You are currently viewing Episode 430: Understanding Attachment Styles

Episode 430: Understanding Attachment Styles

Attachment theory helps lovers make sense of why we do what we do in relationships. Developed from attachment theory, the theory of human bonding, are 4 attachment styles that characterize behaviors in relationships. We like to also call them strategies and we use these strategies as a means of protection when we sense a real or perceived threat in our most intimate relationships. On today’s episode Laurie and George break down the four attachment styles and their presentation in emotional and sexual cycles. What’s important to remember is that attachment relationships begin in childhood and span into adulthood, attachment styles are not fixed and can be improved, and once you name or identify something you can begin a conversation towards change. When we do internal work to become more secure in relationships we are able to take more risks, be more vulnerable and better tolerate ruptures. If you find that you identify with an “insecure” attachment style, it’s okay! This is a great learning opportunity to learn more about yourself and what your needs are. Thanks for joining us today in our latest ‘School of Love’ lesson. Keep it hot y’all!

Visit our fabulous sponsors:

Check out and stop spending money on subscriptions you don’t use! — Laurie’s favorite lubricant!

Show Notes

Disorganized Attachment
– Explanation of disorganized attachment and its patterns
– Hypervigilance and rejection in disorganized attachment
– Trauma and its impact on attachment styles
Attachment Style Assessment
– Discussion about the attachment style test available on the website
Cutting Edge Training for Therapists
– Description of the teach-show-do model of training
– Encouragement for therapists to practice and apply techniques
Entertainment Disclaimer
– Reminder that content is for entertainment and not professional advice
Secure Attachment Style
– Detailed discussion on secure attachment and its traits
– The importance of secure attachment in childhood and adult relationships
Avoidant Attachment Style
– Exploration of the avoidant flight response and self-regulation
– Laurie Watson’s personal reflections on responding to a crying baby
– Consequences of “cry it out” and its long-term impact
Disorganized Attachment Continued
– More on disorganized attachment and sexual intimacy issues
– The strange situation experiment and its findings
**Segment 12: Secure Attachment Deep Dive**
– Benefits of secure attachment in adulthood and relationships
– Communication, sex, and conflict resolution in secure relationships
Secure Sexual Attachment
– Characteristics of secure sexual attachment and its positive effects
Anxious Attachment Style
– Analysis of anxious attachment style and its patterns in relationships
– Impact of anxious attachment style on sexual behavior
Independent Attachment Style
– Discussion on the independent attachment style and its challenges


Speaker Ads [00:00:00]:
This is the day of the big sale at your gift shop.

Laurie Watson [00:00:03]:
Welcome in.

Speaker Ads [00:00:04]:
Which isn’t just a big day for your business, but for the network, keeping it all connected.

George Faller [00:00:08]:
Next in line, please.

Speaker Ads [00:00:09]:
So is it possible to get business Internet you can really count on? It is with 99.9% network reliability from Comcast business. It’s like this neat little bow.

George Faller [00:00:19]:
Do you like that?

Laurie Watson [00:00:20]:
Gift wrapped.

Speaker Ads [00:00:21]:
Really ties it all together. Reliable Internet for your business. It’s not as possible. It’s happening. Comcast business powering possibilities.

Speaker Ads [00:00:30]:
Mc light here. And this time I’m using my voice to tell you about something I just started using. New Shea moisture deodorant created for rich melanin skin. Shea moisture antiperspirant deodorants even skin tone and protect against sweat and odor for 48 hours. Shea moisture whole body deodorants freshen all over, all day with plant based ingredients. No aluminum black. Dermatologists and gynecologists approved. I’m just saying, living in my rich melanin and protecting it, too.

Speaker Ads [00:01:00]:
Taste the Mediterranean through March 19 at Whole Foods Market. Save on animal welfare, certified bone and beef short ribs, sustainable wild caught sockeye salmon, and more. Find sales on parmesano reggiano, charcuterie and ground lamb. Grab an olive bowl, bread from the bakery, plus wines from the Mediterranean. Start at just 899. Taste the Mediterranean, now at Whole Foods Market, must be 21 plus. Please drink responsibly.

