Relationships, Intimacy May Be WRONG for YOU (DMM: Dynamic-maturational model of attachment)

Uploaded 1/11/2022, approx. 38 minute read

Look it up. Society keeps telling you, if you are not having sex, especially casual sex, something is wrong with you. If you are not in a relationship, every single day of every single week, something is definitely wrong with you. And if you are incapable of intimacy, then you are lacking the basic constituents of what it means to be human. These are society's messages. Society wants you to conform. Society wants you to be a herd animal.

And yet studies and surveys like the Pew Center surveys consistently show that anywhere between one third and one half of adults don't feel comfortable in relationships. They're not happy. They're not content. They're egodystonic. They want out and they undermine and sabotage relationships when they find themselves in them.

So today we are going to discuss a new spin or relatively new spin on attachment theory.

Not the classical thing, you know, secure and secure attachment styles.

There's a video I've made about these issues and you can watch it separately.

But today I'm going to discuss an attachment theory, which is actually the recent iteration of attachment theory, which deals with danger and most specifically danger in relationships and how do we survive such dangers.

My name is Sam Vaknin and I propose danger. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, and I'm a danger to all future generations because I'm a professor of psychology and I mold the next generations of psychologists and psychiatrists in several countries.

How is that for danger?

Okay, Shoshanim, let's delve right in and start with the fact that not everyone is built to be in a relationship.

I'm going to repeat this sentence and I want you to listen to it well because many of you are going to feel a wave of relief wash over you.

Not everyone is built to be in a relationship. It's okay if you are not in a relationship. It's okay if you don't want relationships. It's okay if you don't want intimacy. It's okay if you want to be celibate and it's okay if you want to have casual sex as long as you don't cheat yourself, you don't deceive yourself about the nature of what it is that you're doing.

There are different attachment styles and insecure attachment styles predict recurrent relationship failure.

So why go there?

And no, attachment styles cannot be changed. They are ingrained patterns of relating to other people and they usually emerge in late childhood and early adolescence.

It is possible in theory to modify some behaviors attendant upon attachment styles but you can't change the basic attachment styles, your basic attachment style.

I'm sorry, this is the fact.

So if you are one of the several types of insecurely attached people, then relationships, intimacy, love, proximity, cohabitation, marriage, family, these are not for you. Don't go there.

You're going to make yourself miserable and you're going to make everyone around you miserable.


Just because society tells you to. You don't have intimacy skills. You don't have relationship skills because you did not want to acquire them. And why you did not want to acquire them is the topic of today's video.

But the fact is you lack these skills, the ability to compromise, the ability to negotiate, setting boundaries, sharing, keeping separation, individuation, even when you are in a couple, avoiding merger, infusion, and numerous other skills without which intimacy and relationships become traps. The other person becomes your personal hell.

Across multiple studies, at least 15%, that's one 5%, that's one of seven adults state that they are much more comfortable, much happier, much more content, much more content, much more satisfied being alone. They like to be alone.

There's a whole subgroup of schizoids and schizoid-like personalities. Lynn Sperry described the schizoid personality.

There are of course people with mental health disorders, for example, schizoid personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, obsessive compulsive personality disorder. And these personality disorders and other mental health issues such as bipolar disorder and so on preclude functional relationships.

If we put all of these together, there's about 15% who would rather be alone. 31% of adults are lifelong singles. One third of adults spend their entire life being single.

This has always been the case, by the way. In the Victorian era, these women were called spinsters and their male equivalents were called eternal bachelors. And then much later in the 70s, there was the Peter Pan syndrome. People refused to grow up and assume adult chores and responsibility and adult roles in society. This was castigated as a form of infantilism.

The majority of the rest of the people, the other two thirds, they are immured, literally entombed in abusive, dead or ephemeral pseudo relationships. Only a minority actually, only a minority survive within functional relationships which provide a modicum of happiness and allow for self-growth and self-development. These are the minority of relationships.

The majority of relationships are what we call pseudo relationships. They look like relationships. Some of these relationships last for decades and yet they are not relationships in any clear sense of the word. They are dysfunctional, they are dead, they are abusive, there's no recognition or respect for boundaries. They include merger and fusion or exactly the opposite, aversion and avoidance and withdrawal. That's where the majority of people are. And that's the reason the divorce rate is something like 40-50% of all marriages, of all first marriages and 60-70% of second and third marriages.

Intimacy and love, anyhow, are lost hearts. They are the outliers. They are no longer the norm. They add to that personal predilections and proclivities and it's a miracle that anyone ends up with anyone else.

