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How To Create Secure Relationships As An Adult

People who get secure attachment in childhood are: more resilient, more independent, and have more self reliance. 

How To Create Secure Relationships As An Adult:

Secure relationships impact our mental and physical health. Study after study shows that a secure attachment in childhood lowers rates of addiction, impulsive behavior, and lowers risk of disease. 

Many of us didn’t get a secure attachment as children, but we all have an opportunity to create secure attachments now. 

A secure attachment is a relationship that includes one core thing: reciprocity. Reciprocity is mutual giving and receiving from two mature (equal) adults. 

Signs of Reciprocity in Relationships:
– there’s mutual respect and a feeling of being seen and heard
– needs are clearly voiced to each other
– the relationship is not a parent child dynamic (both people operate as capable adults) 

– support is given during stress or challenging times
– there’s open communication and a talking through of issues, even when it’s difficult
– during conflict, there is solution seeking rather than score keeping 

Reciprocity is given when people are truly invested in both themselves and the relationship. There’s a team mentality where people are able to think of how something impacts themselves and another person. 

Without self awareness and the ability to self reflect, reciprocity is difficult. It is *not* intuitive for many adults to reflect on how something will impact another person because they grew up in homes where few of their emotional needs were considered. 

HOW TO CREATE RECIPROCITY IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS:

1. Be 100% committed to the truth: the truth of how you feel, of what you believe, and of your true values. Even if this hurts another person’s feelings. The truth establishes trust. 

2. Show support: be there for someone *in the way they want you to be there.* We all have different ways of wanting to be supportive. This means asking “how can I support you?” “Do you want me to just listen?” 

3. Take space: having your own relationships and space outside of relationships is important. It relieves pressure and allows you to appreciate the relationship.

*note: this will be difficult for those with anxious attachment, and that’s ok. 

4. Show appreciation: appreciation is consistent in reciprocal relationship. “I’m so happy you’re in my life” “I feel so supported in our friendship” “Knowing you is a gift” “I’m so grateful we ended up together” 

5. Speak up: this one can be tough if we have avoidant patterns, but it’s necessary to speak up when you feel unheard, disrespected, or when you don’t agree. The ability to voice your concerns in a productive, compassionate way establishes respect

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