Some people were blessed and formed very healthy attachments to their caregivers. However, most have some interesting dynamic with their parental unit. Some people had single parents, some people had parents who worked all the time, some had parents who had to return to work really soon after they were born, we all have such different situations. The thing with attachment styles, like most things, is that you cannot selectively choose your reaction when it’s embedded into your history and how you’ve learned to communicate / respond. If you have an anxious attachment with your mom, chances are you will respond, engage, and attach in similar ways to your friends and significant other when you are put in that circumstance.
1. Don’t respond to anything right away
Anyone who has an anxious attachment style or is prone to one is always the person who is triggered by something and then responds extremely explosive, only to later apologize for it (or not). Take your time when you feel triggered, lean in to it so you don’t cause any more destruction.
2. Figure out what is triggering you
Any time you feel explosive or extra annoyed, dive in to THAT. When someone says something that pushes your buttons, ask yourself about it so you can get to the root of the problem.
For an example, one of my old friends made a comment where she was comparing her relationship to my relationship. In this particular case, she was dating someone who was both verbally and physically abusive and she was only frustrated that her and I weren’t spending as much time with each other as we used to. This triggered me to the point where I just wanted to express my rage and then block her. As I began to navigate why I felt so triggered, I realized I was so triggered because I grew up with a father who reminded me of her abusive boyfriend. I realized I was only triggered because she was comparing a relationship that I had to work really hard to shape and mold the way that it is to her relationship that was filled with abuse. Her comment touched a space that I’ve worked so hard to heal from, so my response back to her would have been very reactive had I not looked more in to my trigger.
3. Put your phone down
Take a moment to gracefully gather yourself and have a personal conversation with yourself.
4. Respond when you can be logical
Do not respond until you have acknowledged your emotion, yet refuse to let it speak for you and your wellness.
5. Explain why you are triggered
There’s nothing wrong with telling someone, “what you just said really triggered me and it’s making me feel extra angry with you than I normally would”. Speak from where you’re at.
6. Be as graceful as possible
Nothing ever gets solved when you go into a conversation not even caring if you were heard or not. Be kind. Speak genuinely. Embrace your vulnerability.
7. Comfort yourself
It’s your job to validate yourself, so have those conversations. Comfort the f*** out of yourself, even out loud.
8. Exercise your logic
After you understand why you are triggered, let your emotion take a nap and really be logical and as understanding as possible.
9. Sleep on it
Make sure you are taking your time in responding to situations that touch your ways of attachment (or threaten it, that is).
10. Remember to not take anything personally
Remember that when people end friendships, relationships, or when they bring conflict to you, it’s not because you are unworthy or less of a human.