Joe Davis – Announcer [00:01:29]:
The following content is not suitable for children.

George Faller [00:01:32]:
Let’s talk attachment styles today. Laurie.

Laurie Watson [00:01:35]:
Oh, it’s so important to understand this. I’m glad we’re doing this.

George Faller [00:01:38]:
Yeah. I mean, this is the bedrock hard science behind so much of what we do. I mean, that’s the good news here. People all over the world do very similar things when they’re trying to connect or disconnect, and when they fall into patterns, and patterns become predictable. We can organize, we can understand, we can explain, we can change. So we’re going to talk today about the four basic attachment styles, both in the sexual cycle and in the Emotional cycle.

Laurie Watson [00:02:06]:
Okay. Welcome to foreplay sex therapy.

Laurie Watson [00:02:11]:
I’m Dr. Laurie Watson, your sex therapist.

George Faller [00:02:14]:
And I’m George Faller, your couples therapist.

Laurie Watson [00:02:16]:
We are here to talk about sex.

George Faller [00:02:18]:
Our mission is to help couples talk about sex in ways that incorporate their body, their mind, and their hearts.

George Faller [00:02:26]:
And we have a little bit of fun doing it.

George Faller [00:02:28]:
Right, g listen, and let’s change some relationships.

Laurie Watson [00:02:32]:
This attachment theory is really the most researched theory, as you said, and it’s really about how people get bonded and how they survive. I mean, as babies, we need to be connected with somebody who will take care of us, who will provide for our needs. And it turns out we have parents who do that. But also the babies start to participate in that. They coo, they goo, they smile.

George Faller [00:02:59]:
And Laurie’s getting heavy doses of this with her new grand son. So this is pretty amazing to see the attachment style. This is not just a theory. This is in practice right now. Right, Laurie?

Laurie Watson [00:03:11]:
Oh, my is. Thank you. It is so in practice, I am absolutely in love. I am absolutely just over the moon right now. It’s so much fun. Okay, so attachment styles.

George Faller [00:03:24]:
Hold on with that because just the history. This model did evolve John Bolde from watching parents, especially mothers, interact with their children. And then that theory has expanded into adult relationships. A lot of Mario Michelanger and Phil Shaver’s work on adult attachment. So it’s these common themes in all relationships around connection and disconnection.

Laurie Watson [00:03:48]:
Right. We come out of childhood with some attachment style, but then we are in a romantic relationship and we get attached, reattached there. And how we act is often sort of the remnants of our childhood. But the good news is we can become securely attached, both physically and emotionally, in our romantic relationships. And that’s what we’re all about in foreplay.

George Faller [00:04:12]:
Yes. So let’s just give that quick overview. In oversimplifying it. There are four basic attachment styles, and all of us can kind of have a little of one and some of the other and go in and out in different ways. But generally, as we talk about it, just we invite you to think about what resonates the most, what fits the most with your experience. The good news is these attachment styles are not etched in stone. They can change. Right.

George Faller [00:04:39]:
It’s never too late to add missing ingredients and head in the direction of security. But these four attachment styles, you have an anxious attachment style. You have an avoidance attachment style. You have a disorganized attachment style, a combination of the two, avoidant and anxious. And then you have a secure attachment style. Right. So these are the four that we’re going to talk about more specifically. So what do you want to start with, Laurie?

Laurie Watson [00:05:07]:
Well, let’s first talk about the target, which is the secure attachment style. And that’s when I feel good about myself and I feel good about I overall, in a relationship, I’m going to trust your intentions. I feel like I’m a good person, that I’m lovable and I’m valuable. And I think you’re going to be good and lovable. And valuable. And so if you’re securely attached from childhood, you come into a romantic relationship with kind of this worldview and this sense of yourself that says this is all going to go well, and that confidence and that sense of trust actually makes things go well.

George Faller [00:05:48]:
Yeah. This is that green brain space. You feel important, you feel valued. You trust that you mad at your partner, your partner feels the same thing. And because of that, there’s these invisible kind of threads that kind of just tie you together. Right. And in good times, you can just kind of enjoy that. You can let go and surrender, and in times of threat, you trust that your partner has your back and they’re going to face it with you and you’re not alone.

