Four Types Of Attachment Styles

What is an attachment style? 

An attachment is the specific way of relating to others in any sort of relationship. According to psychologist Mary Ainsworth and psychiatrist John Bowlby in the who developed this theory in the 1950, attachment style is shaped in early childhood in response to our relationships with our caregivers. Our adult attachment style mirror the same dynamics which we had with our caregivers.

Four types of attachment style

There are four types of attachment styles

  • Secure 
  • Avoidant 
  • Fearful Avoidant 
  • Anxious

Attachment Theory: The 4 Attachment Styles & How They Form


1. Secure attachment style 

This attachment style refers to the ability to form secure and loving relationships with others. In this attachment style, people can trust others and be trusted, love and accept love, and get close to others with relative ease. They are not afraid of getting intimate in a relationship . They are able to express their needs and expectations clearly. They are able to depend on others without respecting themselves and their individuality.

All other attachment styles that are not secure are known as insecure attachment styles.

2. Anxious attachment style  

This type of attachment style is marked by fear of abandonment . They always feel that their partner will leave them and are hungry for validation. They display clinginess, neediness and always feel that their partner is not loving them enough. 

3. Avoidant attachment style

This type of insecure attachment style is formed by a fear of intimacy where individuals fear getting close and intimate to someone. They have trust issues and feel suffocated getting close to someone. They maintain distance from their partners and are emotionally unavailable in the relationship.

4. Fearful avoidant attachment 

This is a combination of both the anxious and avoidant attachment styles. People with fearful-avoidant attachment both crave for affection and want to avoid it at all costs. They do not want to develop an initimate relationship and at the same time want love from the other. 

When and how are these attachment styles formed ? 

These attachment styles are formed during infancy and are based on our relationship with early caregivers primarily. 

Secure attachment style - Caregivers are responsive and cater to the needs of the infant 

Anxious attachment style  - Caregivers are unpredictable and inconsistent. Sometimes they are overtly loving and at other times they withdraw completely. 

Avoidant attachment style - Caregivers are completely disconnected from the needs of the child and this leads the child into believing that his needs would never be met. 

Fearful avoidant attachment - Caregivers are frightening and traumatizing which leads the infant into developing a deep sense of mistrust and fear in adulthood. The child does not understand what a healthy relationship looks like.