Attachment theory explained – why people act the way they do


Our environment plays a huge role with regards to our personal development. Nurture, not nature seems to play a large role in the healthy development of our children. Trauma and other experiences in our youth all contribute to the way we act today. Is it time we re-examine our parenting strategies?

The earliest and most critical events for a human being are the ones of interaction with their caregivers, the most important people in our lives. Babies and small children marvelously adapt to the way they are treated as if the world will always be similar, even after they’ve grown.

Of course this is a handicap if their childhood environment does not prepare them for greatness or become people in love with life. Every event is recorded in the brain and in the body and most events are taken in total. Neural connections are made as experiences take place, and other neurons die away in a process called “pruning” when these neurons are not used. “The more positive a child’s experiences before the age of three, the more brilliant, inspired and healthy the child will be. The fewer nurturing and supportive experiences a child has before the age of three, the duller her intellect and the more injured will be her personality.” – Dr. Faye Snyder, author of the manual The Definitive Book on Parenting and The Causal Theory.

Does this resonate with you? Did you have a tough time growing up and find that life as an adult is very difficult? Do you have trouble reacting to things, often in anger or too much sensitivity? Do you find it hard to have harmonious relationships? You are not alone, having issues with any or all of these, it is actually very common. Most people can pinpoint to things that happened in their youth that caused them great pain, which they know still affects them now. It might be no exaggeration to say that we are all suffering from this at varying degrees.

Many think that the immense pain we are carrying inside is being seen in a very obvious, global way. There is so much division between groups and political parties that the way we are communicating with other has become, well, quite nasty. Are we taking our anger out on people we don’t talk to face to face because we are hurting and need to offload that somehow?

Yes, we know that much of this anger is being triggered on purpose by the mainstream media, and politically funded groups, but perhaps it is only triggering issues that we already had to begin with.
Attachment theory has long been discussed, that it’s much more likely ‘nurture’ and not nature that causes us to be who we are in adulthood.
Some people actually experience horrific abuse and can still come out a well-adjusted people, but it’s more often the opposite, those that have been hurt, hurt others, or themselves. It all depends on the individual and how they react to their life.

The subject of parenting, and how to be better ones, is not really addressed anywhere as much as it should be. It really is in crisis mode, when we see the statistics of depression, anxiety and other types of personality disorders being so common. It is heartbreaking to learn that the very young are suffering more than ever. It really is an epidemic.

We have so many children growing up in single-parent families, which, must be said, is of course very tough on the parent and worse on the child, and this does not tend to help create a well-adjusted person. On the other hand, you can also grow up in a family with two married parents, who parent in a way that is too strict, or with lots of verbal abuse (or worse) and this also causes deep traumas. It’s all about the quality of parenting, and the effort and knowledge that has been put into it.

To understand how parenting can cause personality issues, please watch the short video below, it is brilliantly done. It shows in a simplified way, how easy it is to cause lifelong traumas. If someone has experienced abuse much worse than what is shown in this video, then it is of course natural to think that the way they internalize or externalize their grief would be much worse.

This video is important for everyone to watch, even if you don’t feel you are suffering from ill effects from an unhappy childhood. We collectively need much to have much more empathy towards others, to understand that those that have been so hurt themselves, sometimes are so lost and in pain, that they don’t know what to do to feel better, or, to do better by others.


May 13, 2019


Also available in: Français

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