The problem is that some people feel threatened or they feel constrained, suffocated by love and intimacy in longer-committed relationships. They don't feel good when there's commitment.

These kind of people anticipate failure, hurt, misery and discord and so they develop anticipatory anxiety. They know it's going to end badly and so they gear themselves and prepare themselves for the ineluctable Armageddon catastrophe. They catastrophize. They preemptively, as an anxiolytic strategy, an anxiety-reducing strategy, they preemptively bring about the very outcomes of which they are terrified. They repeatedly adopt dysfunctional behaviors.

These people are saying, let the other shoe drop. I can't bear it anymore. If anything bad is going to happen, let it happen now and I'm going to make sure that it does happen. I'm going to provoke my partner. I'm going to cheat on my partner. I'm going to misbehave. I'm going to avoid my partner. I'm going to develop an addiction.

There are numerous strategies to destroy and sabotage and undermine a relationship. These are relationship misfits. These people can't have intimacy, relationships and love. They crave more than anything in the world. They crave an intimate partner. They want relationships.

We always want that which we cannot get. We always want most what we are incapable of.

We dream and fantasize because we can't face reality. We can't face our own limitations and constraints in reality.

So, of course, people with insecure attachment styles. The thing they want most is to have a long-term, committed, loving, embracing, accepting, warm relationship and that's the only thing they can never get.

Richard Grady once told me that intimacy is kryptonite to many people. These relationship misfits, they subvert and they undermine their relationships. They gain fake intimacy and acceptance and fake warmth via sex with strangers. Some of them even have sex with groups of strangers just to be accepted, just to feel a warm body next to them, just to be the center of attention, just for a fleeting moment to experience intimacy. They feel liked, air quotes. They feel loved. They feel that they are in a connection when they are actually, what they're actually doing is casual drunk encounters with anonymous partners in seedy settings.

So, these people want relationships, crave intimacy, can't get it. So, they lie to themselves. They lie to themselves. They team up with strangers for sex and they conflate and confuse sex with intimacy and they conflate and confuse these strangers with intimate partners. Typically, they experience dissonance with their choices and they resolve this dissonance by dissociating from the situation, simply forgetting about it. They numb their emotions, they abuse substances and they have reduced affect display.

Some of these people who are incapable of intimacy, love and relationships convert their ego destiny into a narrative ideology of empowerment. I am not in a relationship because that's my choice. I have casual sex because I want it and I get what I want. It empowers me. I'm empowered.

It's nonsense, of course. It's self-deception, very primitive one at that and it coalesces into a crusty ideology and this ideology sometimes becomes public in victimhood movements like feminism, late feminism. People who dread intimacy feel a lot more unencumbered with strangers. They feel that an interaction with a stranger is easier, lighter, less threatening, more pleasant and has a horizon, doesn't have to go on forever. There are no demands, no commitments, minimal investment and so it's all lighthearted fun but that's all what they want.

They want intimacy, they want depth, they want the profundity of a relationship. They want to be known and seen and you can't have that in casual sex in a one-night stand.

So, what they do, these people, they use fantasy to compensate for the low level of intimacy in these unsatisfactory, exploitative and often predatory encounters.

Many people with insecure attachment styles, those who had repeatedly failed in attempted relationships, those who had gone through a dizzying array of pseudo relationships, they give up on the chase. They give up on the chase, they settle into a career-centered life of celibacy and self-sufficiency.

Okay, that's the introduction.

Now, today I want to introduce you to a cutting edge model of attachment known as dynamic maturational model of attachment and adaptation. It deals of course with relationships and the effect of relationships on human development and human functioning.

It starts with relationships between children and parents and goes all the way to relationships between what they call, what the theory calls reproductive couples. It's an extension of late work by John Boulby and Mary Ainsworth. Boulby and Ainsworth, especially Ainsworth, Mary and Ainsworth, John Boulby and Mary Ainsworth. Mary Ainsworth, in her late work, had transitioned from emphasis on attachment, safe base, love, she had transitioned from this to emphasis on danger. Mary Ainsworth was the first to introduce the concept of danger, life's many dangers and how the dangers of life drive adaptation, all kinds of adaptations.

One of them is attachment.

But DMM, I remind you, the dynamic maturational model of attachment and adaptation. Yes, DMM from now on. DMM was initially put together, coalesced in the work of Patricia McKinsey Crittenden, C-R-I-T-T-E-N-D-E-NPatricia McKinsey Crittenden, C-R-I-T-T-E-N-D-E-N.