George Faller [00:06:19]:
Right. I mean, this is the whole damn point of why we’re here. To be in relationships and to do relationships well. So I always love looking at kids with secure attachment. It’s like they fall down and they just trust that their hurt matters to somebody else. They just expect their tears are going to pull their parents closer to them, right. That when they get a good grade, they want to share it because they know their parents are going to be proud of them and they’re going to feel good about it. It’s like this trust that you’re saying, we all want it, but unfortunately, a lot of us, because we’ve gotten hurt, don’t get it.

George Faller [00:06:55]:
The hallmark of secure attachment is this trust. It’s this safety. It’s this feeling, these needs being met, that we mattered.

Laurie Watson [00:07:06]:
Yeah. And if you have parents who overall had a good relationship with themselves and there was economic security and there was a lot of affection, that was appropriate and there were decent boundaries, like, you knew this was okay to do and this thing over here was not okay to do. And I knew what was going to happen if I stepped over the line. It was orderly. And all of that gives us kind of just this sense of shoring up. So we grow up straight, we grow up strong, and then when we find somebody, like you said, it makes sense. When our partner is a little off, we don’t get all rattled. It’s not like, oh, what’s wrong? What’s the problem? Is it me? You just think, oh, they’re a little off today, they’ve got a bad mood, or something must have happened at work.

Laurie Watson [00:07:56]:
And you trust that if there’s something wrong between the two of you, your partner is going to bring it to you. It is a blessing. Do you know, George, securely attached people both. I mean, there is so much good they make more money in life, statistically, I mean, it is literally golden. They make more money, and if they get a disease, they don’t suffer as much. I mean, there is research that shows they don’t feel as much pain because internally something changes and it impacts their body. Even their body is better off if they grew up securely attached.

George Faller [00:08:33]:
Yeah, we do better when we feel safe. When you’re not safe, you got to be on guard, you got to be vigilant. You got to waste a lot of your energy in these protective states, and it’s not a choice. Again, you grow up in a family that don’t have secure attachment. You don’t have secure attachment. You find someone else who doesn’t have secure attachment. You raise kids who don’t have secure attachment. This stuff gets passed on.

George Faller [00:08:54]:
We’re not blaming people for having it, but if you can identify it, you can start changing. And this is the target, secure attachment. Right. What does it look like? We talk about those three roads of connection. The high road, great sex, positive emotion, the middle road, the partner, and the logistics, all the stuff that you need to work together, the low road, the vulnerability, the struggles. People with secure attachment do all three well, right? That ability to repair is what’s so like. We still step on each other’s toes. But I can say, hey, laurie, when you said that, it felt critical.

George Faller [00:09:28]:
I felt like I was failing. That hurt my feelings. Laurie says what?

Laurie Watson [00:09:34]:
Yeah. I would say, gosh, I’m so glad you told me that it hurts you, because now we can talk about what I meant and what you’re feeling like. I welcome that input into the dialogue, and we can straighten things out so much easier. Securely attached people are direct. It doesn’t mean that we never have conflict or we don’t have arguments or we don’t step on each other’s toes. It just means that the ability to repair is kind of innate. We trust that our partner wants to repair with us. And so, like you said, you bring it up to me, and I’m like, oh, thank goodness.

Laurie Watson [00:10:10]:
I’m so glad you told me. I have a beautiful. My daughter in law. I’m also half in love with my daughter in law because I’m going to cry. She is the sweetest soul in the world, and she’s so full of grace. Like, if I step on her toes, she’s so quick to forgive me and to offer up a conversation of repair. It’s just really beautiful. I don’t feel anxious with her because I know that repair is possible and anything that she needs, she can actually tell me about it.

Laurie Watson [00:10:44]:
And that’s a stretch for her and for me. I’m an erotic. And so if I feel like, oh, maybe she misinterpreted this, I’ll say it to her, and she’ll say, well, this is what I actually experienced when you said that, or I wasn’t sure, and I was going to talk to you about that, or she’ll just bring it up like, hey, what did you mean by that? It’s really beautiful. So in secure relationships, both romantic and in friendships and in families, we have this ability to just make it work. We repair.

