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Don’t Let First Impression Fool You. Check These 7 Things Instead

Don’t Let First Impression Fool You. Check These 7 Things Instead

Have you often been let down by people you considered to be your friends? Ever been fooled by people who you thought were your well-wishers, but got backstabbed by them? Then it’s possible that you may be a poor judge of people and end up taking them at face value at first impression, instead of really getting to know them beforehand…

As human beings, we need people around us and need to be in social contact with each other. This is why we make friends and spend time in each other’s company – and why we actively seek out people we like to be with. Sometimes though, it’s easy to be taken in by a person’s outward charm, forming a first impression, only to later discover that from the inside, they are completely different.

Don’t get us wrong, we are not trying to say that the world is a bad place, but to know whether we can actually be lasting friends with someone, it’s very important to know the other person truly to avoid any unpleasant discoveries or situations later on… [1]

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The idea is not to judge people – the idea is to know people fully and make the right decisions about them so as to not be fooled by those who don’t have good wishes for us, or not underestimate those who may not look the part but are really nice people. This is why a first impression, dazzling as it may be, does not hold true many a time.

Things that Can Help You Quickly Evaluate a Person

Whether you are hiring someone, or making a new friend or even getting romantically involved with someone – it is important not to fall for surface beauty and dig a little deeper about how the person actually is on the inside. This is so that we form the company we actually want or need, instead of having people who increase negativity around us and hold us back from reaching our true potential. Read and learn about how you can be a better judge of people, to see if the person you just encountered can actually be a good addition to your life… [2]

How Much Do They Listen vs. Talk?

People, who are likely to be a good addition in your life, are the ones who are good listeners. They don’t just hear what you have to say but are concerned and caring enough to actually listen to all that you are saying, and even all that you are not. These are the people who are interested in you and care for you, and so they are willing to invest their time and attention on you. They will listen to you, try and make changes for you and even interrupt you if they feel you have misunderstood them or are heading the wrong way. Many might pretend to listen to you to leave a good first impression but then how long will that false interest last? If someone perpetually interrupts you when you talk, they are probably only interested in themselves and you may be barking up the wrong tree in this case. [3]

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Are They Intrinsically Kind?

People who are “nice” on the inside, make a special effort to treat the everyday people they encounter nicely. Basically, it’s all about the magic words and of course, having a sunny disposition. Someone who considers themselves to be too high up to pay any attention to the service providers around them are likely to be mean of heart and small of mind. You want to have kind people around you or even working for you – simply because they make the world, and especially your world, a little better and a lot brighter.

As Mark Twain said, “Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see!”

Do They “Act On” or “React To” What You Say?

You may have noticed – that when you give the same feedback or comment to any two or more people, you get varied results. Some people take what you said or asked them to do in a positive manner and use criticism constructively as well. Still, others tend to take offense to what you say and react with anger, resentment, and negativity. Do you really want to be around such people? Everyone can pretend goodness to leave a positive first impression but anger shows through sooner or later. [4]

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Do They Make You Feel Warm, or Embarrassed?

Frankly, everyone likes to be appreciated and loved. If someone comes up to you and says nice things, it is likely to make you feel happy, loved and all fuzzy inside. And yet there are times when flattery makes you uncomfortable or even embarrassed, be it at first impression or later. These are the people you’d probably want to avoid because your gut might be telling you that their sweet words have an agenda behind them which may be making you downright uncomfortable. Steer clear or make your feelings clear too…

Flattery looks like friendship just like a wolf looks like a dog!

Are They Sunshine People or Those From Darkness?

There are some of those in the world you can literally light up a dismal atmosphere simply by being themselves. And yet there are those who can freeze conversation, kill laughter and leave you feeling vaguely depressed about yourself and your life. The first kind of people have positive energy – they are happy people who like to spread happiness and smiles and if you have them as a friend, count your lucky stars. They are also those with far too much of negativity in them, and can quickly turn a sunny day dark and dismal. These are the people who hold you back from reaching your true potential and pass on their negative energy to you. [5]

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Can You Spend A While With This Person?

Many of us often make friends that we then go long lengths to avoid. These are the people who are an intrinsic and basic mismatch with us. They may be nice people, but they are not the kind our personality gels with. It could be a matter of opposing beliefs, varied interests or just a personality mismatch. If we find spending time with that person a drag, the relationship is not going to last much now, is it?

Do They Set Off Warning Signs In Your Gut?

