In our last post, we talked about Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples and what that looks like. I’ve also shared with you about the stress response and how fight, flight, and freeze become coping strategies in conflict situations. This is the first in a series of 5 posts that will help explain why we feel so stressed in situations with our loved ones.
I think feeling emotionally isolated from the people we love most is true suffering. Hear me out.
1. The need to attach to other humans is hard wired into our biology. There are many theories about why this exists, including evolutionary survival ideas and spiritual/faith based beliefs. Why we have this biological need to connect and bond with other people is irrelevant– the important thing is that it’s there. There is no getting around it.
Want some proof? Read about the health outcomes for orphaned infants who were raised in institutions without human contact. It’s horrifying. Click herefor a summary article.
Now, let’s watch attachment in action. This is a famous study conducted at Harvard University called The Still Face Experiment. Early in life, we attach to our caregivers based on their attunement to our needs. We watch their faces, listen to their voices, and cry to let them know that we have needs. This is how the foundation for attachment is built. Watch as this baby girl goes from content, to distressed, back to content based on her mom’s level of attunement. This felt sense that someone is (or is not) attuned to our experience, need, and value is attachment in action.