Janae B. Weinhold

Insecurely bonded children tend to be anxious, withdrawn, isolated, aggressive, lack confidence, have low self-esteem. They also function at less than optimal levels socially, emotionally, mentally and physically. Insecure bonding is an unsafe and unpredictable state that develops as a result of living in a fear-based environment. It is the primary cause of addictions, attachments to things and the underlying cause of impaired mental health.

Two Kinds of Insecure Bonding

attachment typesThe two primary kinds of insecure bonding are avoidant and anxious/ambivalent. Children with avoidant bonding may appear withdrawn and isolated or may act very competent, independent and unperturbed when experiencing strange situations.

They shy away from situations that involve dependency and trusting others to meet their needs. Instead, they learn how to comfort themselves and usually do not seek solace from their caregivers when experiencing distress. This premature autonomy and emotional distancing, often disguised as hurt and anger, inhibit a child’s long-term capacity for vulnerability and eventually become a barrier to intimacy.

Children with anxious/ambivalent bonding tend to pursue contact with others but also fear it. They tend to engage adults indirectly through manipulation, opposition, defiance, aggression, violence, whining and
complaining. Internally they feel caught between two conflicting needs: their desire for contact with their caregiver and their feelings of anger about her unavailability or inability to meet their needs in timely, appropriate ways.

This internal conflict is expressed by an initial act of contact with the caregiver followed by a resistance to it. The primary difference between these two types of insecure bonding is that the anxious/ambivalently bonded child desires contact with the caregiver, while the avoidant child guards against it.

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