The heart can be fooled and the mind can be swayed but the gut gives you the truest reading of anyone, the very first time you meet them. They are times when you may find someone off-putting, for no given reason but your instinct – and yet you still end up being in contact with them. Only to have your gut proven right in the end! As human beings, un-backed by science, we do end up picking up on the vibes people give off – and sometimes those vibes are most definitely negative. Heed yourself then, and approach cautiously. Not to say that you should ban that person from your life; for making snap decisions based on a frist impression isn’t right. You can certainly approach the next few meetings with eyes open wide, and a mind and heart tuned to pick up further strangeness. [6]

Ultimately, the decision of who you want to be friends with, in love with or even work with lies with you. Don’t be in a hurry to form an impression, and don’t always think that your first impression about someone is a 100% correct. People have nuances and facets and more importantly, sometimes people do change as well, as well as trying to appear to be what they are not – learn to read between and behind the lines and keep your heart, head, eyes, and ears wide open to avoid getting hurt or being betrayed! [7]

Reference

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Published on July 13, 2018

Striving Towards Secure Attachment: How to Restructure Your Thoughts

Striving Towards Secure Attachment: How to Restructure Your Thoughts

What if you could discover some tools and methods that could improve your relationships? What if by gaining a little knowledge you could understand your relationship dynamics better and give them a boost up?

By learning what secure attachment is and how to restructure your thoughts, you can become more self-aware of your relationship dynamics. After becoming more aware, you can then take a few steps to make them better than ever. That’s something that many of us could benefit from.

When we hear the term secure attachment, our mind typically goes to a relationship. And that’s exactly what it’s about.

In this article I’ll discuss the concept of secure attachments in more detail and how restructuring your thoughts can help you strive towards achieving better relationships.

Relationships are a hugely important part of our lives and whatever we can do to improve them is a good thing for everyone involved.

What is attachment theory?

Let’s do a quick overview of what attachment theory is. This will provide a good foundation for the rest of this article.

The esteemed psychologist John Bowlby first coined the term attachment theory in the late 60’s. Bowlby studied early childhood conditioning extensively and what he found was very interesting.

His research showed that when a very young child has a strong attachment to a caregiver, it provides the child with a sense of security and foundation. On the other hand when there isn’t a secure attachment, the child will expend a lot more developmental energy looking for security and stability.

The child without the secure attachment tends to become more fearful, timid and slow to explore new situations or their environment.

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When a strong attachment is developed in a child, he or she will be inclined to be more adventurous and seek out new experiences because they feel more secure. They know that whoever is watching out for them will be there if needed.

Bowlby’s colleague, Mary Ainsworth, took the theory further. She did extensive studies around infant-parent separations and provided a more formal framework for the differing attachment styles.

How attachment develops

Simply put, attachment is an emotional bond with another person. Attachment doesn’t have to go both ways, it can be one person feeling attached to another without it being reciprocated. Most of the time, it works between two people to one degree or another.

Attachment begins at a very young age. Over the history of time, when children were able to maintain a closer proximity to a caregiver that provided for them, a strong attachment was formed.

The initial thought was that the ability to provide food or nourishment to a child was the primary driver of a strong attachment.

It was then discovered that the primary drivers of attachment proved to be the parent/caregivers responsiveness to the child as well as the ability to nurture that child in a variety of ways. Things such as support, care, sustenance, and protection are all components of nurturing a child.

In essence a child forms a strong attachment when they feel that their caregiver is accessible and attentive and there if they need them; that the parent/caregiver will be there for them. If the child does not feel that the caregiver is there to help them when needed, they experience anxiety.

Different types of attachments

In children, 4 types of attachment styles have been identified. They are as follows:

  • Secure attachment – This is primarily marked by discomfort or distress when separated from caregivers and joy and security when the caregiver is back around the child. Even though the child initially feels agitated when the caregiver is no longer around, they feel confident they will return. The return of the parent or caregiver is met with positive emotions, the child prefers parents to strangers.
  • Ambivalent attachment – These children become very distressed when the parent or caregiver leaves. They feel they can’t rely on their caregiver for support when the need arises. Even though a child with ambivalent attachment may be agitated or confused when reunited with a parent or caregiver, they will cling to them.
  • Avoidant attachment – These kids typically avoid parents or caregivers. When they have a choice of being with the parent or not, they don’t seem to care one way or the other. Research has shown that this may be the result of neglectful caregivers.
  • Disorganized attachment – These children display a mix of disoriented behavior towards their caregiver. They may want them sometimes and other times they don’t. This is sometimes thought to be linked to inconsistent behavior from the parent or caregiver.

What attachments mean to adults

So the big question is how does this affect us in adulthood? Intuitively it makes sense that as a child, if we have someone who will be there when we need them, we feel secure. And on the other end of the spectrum, if we aren’t sure someone’s going to provide what we need when we need it, we may become more anxious and fearful.

