Attachment & Self-compassionSep
It is mentioned in the previous article ‘Chinese Style Romantic Relationship’ that how our caregivers respond to our needs in childhood can be critical to our development of attachment style in the future and to how we relate with others in adulthood. If caregivers respond inconsistently ...
It is mentioned in the previous article ‘Chinese Style Romantic Relationship’ that how our caregivers respond to our needs in childhood can be critical to our development of attachment style in the future and to how we relate with others in adulthood. If caregivers respond inconsistently or coldly, children may develop into ‘avoidant attachment’ or ‘anxious attachment’ accordingly. People who are of avoidant attachment tend to have negative views of others, treating others as untrustworthy and feeling uncomfortable with others getting closer to them. On the other hand, people in anxious attachment style tend to have negative views of themselves. They are afraid of being rejected or abandoned, so they would pay more efforts to seek for attention and approval from the significant ones.
It is found in numerous psychological studies that children in these two insecure attachment styles may have difficulty in developing healthy and stable relationship with others and could be more vulnerable to depression as well as anxiety in the future. Meanwhile, they may tend to resist self-compassion because of having inadequate affection and care. They may think that they do not have the right to be kind to themselves, being self-compassionate means being self-indulgent, or they could be afraid of recalling shameful memories. The fear of self-compassion could also worsen their depression or anxiety.
Some psychologists from South Korea conducted a research, studying how fear of self-compassion and self-compassion mediate in the relationship between insecure attachment and individuals’ emotional distress. 473 college students were recruited for the research. They were asked to complete online self-report surveys to assess their attachment styles, fear of self-compassion, self-compassion, depression and anxiety.
The results show that compare with people in secure attachment, people in insecure attachment tend to be less self-compassionate while associate with more depression and anxiety. It is found in previous studies that individuals with higher self-compassion tend to have lower depression and greater happiness. Therefore, it can be deduced that individuals in insecure attachment can be more able to manage depression and anxiety if they can exercise self-kindness and mindfulness, and perceive that their pain and struggle are the same pain and struggle experienced by all humanity, understanding the meaning of self-compassion. Before cultivating higher self-compassion, the most important thing is to correct the wrong attitude toward self-compassion and to learn how we can benefit from being self-compassionate. In fact, it is generally accepted that self-compassion can bring us plenty of advantages, such as enhancing mental well-being and motivating us to make improvements.
Life can’t be perfect, and the unpleasant memories can hardly be erased. Yet, we can still live in a happier and more relaxing way by being kind to our self. We have no reasons to reject it.