RR04 – The 4 Defining Features of Deep Connections

Today’s “Reading that Resonates” is  from chapter 20, page 437, of the Handbook of Attachment.

RR04 - Attachment Bonds have four defining features.Debra Zeifman & Cindy Hazan, summarize Dr. John Bowlby’s definition as such:

“Attachment bonds have four defining features: “proximity maintenance,” “separation distress,” “safe haven,” and “secure base.” ”

As I understand the terms, a paraphrase might be something like…

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RR#3 – Deep connections give rise to intense emotions

Today’s “Reading that Resonates” is  from chapter 1, page 6, of the Handbook of Attachment:

RR#3 - Deep connections give rise to deep emotions.

“Many of the most intense emotions arise during the formation, the maintenance, the disruption, and the renewal of attachment relationships. The formation of a bond is described as falling in love, maintaining a bond as loving someone, and losing a partner as grieving over someone. Similarly, threat of loss arouses anxiety and actual loss gives rise to sorrow; whilst each of these situations is likely to arouse anger. The unchallenged maintenance of a bond is experienced as a source of joy.” ~ Dr. John Bowlby

This resonated with me because: Continue reading

RR#2 – Connection and the Freedom to Explore

Today’s RR is another quote from chapter 1 of the Handbook of Attachment:

“Thus attachment, far from interfering with exploration, is viewed as fostering exploration.” ~ Dr. Jude Cassidy, pg. 8

RR#2 - [Secure connection], far from interfering with exploration, is viewed as fostering exploration.

This resonated with me because:

  • I’ve experienced it. When I have felt the most connected to my wife and other special others, I have been more willing to try new things, learn new things, and take risks.
  • this is in stark contrast to the notion that attachment is all about being chained to someone and that being connected to someone is an abdication of freedom.
  • on a related note, it was validating. I love romantic gestures, but have been accused of offering too much and caving in to the whims of my “ball and chain” wife. What people don’t realise is that these “connection builders” have helped to build trust and love in my relationship; so much so that I have significant freedoms that other men don’t.
Random thought for the day: I’ve also decided to refer to attachment as “connection” or “secure connection” when I’m talking to  non-psych types. If finding that the word attachment comes with too much unintended baggage. Really, all we are talking about when we talk about attachment is our deep connections… especially those connections to the people we’d turn to in times of distress.

Does this quote resonate for you? Positively? Negatively?  I’d love to hear your comments.

RR#1 – Attachment is normal and healthy

wefulness.com - Readings that Resonate #1Over the summer I plan to catch up on a bunch of reading. As I dive in deep, I want to share some highlights – I’m calling them “readings that resonate” – that I find interesting, validating or just plain fun.

Today’s RR comes from the chapter 1 of the Handbook of Attachment:

“Within this [evolutionary] framework, attachment is considered a normal and healthy characteristic of humans throughout the lifespan, rather than a sign of immaturity that needs to be outgrown.” ~ Dr. Jude Cassidy, pg. 5

This resonated with me because:

  • the value of my connection to my wife, especially during our hard times, has been questioned and even framed as immature neediness or co-dependence. “Why did you stay with her?”
  • this is in stark contrast to the notion that attachment is a secondary behavior… i.e. a child is only motivated to be attached to it’s mother because mom feeds it – any “feeder” will do – and the adult equivalents.
  • it was validating. The fact that I value interdependence is not a sign of clingy immaturity, but is actually healthy and normal.

Does this quote resonate for you? Positively? Negatively? Do you think I’m interpreting it correctly? I’d love to hear your comments.

Poll: Do you ever describe non-romantic connections as “relationships?”

Has the Facebook relationship status line effectively narrowed the meaning of the word “relationship?”

Dictionary.com defines relationship as:

  1. a connection, association, or involvement.
  2. connection between persons by blood or marriage.
  3. an emotional or other connection between people: the relationship between teachers and students.
  4. a sexual involvement; affair.

However, if I mention the relationship between X & Y in my middle school Math class, half of the class looks confused and the other half snickers under their breath. And I’ll get out loud chuckles or muffled gasps if I mention my long standing relationships with my colleagues or friends.

Expressions of Love by barbourians

So, what do you think? Has the meaning of relationship become another synonym for “coupling?” Has it become a word with too much baggage to use for platonic connection? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Do you ever describe non-romantic connections as "relationships?"

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