avoidance scale. Should I trust these results? I asked my girlfriend to take one of these tests and she got secure attachment. How should i try to make myself feel more secure? Should I talk to my girlfriend about this? and if so, how should I bring this up? Thanks!

    • Lack of openness can foster more anxiety in your relationship. Changing styles requires motivation and considerable work – the same required to heal codependency, but you will be more whole as a result. Start by taking the steps suggested in the blog

  10. How would you describe me if this is our case.
    My husband is a very loving man and he is loving and understanding and meets my needs, I think he is cute and I like being around him too, I do feel that some times he is too loving and I dont always show being loving but we both do our best to meet our needs.
    I think I have anxious attachment but its leading towards secure attachment with my husband but i never played games to get what i wanted with him. we talk about out needs more and more and as the relationship grows we are able to communicate more and more, do you think there is something wrong with our relationship? or is it normal?

    • You both enjoy each other, obviously like each other, meet each others’ needs, and communication is improving. All signs of a good relationship. Ask yourself why you wonder what’s normal and are worried something is wrong.

  11. Hi Darlene,
    I am currenlty 28 years old and have never been able to maintain a relationship for more than 4 months. Like a mysterious switch, “something” happens that just makes everything feel so different. I suddenly start feeling completely disconnected from my partner, from a future being in a couple and start to feel accute anxiety all day long which I cannot convey how painful and utterly distressing it is. I feel panic and dont know why. My partner has done nothing wrong and I am afraid I will never be able to sustain a long term relationship with whatever defense mechanism goes off in my mind.

  12. Hi Darlene, thank you so much, I have ordered your books too. I’ve been in therapy made gains on loving myself and self-esteem, but I am still baffled why I still have the same problems of getting enmeshed with others. For me, I don’t really try to solve their problems, the people I am attracted to are usually pretty healthy, but I just get obsessed with them, preoccupied about them in my thinking constantly, and need their love to feel ok with myself. And it’s with just one person at a time, always in a friendship with another woman (not romantic, I’m single and straight). Why this pattern for 17 years? (I’m 30 y.o now). Feeling discouraged

  13. Thank you for this wonderful, informative article! I have a question about the fluidity of attatchment styles and how for me, it really seems to alternate between being anxious and avoidant during the course of the relationship. In the early stages I am very anxious, sure I am not good enough and hopeful that he will truly love me. Along the way it seems that I pull in my feelings and try hard not to care either way (games). I boost up a sort of false confidence which makes them begin to feel anxious towards me and that behavior repels me. I usually end up leaving the relationship because it’s based on falseness. Is this duality typical too?

  14. Is It possible that secure attachment change to insecure attachment in marital relationship?
    could you please give me some reference to read more about It?

    • There are references at the end of the article. I’m not sure if any research has been done on your question. The person’s style would have to have been established before the marriage. I do know that someone who is in a relationship with an unavailable or unfaithful partner, will become more anxious, but a distancer with a pursuer will also become more distant – whether their styles predated the relationship, I wouldn’t know and it might be idiosyncratic to the people and particular relationship. The changes you imply may indicate problems in the relationship that need to be addressed in marital counseling. Once solved, the couple may return to secure attachment style.

  15. How does the attachment style relate to “stuff,” personal belongings? I am in the preoccupied range on the scale and I’m also overwhelmed and really struggling to deal with my books and collections and/or downsize a crowded house. I’m not a hoarder but I’m strongly attached to my stuff and it is painful to part with it. Is there a correlation between keeping too much stuff and codependency? I’m sorting through and shedding stuff, but it’s very slow going.

    • If you think you may be codependent you likely are. Attachment style refers to interpersonal relationships not to stuff; however, there is some evidence that cluttering is related to past trauma and is also learned behavior from your family of origin. Do some self-examination on what your stuff means, how it makes you feel, what are the pro’s and con’s of keeping it. What does it prevent you from doing. Also, read the “Symptoms of Codependency” and take the codependency quiz in Codependency for Dummies.

  16. Dear Darlene, Thank you. I now (maybe?) understand why my husband of 22 years (27 together) just left me. I have anxious attachment and he is an avoidant. Six months ago he said he didn’t want to be married anymore. We went back to our therapist and he said he wanted us to grow old together, loved me, wanted to connect, etc. Our therapist was even surprised. I blamed his job and stress. He said he doesn’t want conflict, wants to be alone, this is how he “feels” and now he is calm and relaxed. (Sure-I’ve got the kids and the house.) I feel betrayed and lied to. Knowing this now, is there a chance our therapist can help us repair our marriage?

