THE STYLES OF AFFECTIVE ATTACHMENT
"As your mother loved you and enjoyed you, so you will love and will enjoy life" (Mario Marrone)
Most of us have some knowledge of psychological concepts. We use these in everyday life to help us in social interactions,
and also to understand ourselves. Most of us are familiar with the terms: introversion, narcissism,
self-esteem, trauma, paranoia ... However, this list excludes the concept affective attachment ...
Below is a definition for affective attachment, as well as definitions for the various types of attachment …..
1- AFFECTIVE ATTACHMENT
Before the age of 5, humans develop a relationship of attachment with the mother. The level
of attachment which develops between them will determine the child’s ability to form emotional attachments in later life, and is unique to every child.
Schizoids are characterised by the fact that little or no emotional attachment ever developed between mother and child.
Since they have no experience of emotional attachment, this will preclude them from developing emotional attachments
with anyone else in their adult lives. This inability to form emotional attachments, is referred to as
schizoid detachment .
When conditions at home are ideal, a healthy attachment develops between mother and child, and this provides the child with the skills necessary to live happily in society.
These children will become adults who:
--- are capable of dealing with separation
--- but are also capable of harmonious reunions.
--- They develop confidence in themselves, and have confidence in others. They trust their partners.
--- They feel comfortable in relationships
--- They do not have trouble meeting new people
--- They enjoy a good relationship with their parents
--- They live a happy childhood, which augers well for a happy adulthood.
3- PROBLEMATIC ATTACHMENT
The child may have a genetic predisposition to a certain personality type, or may have experienced a tumultuous foetal history, or the mother may have emotional conflicts of her own ...
In this situation, neither the mother nor the child is perfect. Thus, the attachment relationship that develops will be deficient.
There will be conflicts in the attachment, and these children will become adults who:
--- are incapable of dealing with separation
--- are incapable of harmonious reunions
--- lack confidence in themselves, and are mistrustful of others
--- experience difficulties in interpersonal relationships
--- have difficulty in establishing friendships
--- are jealous
Sometimes the attachment between mother and child fails, or is very weak ….
In these cases, we speak of detachment.
The person does not feel attached to his parents, his siblings, his family, or his country – or the attachment is very weak.
These people will fail to establish ties with other people, and will always be lonely. They will not feel linked to anyone, nor will they ever admire anyone.
When faced with separation or reunion, they will either feel indifferent or experience low levels of pain or joy.
There will be no pleasure in social relationships, and loneliness will be a source of discomfort.
Social interaction with others may be unbearable. But, since humans are social beings by nature, lack of attachment becomes a major problem leading to underlying feelings of sadness ...
Franz Kafka, a Czech writer, experienced affective detachment and expressed it thus:
“For me, the office, the university, the family, and everything else is like a living individual to whom I am bound
for some unknown reason, but for me it is totally foreign.
It is so foreign to me as to be absurd.” (Letters to Milena)
5- MODERATE ATTACHMENT
The strength of our attachment to a country, a family, or group may prevent us from viewing them objectively.
A strong attachment will prevent us from being able to identify faults, to criticize or denounce them.
And, when they are criticised or attacked, we become defensive and immediately stand up for them as though the criticism or attack has been made against ourselves.
Although this kind of attachment is necessary for unification of the group, it is not conducive to the individual’s growth, improvement and progress.
People who are capable of separating themselves from the group sufficiently to be able to criticize it, who feel a certain amount
of detachment and who can maintain some distance from it, will be capable of seeing defects and errors, and will be able to promote positive changes.
Thus, each group needs to have some members who have a certain amount of detachment.
However, members with moderate attachment may be perceived as traitors, and be rejected by the group. This is a punishment which few will contemplate risking.
Albert Einstein, who discovered the Theory of Relativity, was German and admitted to having a moderate attachment to his homeland.
Einstein was openly critical of certain things in his country. The Prussian Academy of Science, of which Einstein was a member, knew this,
was most indignant about it, and regarded him as an "agitator”.
Einstein resigned from the Prussian Academy of Science, the Bavarian Academy of Science, and renounced to his German citizenship. Here are some of his criticisms:
"I will only live in a country where there is political freedom, tolerance and equality for all before the law. These conditions do not exist in Germany today."
"I describe the present situation in Germany as a mental illness ..."
Albert Einstein was able to do this, but someone with a stronger attachment would be unable to do it.
Many people will support their country through right and wrong. This kind of attachment is beyond criticism, whereas moderate attachment is more conditional.
Einstein was a model of moderate attachment:
‘My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced freedom
from the need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I gang my own gait
and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart;
in the face of all these ties I have never lost an obstinate sense of detachment, of the need for solitude--a feeling
which increases with the years. One is sharply conscious, yet without regret, of the limits to the possibility
of mutual understanding and sympathy with one's fellow-creatures. Such a person no doubt loses something
in the way of geniality and light-heartedness ; on the other hand, he is largely independent of the opinions, habits,
and judgments of his fellows and avoids the temptation to take his stand on such insecure foundations.”
“Social Psychology” . Robert A. Baron – D. Byrne
“Exploring Social Psychology” . David G. Myers
“Ideas and Opinions” . Albert Einstein
" La Teoría del apego” . Mario Marrone
Mikel Martinez, Ph G
English text : Lin Besaans
Mikel Martinez, diagnosed as an intermediate level schizoid from childhood. Was in a religious seminary, from the age of 12 to 25; then graduated in Psychology by the University Complutense of Madrid. His condition has been permanent source of discomfort. Married, no children.
In April 2002 received the diagnosis: Neurasthenia (ICD-10: F-48) and Personality Disorder Schizoid type (ICD-10: F 60.1) [degree medium). At 52, with chronic fatigue is removed. He lives in the city where
was born: Bilbao, Spain.