Attachment Style Quiz Results - Ambivalent Attachment

Create: 2020-05-12
Update: 2020-06-02
Score: 2
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Dear Joseph,

Thank you for taking the Attachment Style Quiz by Diane Poole Heller PhD! As a therapist or coach, I’m sure the wheels are turning about how you can use Attachment Theory in your own life as well as to help your clients who suffer from attachment injury or whose partner might be experiencing insecure attachment. After all, attachment impacts every relationship in our lives.

Your results show a tendency toward the Ambivalent Attachment adaptation.

Do you have questions about your attachment style? We have good news! You have the opportunity today to download a free e-book that dives deeper into the topic of attachment, including some first steps to take toward healing. As a therapist, this topic likely touches your clinical practice and your life every day.

Download my free e-book, Attachment for Everyone here

Early Conditions for Ambivalent Attachment

Children who inconsistently had their needs met by parents or caregivers may develop Ambivalent Attachment because they lacked confidence in their parents’ ability to attune to their needs. Parents may sometimes meet their needs, but not at other times. When children are faced with this dilemma, they often develop the ability to “read” situations and cues from their caregivers, causing them to become overly attuned to others and the belief that if they behave in a certain way, they may gain their parents’ affection. Children are often left desperately wishing for and wanting more affection, acceptance, and love.

This leads to confusion and insecurity when it comes to having their needs met. Children may become clingy with caregivers and try to extract more attention and acceptance from the parent. Children can become performance-oriented, people-pleasers as a result of learning that behaving in a certain way affords them the attention they crave.

There are also times when the conditions for Ambivalent adaptation might be due to medical circumstances or when a parent is dealing with their own issues like grieving a complicated loss where the child does not receive the consistent care and love needed. 

Ambivalent Attachment in Adults

Adults with Ambivalent Attachment can become preoccupied with pursuing relationships and connection. They may have feelings of being unworthy, which causes desperate behaviors and love seeking. They may look for validation in others and define their own self-worth by how others perceive them. They can often over-emphasize the opinion of others in defining their value.

Often, they become chronically dissatisfied and project their family experiences on their adult relationships.

This can lead to insecurity, clinging, and deep feelings of anger and resentment when their needs are not met. They are often fearful of losing their relationships and desperately beg for forgiveness after outbursts when their needs are not met. This may lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy by ending the relationship.

How to Work Toward Secure Attachment

By recognizing when needs were not met during childhood and acknowledging the impact on their adult relationships, adults are often able to identify patterns that are a direct result of their childhood experiences.

Surrounding yourself with trustworthy relationships and owning the behaviors that you see as detrimental to developing true Secure Attachment leads to awareness. Practicing self-regulation is helpful.

You may also begin to develop more Secure Attachment characteristics by being in a long-term relationship with a Securely Attached individual.

I will write occasionally about upcoming training programs, and to share information about our shared human journey towards Secure Attachment. For the most up-to-date information, follow me on Facebook here.


Diane Poole Heller, PhD



Download my free e-book, Attachment for Everyone here

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