Archive for Attachment and Bonding
We humans need safe, loving relationships where we receive support, a deep sense of security and emotional nourishment. The research on attachment and bonding tells us that we feel braver, happier, more confident, and our immune systems are stronger, as a result of secure interdependent connections.
Hardwired into our brain throughout our evolution is the need for warmth, affection, and emotional responsiveness. In a word: LOVE. This loving between humans is an enormous key to our survival. We respond to abandonment and isolation as danger. In practical terms this translates into some very basic questions that we, in the western world especially, carry deep inside: “Are you there for me”, “Do I matter to you?” “Do you know how much I love and need you?” “Will you be able to respond to me?”
When the answers to these questions are mostly “I am here; I love you” or “We are in this together” or “I want to hear your needs, and will be here with you”, we respond with a sense of emotional safety. We feel as if we “belong”, we are connected. Our flight and fight response relaxes, and we open our hearts. When we consistently receive a negative or threatening response to our vulnerable questions, we shut down and feel endangered.
Danger and safety are primitive mammalian responses. They are not logical and they are not optional. We can, however, understand them logically and learn to behave in ways that engender more safety and connection in our relationships.
The research on attachment between mothers and infants has a correlation with how lovers behave. When we love someone, and are loved in return, we emotionally tune into one another. When this attunement is satisfying, we help regulate each others’ emotional and physiological lives. We help each other balance, and this supports each of us to function happily and confidently in the world. Read More→