George Faller [00:11:14]:
Secure people are great communicators. They can talk about what’s working and what’s not working. So when we talk about the bedroom, securely attached lovers can communicate what’s working, what’s not working. They could repair, right? We know 10% of sexual encounters negatively. Like, what’s your plan? Securely attached people can laugh about it and say, yeah, it wasn’t our night tonight, was it? They could have fun with it. It’s that ability to repair that’s the hallmark of security. If you can’t repair, then every fight is a threat that might lead to the breakup of the fight or more distance. But if you’re not scared of that because you know you could repair, a fight’s not that big of a deal.

George Faller [00:11:56]:
It actually then becomes an opportunity to.

Laurie Watson [00:11:58]:
Come closer and to get clearer.

Laurie Watson [00:12:01]:
A lot can happen in the next three years. Like, a chatbot may be your new best friend, but what won’t change? Needing health insurance? UnitedHealthcare tri term medical plans are available for these changing times. Underwritten by Golden Roll Insurance company, they offer budget friendly, flexible coverage for people who are in between jobs or missed open enrollment. The plans last nearly three years in some states, with access to a nationwide network of doctors and hospitals. So for whatever tomorrow brings, UnitedHealthcare triterm medical plans may be for you. Learn more at, uh, one at Ikea.

Speaker Ads [00:12:32]:
Your dream home is a blue bag away. No matter the size of your space or budget, we’ve got everything you need to turn your dreams into reality. And now, with new lower prices on hundreds of our most popular products, bringing the dream home is even easier. Like the gray strandum wing chair was 369, now 299. And the IKEA plus 365 nine piece cookware set was 129. 99, now 89, 99. And hundreds more shop new, lower

Laurie Watson [00:13:00]:
Today and I think the hallmark of the secure sexual attachment is not the amount of sex. It’s actually the trust that my partner wants to be sexual with me, that they want to have a life of the body with me that makes me feel secure. So if we have an off night, it’s okay. There’s another opportunity. Or if my partner says, no, it’s okay, because I know that they still want me. They want to be with me.

George Faller [00:13:30]:
When two people want each other, the quality of their sex is also better. So that’s a gift to have you both feel wanted. It’s safer to take risks. You could explore more. You could communicate better. You could surrender. You can do vulnerability. All the hallmarks of great lovers are found in that doorway of security.

Laurie Watson [00:13:52]:
Right? Exactly. People say, well, is secure sex hot? It’s like, well, yeah, because securely attached lovers, they reveal their erotic mind to each other. They tell each other their fantasies. They’re exploratory. They are accepting of their partner’s wishes and wants. Not necessarily saying, I want to do that with you, but they don’t think their partner is a pervert or a freak. When they hear them, it’s like, oh, that’s your turn on. And it’s kind of exciting.

Laurie Watson [00:14:23]:
I mean, they bring each other’s energy into it. So, yes, secure lovers have hot sex.

George Faller [00:14:29]:
And this is an important thing to highlight because our culture often emphasizes that monogamy or long term relationships lead to dead sex. Right. That it’s really the novelty that keeps it hot and sexy. And again, the research doesn’t support that. That’s what you see in commercials. But the reality is, long term lovers that have secure attachment have the best sex. They’ve had lots of years of practice of changing things up, mixing it up, going deeper, things working, not working, communicating. I mean, they have a partner who they know so well, and they know themselves so well.

George Faller [00:15:06]:
Like, when you don’t get a chance to go that deep, there’s a superficial level to your relationship that securely attached people don’t have. So we really do want to shout this out for people to kind of recognize. The research is real strong here in what great lovers and secure attachment looks like.

Laurie Watson [00:15:26]:
That’s right. Okay, well, let’s take a break and then talk about the insecure attachment styles when we come back.