She had many colleagues, she collaborated with many other scholars like Delala, Angelica Claussen, Andrea Landini, who had written the book much later, Steve Farnfield and Susan Speaker and many others.

So the DMM's main tenet is that exposure to danger drives neural development and adaptation in order to promote survival and that the greatest dangers are in relationships.

And now the problem is that people with insecure attachment styles perceive dangers in relationships even when there are none.

They perceive the relationship itself as a danger and intimacy in the relationship as a catastrophe.

So they are threatened not by something that happens in the relationship, not by some developments, not by some events or not by the choices and decisions of their partners. They are threatened by the very existence, factual existence of the relationship.

Being in a relationship in their minds constitute danger.

Just to clarify something, DMM does not recognize the distinction between secure and insecure attachment styles. It actually dispenses with the whole idea of attachment styles.

So I'm conflating, I'm confusing a bit, several attachment theories when I'm talking to you right now, but I'm eclectic. I believe you should take the best from each theory. You don't need to adhere religiously to a single model.

So when a person needs protection, when a person needs comfort from danger, they go to someone else. They go to another person. They develop protective relationships.

So we all develop protective relationships. We perceive dangers in the environment, sometimes in ourselves, but definitely in the environment. We perceive dangers in our relationships.

And then we adopt someone else as a protective person. Both the lines call it special friend.

And so the protective relationship is very crucial because the nature of the relationship generates relation-specific self-protective strategies.

In other words, relationships dictate the strategies for self-protection, not the other way.

Until recently, until Crittenden's work, we thought that relationships, strategies dictate relationships. Crittenden upended this. She suggests that relationships actually dictate which strategies are available to us in terms of self-protection.

The DMM describes protective strategies, aspects of parent-child relationships, romantic relationships, relationships between patients, clients, long-term professionals.

What I would like to focus on today is a lot more pragmatic, a lot more practical.

How does the DMM translate in today to today attachment reactions? How can we look at everyone around us and classify them in terms of the various strategies of DMM attachment?

So to do this, I would like to recap, to recap, perhaps more in layman's terms, I'd like to recap the DMM, the dynamic maturational model of attachment and adaptation, DMM.

It emphasizes the dynamic interaction of the maturation of the human organism across the lifespan with a context in which maturational possibilities are used. And they are used for three goals to satisfy, to meet three needs, requirements and goals.

So the dynamic, the DMM says there is an interaction between people, there is interaction between organisms. This drives neurological development, development of the brain, because the brain is neuroplastic. This development never stops, it's across the lifespan.

Now the context, the relationships determine the strategies and the pathways of neural development.

And there are three goals, three aims. One is to protect the self.

The second one, second goal is to reproduce. And the third goal is to protect one's offspring or progeny.

So very simple, protect yourself so that you can reproduce, so that you can protect your children.

Maturation in DMM is neurological, mental, physical, everything, it's an integrated theory of attachment. And it involves the increase in potential during childhood and adulthood, but also the ultimate decrease in old age.

So it's a lifespan attachment theory. And it deals with a multiplicity of contexts, people and places that affect development, anything from family to school to workplace, etc. It's a very rich theory.

The context is not limited to the environment. So it's not a strictly environmental theory, because there are attachment theories that attribute attachment reactions, attachment strategies to environmental cues exclusively, not the DMM.

The context in the DMM includes intra-internal challenges, but also interpersonal challenges. In other words, internal processes, but also processes one has with other people in different periods of the lifespan, infancy, preschool, school age, adolescence, adulthood.

And the outcome of all these complexes, webs, webs of interactions embedded in context and with other people, the outcome of all this is kind of emerging organization.

Again, the DMM does not accept the distinction between disorganized attachment and organized attachment, because the DMM says there's no such thing as disorganized attachment. There's no way to survive without attachment. And there's no way to come up with an attachment strategy if it's not organized.

So the DMM dispensed with the idea of disorganized attachment.

But the outcome of the DMM is the organization of mental and behavioral strategies of protection for the self and for one's children, the progeny.

And these are the patterns of attachments.

So the main hypothesis of the DMM is that maturation creates complexity, maturation creates novelty, maturation drives us to develop ever newer, ever more novel and complex mental and behavioral processes.

Changes in context provide the occasion and the catalyst for using these processes and giving them rise to these processes.

So there's a need for maturing individuals to attribute meaning. It's an integral part of my work as well.

I think there's nothing more important to people than meaning. Maturing individuals, according to the DMM, need to imbue complex, ambiguous, incomplete and deceptive information with meaning.

