💼👩🏼💼 Attachment Styles and Workplace Demeanour: Why you are the way you are, and navigating it
Attachment styles, or how the way you were raised has affected your approach and relationships with other people, can affect us outside our intimate relationships. Here are some ways your attachment style could be manifesting in your workplace and how you can learn to navigate the pros and cons of these manifestations!
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Those with secure attachment styles were raised by caregivers who were able to provide sufficient affection and support without being overbearing and overprotective.
In the workplace, this can manifest as having strong relationships with your colleagues, able to comfortably take part in a team, and tend to have higher job satisfaction. This could mean that you are able to be more adventurous, due to your trust in your leaders, your colleagues as well as yourself.
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Having an anxious attachment style could have stemmed from a parent inattentive to your needs. Rather than let you become independent, they could have coddled you. Rather than support you, they were distant. Ultimately this leads to being highly sensitive to criticisms, needing approval from others, or having a fear of rejection. However, this also means that you tend to be more aware of your shortcomings and possibly more likely to push yourself to improve. You also tend to be less confrontational in the workplace and would try not to create any tensions.
In TV, Brooklyn Nine Nine's Debbie Folger could be a good example of this attachment style.
In order to navigate your anxiety around relationships, it is important to observe your own reactions to perceived negative reactions from others. Before you make a judgement on the intention of the other, you can try to pause, take a breath and see if there are other possible reasons. For example, if a colleague isn't able to help you with something, perhaps it could be because they are busy, instead of it being a sign that they dislike you.
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Those with avoidant attachment styles were raised by guardians who do not provide sufficient care or responsiveness. This could lead to the development of independence, but an overall distance towards other people. You tend to depend on yourself and find it hard to find support and trust in other people. Think early show Rosa Diaz (Brooklyn Nine Nine).
As employees, this could mean you have a higher tendency towards negativity and a preference to work alone. A lack of trust in the judgements of your colleagues and leader could make you less open to suggestions and new information. However, it does mean that you are likely to be result oriented, and can compartmentalise well.
Poor relationships with your colleagues could lead to increased chances of burnout, as you are more likely to take on difficulties on your own rather than ask for help.
To ease this, you can try restructuring your approach to talking to your colleagues. Focus on their positive sides rather than the negatives, and make sure to vocalise it. That would not only improve the relationship, but also train you to trust in your colleagues' abilities more.
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People with a disorganised attachment style tend to show characteristics of both the anxious and avoidant attachment styles. Stemming from a childhood of neglect or even abuse, you could act unpredictably, moving between clinginess and distance. In TV, Cassie from Euphoria has this attachment style.
In your work, there may be moments where you overly detach yourself and moments you find yourself overreact. A lack of trust could manifest as both a lack of trust in your colleagues' abilities as well as their sincerity towards you.
While this is not just limited to this attachment style, psychological help could definitely aid in the understanding of your reactions.
Not sure which attachment style you tend to exhibit? Try out this quiz to find out more about yourself and how you form relationships with the people around you!