  17. Hi, Darlene. I’m interested in adapting my attachment style from anxious to secure. I am looking for a psychologist, but I can’t pin down a specialty. Attachment theory doesn’t exactly pop up on the clinician’s list. I don’t even know if co-dependency is in the DSM (or whatever that big book on mental conditions I learned about in psych 1 was. lol). How do I pinpoint the proper help? I need to get started as soon as possible, but I can’t find the right person. :/ Thanks.

    • Healing codependency and individuating heal your attachment style. A good therapist will help with this. CBT as well as psychodynamic work are called for. If you’ve had abandonment trauma, typical of codependents, be sure that they work with that, too. Going to CoDA and doing the exercises in my books will help, also.

  18. Wow… Everything about this article spoke to my heart. I just got out of a textbook anxious attacher (me)/avoidant attacher (him) relationship and I am trying to learn from my mistakes so I can be a secure, happy, ready-for-love attacher when the time is right again. THANK YOU so much for writing something that validates what I’ve been feeling and worrying about and going through. This is a great jumping-off point for my self work. Your website has truly been a Godsend!

  19. Hi. I am in a same sex relationship and hope that this does not alter the actions or thoughts of the relationship.
    I need to focus on me and my concerns. I was laid off from work 3 years ago. I also suffer from depression. I believe that I can relate to the co-dependant in every possible way. My downfall,depression started when I couldn’t find a job. I do have college experience but left the nursing field 12 years ago.
    My Education etc overqualifies me from jobs I enjoy (waiting tables) talking to people etc.
    During my unemployment (way too long, I have given up) so, I have focused on our internet site. It is a site based on adult material. I met David and he had alot of pornography. He promised to delete it from his computer…he didnt. BUT said watch I will do it right now! 11 years later we have a site because (IMO) he was not going to stop pornography. Selfishly I agreed to the site because he proved it could generate money. It has since turned into online meeting sources etc.
    I should get back to my behaviour. Guilt and shame. I consequently cleaned eveything, washed everything, took care of two puppies. (MY doings). I kept saying “I better get this donr before David gets home or I hope David is ok with “this”. I had to call him for money. I lost my mind and started listening to co-dependant no more. Lots of therapy and I am starting to behave like a Narcissis! It scares me..I feel lost. I want to do better, I feel like a punisher when I unhealthly demand things important to me get completed. He will always forget or have a sudden “Idont know what you want” or “we talked about this” ,,I am left with alot of unresolved “small” constant lies. I am wounded and lash out—hoping this will balance. Have I flipped rolls? or is it PTSD when I would like something done BUT there is always a negative aspect..such as “that will increase the electric bill” we dont have heat at the moment! I need the big heater and had a embarrassing self absorbed fit….am I crazy…am I the co-dependant oe the narcisist.. I always want to help others. I do want to be loved. I dont have a need to be right, but I lose every conflict. He has not come up to me and apologized for doing ANYTHING wrong in 11 years….do I leave with nothing? No family support…..Desperate with a therapist LOL I read narcissist think they need more help than others. Is my desire to get as much help as possible narcissist? Please tell me what side of the coin i fall on. I want to be a better person!

    • My belief is that narcissists are codependent, though not all codependents are narcissists. Forget labels and focus on your feelings. Learn to set boundaries with yourself and others. You may be using shame defenses as described in my book, Conquering Shame and Codependency. Reading it and doing the exercises and discussing shame with your therapist and at CoDA meetings should bring you relief and answers you seek.

  20. Hi Darlene, even though I had been exposed to the codependency literature a number of years ago I didn’t ‘get’ it.

    Having been in a cult for ten years and having therapy to try and heal, I embarked on a counselling course. I am now in my final year of an advanced counselling diploma. Although we do not study the attachment theory in this course (that is on level five), I stumbled across it and have taken the time to educate myself a little.

    I have recently also rediscovered the codependency literature again but the difference is this time I am beginning to understand the principles and implications!

    I am without doubt codependent and I also have an anxious attachment style. I am sure there is a correlation. I am going through some profound shifts, not all of them comfortable.

