Episode 48

Relationship Attachments as HSPs

Published on: 6th April, 2022

If attachment is defined as emotional bonds as HSPs we know attachment better than anyone. Our emotions run so close to the surface in everything that we do that we often feel more than most no matter which or how many attachment styles we may identify with. 

Identifying ourselves as HSP or Empaths and seeing aspects of ourselves in different attachment styles gives us an identity, gives us something to hold on to as a way to try to understand ourselves better.

The yama of aparigraha teaches us to take only what we need, keep only what serves us in the moment, and to let go when the time is right. 


Tonya 0:03

Welcome to the highly sensitive healing podcast, where we meet the joys and challenges of our sensitivity with open minds and hearts to awaken our best highly sensitive selves.

Hello, my highly sensitive friends Tanya here, and in our next few episodes, we'll be talking about relationships. In our previous episode, we talked about expectations in relationships. And today we're talking about relationship attachments. So what is attachment? Well, in the context of relationships, attachment is usually described as simply an emotional bond with another person, I would add a bond with an animal, maybe even a place or an object. According to Psychology Today, there are four attachment styles or types. So which you may have heard of secure, anxious, dismissive and fearful? A secure attachment typically means that we feel secure being alone as well with someone else. Maybe we tend to have a positive view of relationships and personal interactions overall. An anxious attachment typically means that we're a little bit more nervous and less secure about relationships. In general, we might have trust issues and tend to have maybe automatic negative thinking when interpreting others intentions, words or actions. And a dismissive attachment style, we might avoid real intimacy and vulnerability, we might push people away. And on the extreme side, this sometimes can manifest itself as being passive aggressive, and even narcissistic behaviors. And finally, a fearful attachment style means we may experience a lot of inner conflict because we may desire but also simultaneously, resist intimacy with someone else. We also might struggle to trust people. Some of these descriptions might resonate with you and I know for me, I've experienced many of these in friendships, family, as well as romantic relationships. Sometimes I've experienced many of them simultaneously. As humans, we're wired for attachment. Our attachments are developed from infancy as a matter of survival. So depending on how we grew up, and were supported by our caregivers, parents, extended family, teachers, and even our peers, we develop a type or types of attachment based on those experiences. And we carry all of this with us into adulthood. And all that hardwired experience affects how we interact and relate to others throughout our lifetime. Of course, there are intricacies and nuances to the psychology of different attachment types, and I am not a therapist. I'm a yoga and mindfulness teacher. So I want to focus on attachment from a yogic perspective. If attachment is defined as emotional bonds as HSPs, we know attachment better than anyone. Our emotions run so close to the surface in everything that we do. That we often feel more than most no matter which or how many attachment styles we may identify with. Identifying ourselves as HSPs, or empaths. And seeing aspects of ourselves in the attachment style descriptions. It gives us an identity it gives us something to hold on to as a way to understand ourselves better. And ultimately, the goal of understanding ourselves better is a way to reduce our personal suffering. But at the same time naming these things about ourselves is also forming an attachment to them. naming things labeling and identifying and defining is very helpful to us as humans, but this also means that our perspectives are very often bound by narrow definitions. Because we're highly sensitive and empaths we seek those deep, intimate connections in our relationships, which can many times leave us with blurred boundaries, and in our relationships, even if we see ourselves as independent. When we're on our own, we can quickly become attached when choosing to care about someone else, especially romantically. The more intimate our relationships, emotionally or physically, the more our unconscious attachment style is activated. Based on all of those past experiences that we've had since we were very small.

Thich Nhat Hanh said attachment to views attachment to ideas, attachment to perceptions are the biggest obstacle to truth. Letting Go gives us freedom and freedom is The only condition for happiness. If in our heart we still cling to anything anger, anxiety or possessions, we cannot be free. In yoga a party girl ha means non attachment. A party girl ha often translates as non greed, non possessiveness and non attachment, and it is the last to Yama in potentially eight limbs of yoga. The Yamas are simply moral guidelines by which to live with regard to our relationship to ourselves and the world around us. The armor of a party girl ha teaches us to take only what we need, keep only what serves us in the moment and to let go when the time is right. If like me, you're an HSP, who grew up with very insecure and unhealthy attachment styles, the lesson of a party girl ha can be a difficult one to navigate. But what I've learned through trial and error and yoga is that it's completely normal to become dependent on your partner on your friends, to a healthy degree and an unhealthy way. Because when our needs are met, we feel safe and secure. And this gives us the confidence we need to be our authentic selves. It's pretty rare that we're able to change our attachment styles because they are formed when we're so young, by the situations and families that were born into. But what we can do is increase our awareness of them, understand how they were formed, who passed them on to us, and most importantly, going forward learn how to form relationships with others, who are capable of forming a secure attachment with us. None of this is easy work. So remember, healing is an action word. Healing is often uncomfortable and even painful. We can start by practicing self love and self acceptance, to actions that are essential to us as highly sensitive people. And I emphasize the word practice. Each day we wake up and we practice we practice being human, no one has it all figured out. But the more we practice being mindful and identifying, expressing and honoring our needs as HSPs the more clarity we will have about the choices and actions we make in our relationships. A party Graha also invites us to embrace forgiveness. Through this practice, we can begin to notice how we hold on tightly to memories to past hurts, past experiences and even people and how these attachments can keep us from living lives of joy and simplicity. Aparigraha inspires us to forgive to let go and to begin healing. But know that the tighter we hold on to unhealthy attachments in our relationships, the more we suffer. But no matter your attachment style with more awareness, you can make positive shifts, positive shifts towards healing, and know that you are a person who deserves to be valued and deserves to be respected. One last quote from Thich Nhat Hanh I think really sums it up best. The seed of suffering in you may be strong. But don't wait. Don't wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy. If you enjoy the highly sensitive healing podcast, please take a moment to leave a quick review and to share it with friends. It only takes a couple of minutes and it's always appreciated. Don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss any of the good stuff. And I'll see you next time. Thank you so much for spending time with me here on the highly sensitive healing podcast. New episodes are released Wednesdays and please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments and never forget we were given this highly sensitive life because we're strong enough to live it.

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About the Podcast

Highly Sensitive Healing
Clarity and Connection for Highly Sensitive People
Highly Sensitive Healing is about taking healthy and positive action using mindfulness, meditation, and a holistic approach to finding peace, acceptance, and expansion into all areas of our lives as HSPs. Together we’ll navigate the struggles of our High Sensitivity by learning to live with greater wisdom, harmony, and happiness.

Through conversation and practices we seek the clarity and wisdom we need to untangle the challenges of Highly Sensitive living to enjoy a clear path to more joy and self-love.
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Tonya Rothe

Tonya is a Certified Professional Holistic Wellness Guide, trauma survivor, depression thriver & Highly Sensitive joy seeker living in the Pacific Northwest, specializing in Sensitivity Focused Yoga & Nutrition for Body Mind Spirit.