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Attachments 13

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Attachments 13

(We have come to the end of our in-depth treatment of insecure attachment styles.  Tonight, we begin to deal with the secure attachment style.  You can follow along on page 125.)

7

Equipped to Face Challenges

And Take Risks

The Secure Attachment Style

To be loved, be lovable.

–Ovid

| !!!  

Comparison of Attachment Styles

  |

| !!!!!! Both

| !!!!! Secure Attachment Style

  Self Dimension ·        I am worthy of love. ·        I am capable of getting the love and support I need.   Other Dimension ·        Others are willing and able to love me. | Ambivalent Attachment Style  Self Dimension ·        I am not worthy of love. ·        I am not capable of getting the love I need without being angry and clingy.  Other Dimension ·        Others are capable of meeting my nees but might not do so because of my flaws. ·        Others are trustworthy and reliable but might abandonment because of my worthlessness.  | !!!!!! Others

|

| !!!!!! Self

| Avoidant Attachment Style  !!!! Self Dimension

 ·        I am worthy of love. ·        I am capable of getting the love and support I need.   Other Dimension ·        Others are either unwilling or incapable of loving me. ·        Others are not trustworthy; they are unreliable when it comes to meeting my needs.  | Disorganized Attachment Style !!!! Self Dimension

 ·        I am not worthy of love. ·        I am not capable of getting the love I need without being angry and clingy.  Other Dimension ·        Others are unable to meet my needs. ·        Others are not trustworthy or reliable. ·        Others are abusive, and I deserve it.[1]  | !!!!!! Neither

|

       “There’s nothing superhuman about secure people.  …they’re real people with real feelings and common, everyday tensions and problems, some of them devastating.  It’s how they deal with those feelings and problems that sets them apart.”[2]  I believe that is so so true!!

Beliefs behind the Secure Self

“When secure people run into problems, they can experience the whole spectrum of emotions from joy to depression, from confusion to peace, and even anxiety, sadness, guilt, and yes, anger.  But even though they experience the same emotions, some definite characteristics set them apart from other attachment styles.”[3]

       Before we move on to those definite characteristics, I think it is somewhat unusual that people are able to feel the full spectrum of emotions.  I believe that most people are trying to stay away from certain feelings or flatten their feelings, so that they don’t hurt so bad.

       Nevertheless, there are some definite characteristics that set apart those with the secure attachment style.

(One of those characteristics has to do with:)

Confidence about “Who I Am”

Secure people don’t feel the pressure to perform that other attachment styles do to earn their self-worth points.  That’s pressure off for them.  They may drive themselve pretty hard, but that drive has nothing to do with proving themselves as worthy souls.  That sense of value has been instilled in them since early childhood.  And it continues into adult life.

       This internal sense of security frees them from all the hidden and internal agendas present in other attachment styles, so they’re able to relate to others more genuinely and honestly.  This, of course, is no surprise.  People who feel fundamentally secure are able to express thoughts and opinions more confidently.  They’re not worried that they’ll be harmed or emotionally bruised if others disapprove.  That doesn’t mean they go around saying whatever flashes into their minds.  No, they practice restraint like any loving and thoughtful person would.  But they’re not threatened at their core by the fear that others will find fault with their opinions.

And when others do find fault, they try not to take the disagreements personally.

In fact, depending on the subject, they might find such disagreement, a welcome opening for a lively discussion.”[4]  I talked to you about this a little bit last Wednesday.  We don’t have to take things so personally!

(In addition to a confidence about who they are, those with the secure attachment style also have:)

Confidence about Effectiveness

“To respect someone’s feelings means you believe those feelings in the other person are valid, based on reality, and aren’t there to manipulate you.  For instance, if the person tells you he’s angry, he may have a good reason for that anger.  Secure people were shaped in an environment where other people respected their feelings and, as a result, they respected the feelings of others—or somehow, along the way, they learned this process.  (Many of those with insecure attachment styles can’t accept the feelings of other people as valid, based on reality, or free from any attempt to manipulate them!  They react to the feelings of others by not acknowledging them, mistrusting them, blowing up at those who share difficult feelings, etc.)

       Among other advantages, that kind of awareness taught them how to negotiate conflict.  If both parties have valid feelings, and if both parties’ feelings are based on reality, then both parties can make reasonable changes to accommodate the other.  And since there are no destructive, manipulative hidden agendas at work, if both parties want only a vibrant, healthy relationship, then both should be willing to make the changes and accomodations that assure that kind of relationship.”[5]

       “That’s why secure people are skilled at communicating their feelings and opinions.  They’re confident they can affect other people, that they can entice their loved ones to listen to their complaints and to respond favorably—without or with little need for manipulation or coercion.  They are not conflict avoidant.  They won’t remain quiet just to keep the peace.  They can turn up the heat when necessary.  But simultaneously, they keep their feelings and the situation regulated.  (This means then tend not to blow up or clam up.)