    I am feeling triggered into core shame as I recognise and see my past behaviour. All I have ever wanted is a secure relationship with a healthy dynamic, but I have been far off from ever creating that.

    Although I can finally see the goal (to develop a secure attachment style and to learn the dynamics of a healthy exchange), I am extremely embarrassed and painfully aware of my previous behaviour. I have not looked at my thinking patterns in any great depth and I am sensing that now is the time for me to explore this and start to change my inner voice to one that is filled with compassion and understanding.

    Thank you for your enlightened and clear perspective. I will be ordering some of your literature for my further education and healing.

  21. Hi Darlene
    Thank you so much for your great blog
    I learned alot
    I recently got married to a man i know for 10 years. I took the quiz and i fall into the preoccupied section. I will try to work on the tips you have given. I think my husband has a secure attachment style however it hasnt helped me. From the beg of our relationship til this moment i dont feel like he will stay with me. I continuously feel as if he will get bored of me and leave me eventually. Every little thing is a signal that he could be cheating. I have cheated on him before and i told him this and i think about this that for example even if he showed me his email and there was nothing perhaps he has made a fake account to email a girl especially because i think i did thatttt. Sorry i got too offtrack. My question is I cannot afford therapy as much as I would love to start, but I want to change. I hate these poisonous thoughts. Could you be more specific as in what books or exercises could i do on my own?
    I cant thank you enough

    • You seem to realize that you’re projecting. Cheating may have been part of your legacy in your family of origin, and that’s something to explore and also why you cheated. Change the beliefs and learn what you need so you won’t do that again. Believing he will leave is based on your feelings of unworthiness. Read my book on Conquering Shame and do the exercises there. It’s helped many people.

    • You seem to realize that you’re projecting. Cheating may have been part of your legacy in your family of origin, and that’s something to explore and also why you cheated. Change the beliefs and learn what you need so you won’t do that again. Believing he will leave is based on your feelings of unworthiness. Read my book on Conquering Shame and do the exercises there. It’s helped many people.

  22. Is it possible to start off avoidant and become anxious? In my teens I was in a lot of relationships but I stayed emotionally detached and was really just in it for the sex. I considered sex and love to be mutually exclusive. I wasn’t massively upset when relationships ended either, although I guess I was usually the person to end them so maybe that’s why. I was also trapped in a relationship with someone who was definitely anxiously-attached in a destructive and abusive way when I was a teenager (he stalked, he controlled, he was constantly jealous, etc.) Years later I got into a relationship that I was avoidant about at first (I was uncomfortable with him hugging me after sex etc), but then he was really caring and supportive and my barriers broke down. When that relationship ended, for the first time in my life, I was absolutely distraught about it – my whole life fell apart for two years! Since then, my attachment style seems to have changed to preoccupied-anxious. It doesn’t seem to be too bad in that I have never manipulated, got jealous (I felt jealous once but it freaked me out because it’s unusual for me so I explained to my bf at the time that I had an emotion that did not fit reality and I would deal with it myself), never made excessive phone calls etc. The sole sign seems to be staying in relationships that don’t work, never having an argument in relationships (I now understand this is unhealthy), and massive pain/frantic behaviour when I am left. It’s extremely embarrassing for me as I have built my sense of self around being independent and not needing anyone. I recognise that part of me needs to change too…we all need people sometimes…

    I want to stay single until I’m happy with the rest of my life because I don’t want to depend on anyone and I’m very uncomfortable with the idea of being needy. Can I change my attachment style while single? My plan was to get out of my other-directed patterns in the rest of my life and actually live the way I want to live (instead of the way other people want me to), put up boundaries with overly needy friends, cut out my family (many reasons for this), learn to identify my emotions more readily, assert my needs, and build up my self esteem. The goal is to have a stronger sense of self so that I feel complete anyway and do not need to be completed by another.

    Do you think this will change my attachment style? I’ll be honest, I’m not keen on the idea of having a relationship and especially not children (I’m not bringing up messed up kids) unless I can change.

    • Yes, it’s clear in my blog post that one can change one’s style. It takes courage and work. Healing codependency is required and working on your attachment relationship in with a therapist therapy is very helpful if you’re single.

  23. Another great article, Darlene! I have learned a lot from you and refer clients to your blog as well. Thanks for being so open to sharing your wisdom!

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