George Faller [00:15:36]:
Rocket money. Rocket money, y’all. Saves you money. If you’re like me, I sign up for subscriptions to this, that, and the other thing. In fact, I recently found another subscription that I had forgotten about. I’m not even using the app, and I’m paying for it. I think I paid $69 for it. Listen, 75% of people have subscriptions that they’ve forgot about.

George Faller [00:15:59]:
And really, before I started using Rocket money, I forgot about those things. Thank God I have the app that tells me what’s happening and how to quit it. It’s so wonderful because thanks to Rocket money, I’m no longer wasting money on the things. You know, if you’re trying to save money or if you’re struggling to find time to manage your finances at the end of a busy week, really, the last thing we want to do is spend time budgeting all our expenses and tracking down these customer service items. So trust me, I use Rocket money, and it does all of that for me. Rocket money is a personal finance app that finds and cancels your unwanted subscriptions, monitors your spending, and helps you lower your bills so that you can grow your savings. Rocket Money also has 5 million users and has saved a total of $500 million in canceled subscriptions, saving its members up to $740 a year when you.

Laurie Watson [00:16:52]:
Use all of the app’s features.

George Faller [00:16:53]:
So stop wasting money on things you don’t use. Cancel your unwanted subscriptions by going to slash foreplay. That’s slash foreplay. slash foreplay. Uber lube. It’s a luxury lubricant. Basically, it’s pure silicone bliss. It is made from superior ingredients.

George Faller [00:17:16]:
It has skin soothing vitamin e, and it goes on just like natural moisture. And it lasts a long time. There’s no drip. The glass bottles are truly beautiful. You can leave them on your bedstand.

Laurie Watson [00:17:27]:
I do. No problem.

George Faller [00:17:29]:
Nobody notices. And it’s basically like this thin, slippery silicone formulation. It reduces friction, which is great, but it doesn’t reduce sensation. And it stays slippery long enough for lasting pleasure. They have travel friendly, toughened glass bottles. You can slip it in your gym bag. You can slip it in your purse. You can be ready whenever.

George Faller [00:17:52]:
Try uber lube, the silicone Use the code foreplay for 10% off. Really, it is the best lubricant on the market.

George Faller [00:18:06]:
All right, Laurie. Insecure attachment styles. Let’s start off with the anxious one.

Laurie Watson [00:18:10]:
Yeah. So anxiously attached people. They are preoccupied, kind of with the relationship, with worrying about is everything okay? And do I have my partner’s interest? Do I have my partner’s love? And they’re very sensitive to rejection. And I just think that sensitivity to rejection often makes them overthink, and they’re less likely to use direct communication because they’re twisting themselves up into a pretzel to make sure that they get the approval of their partner. So they’re often not clear about what they need, what they want. It can be really confusing to be in a relationship with somebody who is insecurely attached on an anxious end of the continuum.

George Faller [00:18:57]:
And it’s not a choice. I mean, that anxiety is a natural byproduct of being missed, being dropped.

Laurie Watson [00:19:05]:

George Faller [00:19:05]:
The resilient thing to do is to overwork, to try to figure out what you can do so it doesn’t happen again. I mean, you see kids with anxious styles, it’s their parents aren’t responding consistently enough. So this is an adaptive thing to do, to be anxious and say, let me influence the outcome. Let me have a sense of agency, a sense of control. Maybe I can do something. But that energy that’s trying to overwork, it sends a vibe, the anxiety that often causes people around them to be a bit hesitant. Right, because people pick up on that vibe.

Laurie Watson [00:19:40]:
Exactly. Because I think about a friend who’s kind of anxious, and it doesn’t feel safe to me, and I’m anxiously attached overall, but it doesn’t feel safe because I never exactly know what they mean. They won’t be direct about what they want and what they think. And so it’s this guessing game, and then they get their feelings hurt and they’re upset and kind of pouty, and it’s just like, oh, man, what is going on here? I think it can be very confusing.

George Faller [00:20:11]:
Yeah. And then in the bedroom, like you said, it’s this mixed signal. They want to have sex, but they’re afraid of getting rejected, so they ask for it indirectly, like, hey, how are you doing tonight? Which really means I want to have sex, but I can’t really say that they’re reading books on.

