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Connection or Attachment?



Would you agree that the quality of your work and life is to a great extent determined by the quality of your relationships? Then I think you will appreciate this: 

There is a difference between connection & attachment.

Connection gives you power, attachment drains the life out of you.


When you attach to someone, you put your happiness and desires into their hands. That person has to do things the way you want, say things the way you want, for you to be happy. 


When you connect with someone, you notice similarities but you also notice the differences. You don’t need to change them, you just notice them. You curiously study the other’s behaviour. You are unapologetically you and they are unapologetically them. There are no strings attached. There are no emotional dramas, just misunderstandings that need to be addressed. There’s no “I’ll do this if you do that” or “I’ll take love you if you love me.”


Attachment Styles


To understand the difference between attachment and connection, we must look at our attachment styles. Rooted in early childhood experiences, these serve as emotional templates guiding our adult relationships.


There are four adult attachment styles: secure, anxious, avoidant, and fearful-avoidant (aka disorganized) attachment.


Securely attached adults are able to connect. They display characteristics that cultivate positive workplace dynamics. They are self-confident, set robust boundaries, facilitate open communication, engage in confict resolution and team work. They experience a fundamental sense of trust and their ability to maintain emotional balance gives them the ability to also make other team members feel valued, heard, and emotionally safe.  


Anxiously attached adults on the other hand exhibit the fear of rejection and abandonment by (intimate) others, they experience distrust and are therefore highly attuned to the needs and emotions of others. This makes them excellent communicators and team players, however, their people-pleasing tendencies can lead to resentment and burnout. 


Avoidant attached adults tend to approach professional situations with intellectual precision and are meticulous in their work. They are known for setting clear boundaries and effectively communicating their needs and expectations. However, they tend to distance themselves from emotional situations, and experience chronic discomfort with the demands of intimacy and dependence on others, which can hinder teamwork and collaboration.


Insecure Attachment Is Associated With Burnout


Employees with insecure attachment styles may grapple with balancing their own needs with the needs of their team members and in their personal relationships, quite likely leading to strained relationship dynamics there also.


Worrying about the availability and responsiveness of one’s colleagues and/or supervisor is associated with higher levels of burnout.


Whether it's the anxious anticipation of rejection or the instinct to avoid vulnerability, these patterns deeply influence your interactions and perceptions, and your ability to engage in healthy, balanced and assertive relationships with your colleagues, boss, your partner, your children,… 


So, I want to reassure you, if you are finding the delicate balancing act of your work-life or me-time / we-time a challenge, I understand. If you have learned, somewere along the line, that your needs and wants are not important, or worse, expressing them will lead to confict or abandonment, you most likely feel insecure, guilty or ashamed when you want to express them now.  Even when you know you should slow down, push back, delegate or ask for help, you don’t. Am I right?


Connection Is The True Power


Connection is the true power for healthy, authentic relationships and improved communication and collaboration at work and at home. I invite you to be curious about your attachment style and how this may be impacting your ability to connect and also disconnect from the hectic life you are living. 


If you want to have a chat, let me know. 

There is always a way forward.


Warm regards,

Eleanor

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