More and more research in recent years has pinpointed our brains, and their relative make-up, to the type of personality we have. 

Our amygdala (responsible for emotion), and its size, determines whether someone is extroverted or more introverted.

It’s also becoming clearer that our unique brains determine our attachment styles when we’re in a relationship.

How you are with your partner – anxious, avoidant or secure – may not be something you have much control over at all.

But you do have control over how you manage your particular style.

For example, people with more of an anxious attachment style (worry that their partner doesn’t love them) need reassurance, particularly early on. 

What happens when they don’t get it?

They protest – both subtly and overtly.

Protest behavior is any action designed to reestablish contact with your partner and get their attention.  It’s usually preceded by a perceived slight on your part or when you’re feeling ignored.

If you have an anxious style, you should be aware of these protest behaviors:

Keeping score – noticing how long it took them to return your phone call and waiting just as long to return theirs

Manipulation – pretending to have plans when you don’t; ignoring their calls

Withdrawing – ignoring your partner – talking with others; pretending to be engrossed in something else like reading the newspaper when they talk to you.

These are just a few.

If they sound familiar, you likely have at least some features of an anxious attachment style.

There’s nothing wrong with you if you do!

But this style comes with its challenges, as you can tell.

And being aware of how this style shows up in relationships (e.g. protest behavior) will help you minimize it.

If you can do that, you can have more constructive communication with your partner.

And less drama in the relationship overall!

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