Laurie Watson [00:20:28]:
Are you tired? Are you tired?

George Faller [00:20:30]:
Yeah. Do you want to watch this show? Because if you don’t, that means we have sex. But it’s like, you got to be a mind reader a lot of times. It’s not their fault. The last thing we want to do is send a message. If you start identifying with one of these categories, like, it’s your fault, it’s not a choice. This is a byproduct of the environment. You just got to be able to name that.

George Faller [00:20:54]:
If you can then come up with a plan for changing that. But anxiously attached people in a bedroom, they’re not as confident because of the rejection. They’re not as decisive. They’re not as sure of themselves. Everything’s hesitant and cautious.

Laurie Watson [00:21:11]:
They worry about their attractiveness, a lot like a rejection, sends this terrible message to them that they’re not attractive enough. I mean, their partner may just not want sex that night, but they take it inside them like they’re not good enough. And so it creates this franticness about sex. It’s no longer even about sex. It’s about being valued sexually.

George Faller [00:21:36]:
And to make it more complicated, though, that anxiety often kind of manifests itself into anger because they get mad at the person who triggers them and their anxiety. So you often don’t see the hurt of the anxiety. You see their anger at their partner causing it. You’re never in the mood. You want to watch shows instead of having sex. They’re really good at being angry because anger is trying to give them a sense of power to this massive helplessness and anxiety that they carry inside of them.

Laurie Watson [00:22:05]:
Yeah, exactly. It can be confusing. They’re sending a message of want, and then they send this push with anger. Push away, like, you’re not doing it well enough, you’re not good enough for me. When actually they’re feeling inside, I’m not good enough for you. The whole thing gets convoluted. And yes, their protection, like we often talk about, is pursuit, which is the.

George Faller [00:22:28]:
Push, the push, the frustration.

Laurie Watson [00:22:31]:
When the push is frustration.

George Faller [00:22:32]:
All right, let’s go to the third one.

Laurie Watson [00:22:36]:
Right. People are trained to survive by being independent. They often don’t have near enough comfort and nurture and security in their homes. And so they just like, if I’m going to survive, I’m going to do it with me. And so they kind of think I can trust myself, but I cannot trust you. And so they have real difficulty getting close to somebody else and depending on them in an appropriate way. They really worry about being taken advantage of. Like, if I let my guard down, you’re going to use it against me.

Laurie Watson [00:23:14]:
And then they prefer to just not dismiss relational problems. It’s like, it’s just better if we don’t talk about it. They almost down regulate the importance of the relationship. It’s like, well, that’s not something that I’m dependent on anyway, so why do I want to spend energy figuring it out? I’m my own island, right?

George Faller [00:23:37]:
And again, just like the fight response of that anxious style, the avoidant flight response is adaptive. It’s a resilient thing. If you are a baby and you’re not picked up and you’re left to cry it out, you learn to self regulate your own emotions. You learn because people let you down. They’re not going to respond to you. You do the only thing that you can as you learn to take care of yourself.

Laurie Watson [00:23:59]:
Okay. You’re making my stomach hurt. A baby not being picked up, that’s crying is making my stomach hurt. I can’t even imagine that, right. As a parent and a grandparent, just that baby cry, everything in you goes to them. But sometimes, know, maybe sometimes it’s circumstance.

George Faller [00:24:18]:
A lot of us have been raised believing you need to grow up strong kids and let them cry it out. Dr. Spock’s work and I think trust. People have good reasons for what they’re trying to do. But if you understand attachment, if that child is calling and nobody’s coming, you’re alone in that distress. And you can only stay alone in pain and fear so long before you have to start cutting it off. And you have to learn to self soothe yourself. And you learn to mistrust people, because, let’s face it, they’re not there for you.

Laurie Watson [00:24:49]:
Exactly. And then when you’re in a romantic relationship, why would it make sense to trust your partner if all your life it says intimate family relationships are not really to be trusted? And yeah, I got married and I’m attracted to them and all that, but it’s like, I’m not going to let my guard down, really not going to let you in, because then you could hurt me. If I let you in, you could hurt me. You could disappoint me. Like I’ve been so disappointed in the past.

