Our minds and how they work often has it roots in childhood, and in our early formative developmental years. If we are amongst the 20% of the UK population (this statistic is mirrored around the western world too) who had the accepted preferred model of parenting a ‘secure attachment’ then the likelihood that our minds work for us is quite high.
We may well feel loved, valued and confident, we may have a good level of self worth and self esteem, that is a sense that we see ourselves as worthy and lovable. These belief systems are what help us to function and thrive, reach our full potential, be part of things which are generally positive. We may be successful in our friendships and relationships, with significant others and ourselves.
Having our emotional needs met in our early years really does give us the best chance of a stable and happy existence, one where we will find it easier to connect with others, make friendships and relationships and maintain them.
We will more than likely feel good about who we are and those around us will value us as much as we value ourselves. We may be doing a job we enjoy and one in which we feel we make a difference or one that gives us the benefits our hard work creates for us.
We could be single by choice or in a relationship we want to be in, if we are in a relationship with someone else who was fortunate enough to be in the 20% too, then chances are the relationship will add to our existence and will further enrich our lives.
That’s how it should be and for some it is, however the other 80% of people who did not have their needs met in their formative years, those who were parented in one of the other three parenting styles, for those children and later adults, then things could be a lot different. Typically, low self esteem, a sense that we aren’t valued or capable of achieving anything worthwhile.
Most people never have an insight to their childhood and early years, most don’t remember their parenting, often they only have a sense as an adult that things are not ok. Often they may find making friends or intimate relationships very difficult, they may have had several unhappy relationships and maybe go from one to another, finding it difficult to be on their own. They maybe live with anxiety and a sense that things just aren’t ok.
The relationship with one or both parents may be strained or it may have got better over the years, in any case, it may be that the other significant friendships and relationships in our lives could feel lacking, the biggest relationship problem we have will undoubtedly be the relationship we have with ourselves.
So if we have problems establishing friendships and relationships with others, if we didn’t have that ‘secure attachment’, what can we do?
Talking to someone trained in ‘Attachment’, that’s the study of our early developmental years and the parenting we received can help us to understand and make sense of our feelings and the obstacles which get in the way of our present and future happiness.
If you would like to know more about attachment, you can read more here.
If you would like to talk to me about anything in this article, please feel free to contact me.