       In the secure person, anger has a different ‘flavor.’  It’s not born out of fear, and it’s not bubbling out of some newly aroused internal volcano.  In the secure person, anger generally springs from hope….(Please be reminded of the anger of hope!!!)


       The anger that arises out of hope fuels adaptive conflict.  Sounds like something sewn onto a silk pillow, doesn’t it.  Well, it should be.  It says that these squabbles a necessary part of a couple’s growth together.  In fact, as we’ll see later in this chapter and throughout this book, regulated conflict is the building block of healthy relationship.  Just as kids go through growing pains on their way to maturity, so do loving couples, and those ‘growing pains’ lead to a vibrant and thriving relationship.”[6]  This is difficult to understand and accept, because so few people have ever experienced adaptive conflict, regulated conflict, or a resolved conflict!

(In addition to a confidence about who they are and effectiveness, those with the secure attachment style also have:)

Trust in Others

“You’ve heard the old saying:  Trust must be earned.  Or, Lost trust is lost forever.  Both statements are generally true.  Trusting others is not easy.  The reason is simple:  Trust means you’re trusting the other person with something—your money or your future….

       Secure people tend to trust others.

       Now, that trust isn’t a naive, immature, fantasy-based trust.  It’s a general belief that others, those they’ve carefully selected after seeing them in action during the dating process or in other ways, are capable of and willing to meet their emotional needs.  Secure people don’t expect perfection.  In fact, they’re generally more tolerant of others’ mistakes because they don’t see mistakes as signs of dishonesty or rejection.”[7]

       Trust is a very complex subject, contrary to popular belief.  We studied the phenomenon of trust in the 1995 Summer series entitled:  “Trust In The Twilight Zone.”  We used the book Trusting, by Pat Springle, Servant Publications 1994.  In that series, we walked through the different kinds of distrust and trust.  We talked about the fact that the yearning for safety is so strong that people respond in one of three general ways:

1.     Blind trust.

Some people trust others who behave in threatening ways.  “These individuals will not perceive the reality of harsh, abusive, neglectful, and selfish relationships.  They do not have the emotional strength to admit the absence of safety.  To win the approval they so desperately want, they try to please others, especially those who hurt them.”[8]

2.     Passive distrust.

“Others realize that their environment isn’t safe, and then hide emotionally and even physically from those who are abrasive and abusive.  People who respond with passive distrust have given up on others.  Their defense against further hurt is to avoid conflict at all cost, to be quiet and nice at all times to avoid ‘rocking the boat.’”[9]

3.     Aggressive distrust.

“Still others realize that the environment isn’t safe, but aggressively move toward people to dominate and control.  These individuals use their wit, intelligence, anger, social skills, and double messages to draw people close enough to control them, but keep them far enough away to avoid the risks of intimacy.”[10]

       “There is a fourth type of trust which produces the proper balance in our relationships.”[11]  I am reticent to make that statement, because many have overused, overworked, and tremendously simplified the concept of balance or biblical balance.  Yet, I believe, not in a naive way, but in a mature way, that when we follow God’s Word and allow His Holy Spirit to be in control of our lives, He works out a Spirit-controlled balance in our lives.  I am not talking about sitting like a bump on a log saying, “I don’t get too excited about situations in life, because I have Spirit-controlled balance.”  I am not talking about some bland existence without the fervor and passion that comes about through the zeal of the Holy Spirit.  I am talking about a Spirit-controlled life of wisdom and reliant trust upon the Lord which does not manifest itself in self-asceticism nor self-indulgence.

       This fourth type of trust is called perceptive trust“Perceptive trust entails the ability to objectively discern the trustworthiness of others and the capacity to take the risk of trusting them.”[12]  There can be no trust without risk!!!

“People who have learned to exercise perceptive trust grow in wisdom over time and through many experiences, gradually learning when, how, and whom to trust.  But they always remember that only God remains 100 percent trustworthy, as well as totally outside of their control.”[13]

Homework:    Attachments (pages 131-138).

God says, “Learn to trust Me according what I have promised in My Word, and you will grow in your relationship with Me!  Trust in Me with all of your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding!  Trust in Me and you will not be disappointed!”

He is not saying that your unbiblical, unrealistic expectations will never be disappointed; but your biblical promises and expectations will never be disappointed!

(Now is the Day of Salvation!  Come to Jesus, Now!)

Invitation

Call to Discipleship


----

[1] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 99.

[2] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 127.

[3] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 127.

[4] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 128.

[5] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 129.

[6] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 130.

[7] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, pp. 130-131.

[8] Pat Springle, Trusting, Servant Publications, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1994, p. 20.

[9] Pat Springle, Trusting, Servant Publications, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1994, p. 20.

[10] Pat Springle, Trusting, Servant Publications, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1994, p. 20.

[11] Pat Springle, Trusting, Servant Publications, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1994, p. 21.

[12] Pat Springle, Trusting, Servant Publications, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1994, p. 21.

[13] Pat Springle, Trusting, Servant Publications, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1994, p. 21.

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