Friday, June 24, 2016

Attached, by Amir Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller

Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller, takes the result of research done by psychologists on attachment between mother and child, and applies it to the attachment between men and women partners. This is a new science.

It begins by stating that the desire to become attached to a partner is a natural human drive. It's built into our biology. It's not said in the book, but it seems obvious that without this drive the human race would not be as prolific as it is.

The theory is that each individual adopts one of three behavioural styles, as follows:
  1. ANXIOUS people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partner's ability to love them back. Are they worthy of love?
  2. AVOIDANT people feel intimacy brings a loss of independence and they constantly minimise closeness. This is the aloof man whom women feel they need to comfort and cherish. 
  3. SECURE people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving. They need a healthy balance between the security a loving relationship with a person of the opposite sex brings, and the freedom it gives for each partner to freely pursue their own interests, coming home to the other, where they receive support. 
The book has questionnaires that help the readers find their own attachment style, and that of their partner and others. This leads on to being able to find the best attachment style to partner with you, and how to both reach the Secure style which is the happiest.

The readers are also shown how to avoid the toxic Avoidant and Anxious mix. The couple genuinely love each other, but the Avoidant is constantly shaking off the Anxious, and the Anxious is constantly chasing the Avoidant. This is destructive for the couple, and all those around them. This especially includes their family.

Written in lucid, North American English, Attached is an easy read. The authors have done a fantastic job of bringing the latest research in the field of psychology within the reach of laypeople. Since time immemorial, many humans have been trying to understand the human mind and human relationships. This book shows that we have come a long way in that endeavour: from Confucius wanting to create a happy society by imposing order; the Ancient Greek mystics writing "Know yourself" above the gate of the temple at Delphi; to Freud working for hours psycho-analysing patients, knowledge has increased. 

A "must read" if you would like to create and enjoy a happy, fulfilling relationship with your own, special partner in life. If you would like to create a happy home, this is the foundation.

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