George Faller [00:25:18]:
And we’ve talked a lot about this a lot of times. That emotional withdrawal because they don’t do feelings, because they’ve been let down and left alone, they pursue in the bedroom because that’s the one area they can. But we’re talking about withdrawing in the bedroom. That’s somebody who just doesn’t want to have sex because sex usually doesn’t work so well for them. They get messages, they’re failing or they’re broken, or they’re never in the mood. And not engaging in sex is a good way of protecting yourself if sex is going to feel bad.

Laurie Watson [00:25:49]:
Yeah. And this is where it gets complicated. That we know. Right, George? Because sometimes the emotionally avoidant person does pursue sexually, somehow or another, they do feel safer in the body sexually. It’s almost like a second chance, is what I think. If they’re avoidant emotionally and they grew up that way, sex gives them a second place to feel secure. And so sometimes they take advantage of that. I mean, in a positive way.

Laurie Watson [00:26:18]:
They go for the body security, because then it’s very tangible, is there anything more connecting than sex or heterosexual intercourse that’s about as connected as you can get. So I just think that that’s the place that they can feel it. And I think sometimes certainly we know sexually avoidant people. Sometimes they have not been touched. They have not been touched enough so they cannot access the body as a safe place. Or let’s say that they had trauma and they were touched in inappropriate ways or bad things. But I think that goes more into our fourth style. But I think that often the biggest thing that I see in people who are avoidant sexually is it is not safe to give you my body and to trust that you want to make it feel good and all of that.

Laurie Watson [00:27:14]:
It’s not safe.

Speaker Ads [00:27:17]:
For a limited time, Outback steakhouse has a new three course meal called the Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. With so many mouthwatering options, the Aussie, Aussie, Aussie is a deal worth celebrating with soup or salad. Five bold and flavorful entrees to choose from, and a New York style cheesecake for dessert. New York, that’s not australian. The Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Three courses starting at just 1699, available at outback for a limited time outback. No rules, just right. There’s a lot that could impress you about the all new Honda prologue ev.

Speaker Ads [00:27:51]:
True, it’s got class, leading passenger space, and clean, thoughtful design and intuitive technology. But what really sets the prologue apart from the competition is that it’s more than an EV. It’s a Honda. Honda. The power of dreams. Visit slash prologue to learn more.

George Faller [00:28:11]:
Avoidant style. Being engaged brings a lot of pressure and getting away from the pressure and going towards aloneness and self regulation is safety. So that’s really the function. That’s all they’re trying to do is find safety. But that last style, that last style, that disorganized attachment, that’s usually somebody that’s experienced trauma, where the people who they need them and they’re anxious for is also a threat and they’re hurting them. Imagine somebody that’s abusing you or molesting you as a child. It’s like you need them, right? And you’re anxious, but you’re also scared that you’re going to get hurt. So you’re kind of pushing away.

George Faller [00:28:50]:
So they send very mixed signals, right? And when you understand attachment, that’s not crazy at all.

Laurie Watson [00:28:56]:
It’s not. It can feel crazy to the person who is disorganized attachment and to their partners. It can feel like, I don’t know if I’m coming or going. It’s like as soon as I get close to you, you push me away, and as soon as I go away, you try to pull me in. There’s a book out there called I hate you, don’t leave me. And that kind of describes the dilemma of the disorganized attached person. I hate that. I need you, but I do need you.

George Faller [00:29:24]:
Yeah. Did we talk about the strange situation for 30 seconds just to make sense a little bit?

Laurie Watson [00:29:28]:
Yeah, let’s talk about that.

George Faller [00:29:29]:
Yeah. I mean, just really quick, the strange situation experiment, which you can go on YouTube and look at it, you can see these four attachment styles pretty predictably in kids. So what they do in this experiment is the child is with their parent and they’re kind of engaging. And then the child goes off into the corner to play with toys and a stranger comes in and they watch what the child does, and then you can predict their attachment style by that behavior. So what does an anxiously attached child do? They run to the parent, they cling to the parent, and they never go back to playing, because as long as the stranger is there, their body’s activated and lost in their anxiety. Overworking an avoidantly attached child, the stranger comes in and they don’t even look for the reassurance of the parent. They just continue to play. They’ve gotten used to dealing with this stuff on their own.

