Individual attachments styles can affect the type of love relationships later on in life because one learns behavioral traits as a young child. Robert Sternberg introduced us to his Love Triangle theory in 1988. He explained that the way a person was brought up as a child can affect the way they express themselves as adults. The question remains as to why does this affect one as an adult. If one is taught from right and wrong then why does one express themselves negatively towards others? According to Robert Sternberg’s findings, “as infants we survive only if an adult is willing to meet our basic needs.
Early in life we form bonds with our caregivers. ” By this he means we learn very early on about how we can depend on others. If our caregivers ignore us and do not help us when we need help one will learn to depend on no one else but themselves. Whereas if a person is taught that they can depend on others to help them they will grow to learn that there are people out there that can help them in situations that they may need help in. Let’s first examine what life would be like if one is taught that they must depend only on themselves in order to make it in this world.
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As this person grew they would become distant from others. They more then likely would not be social and never ask for help when a problem may occur. This person may also act out and do harm to others or themselves. For instance if there was no one that this person could turn to, this person may fill compelled to drop out of school because they feel it is not worth the effort since no one is expressing their interest in their accomplishments. This person may also resort to drugs and alcohol as well as violence.
The drugs and alcohol will numb their feelings and they may finally feel accepted into a group of people. If this occurs, and these groups of people are violent, they will then learn to be violent as well. Violence can occur without drugs and alcohol because this person maybe acting out in order to gain attention. This can be done in several ways. This person may do graffiti, commit a crime such as shoplifting or break into a person’s house. This person is confused and does not understand what they are doing is wrong because they see this as a way to survive.
Not all people who are neglected turn to crime, alcohol or drugs. Some grow up to finish school and go onto college. Early on they also learned that they can only depend on themselves and this gives them a drive to succeed in life. They want to prove to themselves that they can do anything they want without the support of others. They can become determined to show others as well that they can do these things without the help and support of their family or friends. This type of living can cause major effects on relationships if and when they make friends.
Since they learned to do everything themselves and not to depend on anyone else for help, their relationship with anyone will be a very trying one. They will fight with the other person and find it very hard to depend on them for their needs. For instance if the other person decides to make them their lunch for work, the first person may snap at them for their efforts telling them that they can do it themselves. They survived all this time without another’s help and they can continue to so do. This type of detachment can also result in a violent relationship.
The person may become abused and taken advantage of and since they were brought up that there is no one they can turn to, they accept this type of relationship. They may feel that they are only good enough to receive this kind of treatment. This will only cause greater deterrence from others and reinforce what they believed in to begin with. This type of relationship is unhealthy and can lead to death either by suicide or murder. On the other hand, if a person is brought up in a loving and caring environment, then they learn to associate with others as dependable and turn to them when they need help.
These people learn to express themselves to others with love, compassion and caring. They develop friendships with others and eventually develop a romantic relationship with another person. They know that not everything has to be on their shoulders and when push comes to shove, they can turn to others for help and support. This type of attachment is also taught early on in life. While growing up if their family loves, supportive and acknowledgeable towards one’s needs and accomplishments, and then they too will love, support and acknowledge others.
They will know how to treat people with the respect they deserve and how to show support when needed. This person will develop a loving relationship with others as well as a romantic relationship with another person. The relationships will have an equal balance of give and take and these relationships will last a very long time. There is one more attachment that needs to be explored here. This type of attachment is a mix between positive and negative. If a person is born into a neglective family and then goes into a positive family they can relearn to depend on others. The opposite can also happen.
If for some reason a person is taken from a positive family, such as the death of the caregiver(s), and put into a negative family it can go a couple of different ways. Depending on the age when this transfer happens, the negative attachment can either take over the positive and the positive can be completely forgotten or it can cause mix feelings about trusting people. If the negative takes over then the scenario above is more then likely to take place. If this happens when the person is older and can remember the positive side of things, they will have mix feelings about things.
For example they may know that abuse is wrong but fear seeking the help of others because they know what can happen if they leave. If this was to happen to a much older person, say in their late teens, this person has had so many years of positive reinforcements that they know when they seek the help of others that nothing bad should happen to them because they already realized that people are good and are dependable. But that doesn’t mean every negative relationship is centered around abuse, it can also be neglect, where the caregiver just ignores the needs of the youngster and thus teaching them to survive on their own two feet.
In conclusion the lessons one learns as a young child can affect they way they behave as an adult. If one is taught love, caring and compassion they too will continue to teach that example to others. When a person is taught neglect and not shown the way of a loving relationship then they will also continue teaching the negative ways. Work Cited Axia College of University of Phoenix. (2008). Introduction to Positive Psychology. Retrieved September 21, 2008, from Axia College, Week One reading, aXcess, PSY 220-Positive Psychology Course Web site. (Robert Sternberg)