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As an adult, we tend to wind up in one of three primary attachment types based on our childhood experiences. These are secure, avoidant, and anxious. Technically, there is a fourth one, anxious-avoidant, but it is quite a bit less common. They are described as follows:

  • Secure – When you have a secure attachment, you are comfortable displaying interest and affection towards another person but you’re also fine being alone and independent. Secure types are less apt to obsess over a relationship gone sour and handle being rejected easier. Secure types also tend to be better than other types with not starting relationships with people that might not be the best partners. They cut off the relationship quicker when they see things in a potential partner they don’t like. Secure attachment people make up the majority of the attachment types.
  • Anxious – Folks who have an anxious attachment style typically need a lot of reassurance from their partners. They have a much harder time being on their own and single than the other styles and fall into bad relationships more often. The anxious style represent about 20% of the population. It’s been shown that if anxious attachment styles learn how to communicate their needs better and learn to date secure partners, they can move towards the secure attachment style.
  • Avoidant – Avoidant attachment style represents approximately 25% of the population as adults. Avoidants many times have the hardest time in a relationship because they have a difficult time finding satisfaction. In general, they are uncomfortable with close relationships and intimacy and are quite independent. They are the lone wolf type person.
  • Anxious-avoidant – The anxious-avoidant style is relatively rare. It is composed of conflicting styles – they want to be close but at the same time push people away. They do things that push the people they are closest to away. Many times there can be a higher risk of depression or other mental health issues.

Here’s where it gets really interesting:

Move towards secure attachment

The good news is that it is possible to move from one style to another. Specifically, it is possible to move towards a more secure attachment style.

Now as you might imagine, this is not an easy or a quick process. Like any type of big change where you are attempting to alter such a deeply ingrained mindset, it takes a strong will to accomplish.

The first step is developing an awareness of your attachment style. The next step is to have the desire and drive to move your attachment style towards the more secure style.

If someone with an anxious or avoidant style has a long term relationship with a secure type, the anxious or avoidant person can slowly get brought up more towards a secure style.

The opposite is also true, they could bring the secure person more towards their attachment style. Therefore, you have to be conscious of your type and if you want to move more towards secure, it takes persistence.

Therapy is an option as well. Anxious types many times need to work on their self-esteem, avoidants on their connection specifically and compassion.

How to restructure your thoughts

Ready for the way to do it? Here we go:

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For the Avoidant Style

As with any type of change on such a deep level, the first step is awareness. Realize you have an avoidant style and be aware of it as you have interactions with your partner(s).

Try to work towards a place of mutual support and giving/taking. Try to lessen your need for complete self-reliance. Allow your partner to do some things that make you a little uncomfortable that you would normally do yourself.

Don’t always focus on the imperfections of your partner. We all have them, remind yourself of that.

Make yourself a list of the qualities that your partner has that you are thankful for.

Look for a secure style partner if at all possible, they would be good for you to be with.

If you have a tendency to end relationships before they go too far, be aware of that and let it develop further.

Get into the habit of accepting and even instigating physical touch. Tell yourself that it’s good for you to have some intimacy. Intimacy can help you feel safe and secure.

And over time you can realize that it’s okay to rely on other people.

For the Anxious Style

For the anxious style, the #1 thing to work on is learning to communicate needs better. This is a huge issue for the anxious style.

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First and foremost if you communicate your needs more clearly, you will have less anxiety, that’s already a big win. This will also allow you to better assess if a potential partner is good for you.

Try to bring your feelings more to the surface and most importantly, share them with your partner. Remember that secure attachments typically communicate pretty well, this is what you are working towards.

For the Anxious-Avoidant Style

The anxious-avoidant is a very small percentage of the attachment styles. Since this type tends to be anxious in the relationship AND more or less a loner, the key here is working hard to be very self-aware of your actions.

Use the parts of striving towards secure attachment from the anxious tips and the avoidant restructuring of your thoughts to consciously work towards being more secure.

When you find yourself pushing someone away, ask why. If you feel worried that your partner is going to leave you, again, ask yourself where this is coming from. Have they shown you any reason to believe this? Many times there is no real evidence. In that case, allow yourself to calm down and try not to obsess over it.

For the Secure Style

Since the goal is to move towards a more secure attachment style, there isn’t much needed here as you might imagine.

Something to be aware of is being in a relationship just because it’s “okay”. Don’t stay if it’s not a good place for you and your partner. If your partner is of an anxious or avoidant attachment style, stay mindful to not start developing characteristics of those styles.

Strive towards Secure Attachment

As we wrap things up, you’ve probably developed a good idea of the benefits of secure attachment. If you don’t currently have a secure attachment style, here are some benefits of restructuring your thoughts more towards this style:

  • Positive self esteem and self image
  • Close and well adjusted relationships
  • Sense of security in self and the world
  • Ability to be independent as well as in relationships
  • Optimistic outlook on life and yourself
  • Strong coping skills and strategies for relationships and life
  • Trust in self and others
  • Close, intimate relationships
  • Strong determination and problem solving skills

If you are an anxious or avoidant style or the combination of anxious-avoidant, it is possible to move towards a secure attachment style.

It takes self-awareness, patience and a strong desire to get close to being secure but it can be done. You will find that putting the effort into it will provide you with more open, honest and satisfying relationships.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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