George Faller [00:30:16]:
I hope that hurts some of your hearts. Like it’s normally scared from a stranger, and yet these kids have learned to deal with it on their own. So they don’t look for comfort or reassurance, which is a loss for the child and for the parent.

Laurie Watson [00:30:28]:
Right, exactly.

George Faller [00:30:30]:
What does the securely attached child do? Stranger comes in, the kid gets anxious, goes to the parent for some reassurance, quickly calms down, and then goes back to playing, goes back to exploring, goes back to trusting. That’s the template that works, that we’re all striving for. And what does a disorganized attachment child do? Stranger comes in, kid gets anxious and then walks to the parent backwards. Or they go to the parent and then push the parent away. Right. Because these are the kids that are getting lost in both. They don’t feel safe and they’re anxious at the same time. And it always makes sense.

George Faller [00:31:06]:
And it’s usually always some trauma in the backstory that helps us understand the torment that they can live in so often.

Laurie Watson [00:31:14]:
Right, exactly. Okay, so our four attachment styles, securely attached, which is our target. Anxiously attached, avoidantly attached, and disorganized attachment. I hope that this sheds some light on kind of where you might have come from. What it looks like sexually. Let’s say what it looks like sexually in the disorganized attachment. Just for a minute.

George Faller [00:31:36]:

Laurie Watson [00:31:37]:
In disorganized attachment, it’s the same sort of thing. They’re hyper vigilant about their partner’s attention, and then they can be rejecting, like in inappropriate times, they think their partner is rejecting them. Even when their partner is lost in the moment and enjoying it. They’re so sort of mixed up about the signals that they can’t get it right, and so they need, and then they push it away, and then they get angry and blame their partner. It looks a little anxious, but it’s worse.

George Faller [00:32:09]:
Yeah. And for those of you listening, if you want to take a test to kind of help you with your attachment style, you can go to our website to check that out.

Laurie Watson [00:32:17]:
Okay, well, thanks for listening.

George Faller [00:32:19]:
Keep it hot, y’all.

George Faller [00:32:20]:
Okay, so tell us about your cutting edge training that you’re doing on success and vulnerability, Laurie.

George Faller [00:32:27]:
We just keep pushing it. Coming up with a new module on the playbook of a pursuer, playbook of a witcher, really practical moment by moment moves of what a therapist can use. We’re so focused on what’s happening in session enough. There’s talk about theories and these global things I think most therapists are looking for. What do I do in this moment? Give me a tool, George. So that’s what we’re trying to do.

George Faller [00:32:52]:
That’s awesome. I am so glad you guys are doing this work. I think it helps us be organized to see you do it. You do demos, you do explanations, teaching. It really is interactive. And I think that so many trainings that we sit through don’t give us an opportunity for that. So what you’re doing is really important.

George Faller [00:33:12]:
No. We try to emphasize to teach it, show it, do it model of learning. You need to have some ideas. So we try to teach those, and then we try to show what it looks like implementing those ideas. But most importantly, you now got to practice it. That’s how they become yours, and that’s what we want our listeners and watchers to do and become their own moves.

George Faller [00:33:30]:
Find George and his

Joe Davis – Announcer [00:33:34]:
Call in your questions to the foreplay question. Voicemail, dial eight three my foreplay. That’s eight three three my. The number four play. And we’ll use the questions for our mailbag episodes. All content is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for therapy. By a licensed clinician or as medical advice from a doctor. This podcast is copyrighted by Foreplay media.

Speaker Ads [00:33:57]:
Seeking the truth never gets old introducing June’s journey, the free to play mobile game that will immerse you in a thrilling murder mystery. Join June Parker as she uncovers hidden objects and clues to solve her sister’s death in a beautifully illustrated world set in the roaring 20s. With new chapters added every week, the excitement never ends. Download June’s journey now on your Android or iOS device, or play on PC through Facebook games.