So they're busy all the time making sense of what's happening around them and to them and with other people in ways that promote self-protective behavior. It's an interaction of maturation with experience.

The particular organization of self-protective behavior reflects the strategies.

And these strategies help the individual to identify, prevent and protect themselves from the dangers of particular contexts and particular relationships.

At the same time, it promotes exploration of other people, of aspects of life, of the environment and via introspection of oneself.

Exposure to danger differs by age, differs by person, family, cultural groups. But ultimately, the patterns of attachment will reflect individual developmental history, family organization of self-protective strategies and cultural experience with persistent local dangers.

That's the DMM.

And now the DMM accounts fully for people with insecure attachment styles or people who are incapable of intimacy, love and functional relationships.

We'll come to it in a minute. But to get there, we need to understand that as we grow up, as we move through the lifespan, as we grow older, we keep accumulating layers upon layers of attachment strategies.

And all these attachment strategies are simultaneously functional.

So it would be wrong to reduce any single individual to a single attachment strategy or a single attachment pattern or a single attachment theory or style, because everyone displays very complex multi-layered archaeological and historical behavior when it comes to relating to other people, to attachment.

Of course, in infancy, the repertory is very limited.

Now, Crittenden adopted Ainsworth ABC classification. Ainsworth came up with three types of attachment strategies or attachment situations following the famous stranger experiments or stranger positions.

So Ainsworth suggested that there's ABC, and only B is confident, secure, safe base attachment. A and C are not.

So Crittenden and her collaborators had adopted this ABC classification, and they divided attachment strategies to ABC.

So in childhood, we have the first type of attachment strategy we develop is an inhibited socially facile.

So this is called A12 strategy. A12 strategy uses cognitive prediction in the context of very little real threat. It can be described as anticipatory anxiety.

Attachment figures in this inhibited style, attachment figures are idealized by overlooking the negative qualities. And this is typically what babies do. They overlook mommy's negative qualities, because if mommy is a negative figure, if she is bad, a bad object, it's very threatening.

And this is where I part ways with Klein, Melanie Klein. I disagree with her. I think children tend to idealize the mother.

I think the splitting theory in early object relations schools was totally, totally wrong. Crittenden agrees.

So in the inhibited attachment style, attachment figures like mommy are idealized by overlooking the negative qualities.

The self is put down a bit.

So to create a cooperative, good, bad dichotomy, it's a form of dichotomous thinking, splitting.

Most children, most babies, most infants with with this inhibited attachment style, A12, they're predictable and responsible.

And they when they become adult, they become predictable and responsible people. They are cool, they're business like.

Type A strategies all rely on inhibition of feelings. They set danger at a psychological distance from the self.

It's like if I don't show you who I am, if I'm inhibited, if I don't lose control, then I can keep the danger at arm's length.

And this strategy is first used as a tendency.

Amazingly, mothers would describe cold babies with kind of RAD or mild RAD, reactive attachment disorder.

The second strategy is B12.

Again, we are right now in infancy, the first few formative years, let's say zero to four or zero to six.

So the second attachment style that emerges in this infancy phase is B12.

Remember, these attachment styles start at infancy, but remain for life.

Other attachment styles start in adolescence, in puberty and remain for life. There is an accrual of attachment styles.

And we will come when we wrap up all these, we will come back to the issue of people who cannot have intimacy and relationships.

Why is that?

Okay. So B12 is known as the reserved attachment strategy. These individuals are a bit more inhibited with regard to negative affectivity, but are inherently balanced and well-functioning. So they are a bit reserved.

They will not show anger or visible envy or any negative affectivity, but they're essentially balanced. So B12 is a constructive, productive, functional attachment strategy.

B3, again in infancy, the type B strategy involves a balanced integration of temporal prediction with effect.

Let me explain. Type B individuals show all kinds of behaviors, but they are very similar in that they're able to adapt to a wide variety of situations in ways which are self-protective, protective of their children, and that as often as possible cause others no harm.

So it's a kind of the B strategies are strategies that like live and let live. I protect myself, I protect my children, but I will not do this at your expense.

B people, B type people, they communicate directly, negotiate differences, find mutually satisfactory compromises. They distort cognitive and effective information very little, especially not to themselves. They're not self-deceptive. This is relationship material. These are the good ones, the ones that got away.

Finally, people with B strategies display a wider range of individual variations than people using other strategies because people using other strategies, they go through a process called constriction. They constrain their functioning. They alter their behavior and their strategies and their choices and their decisions in order to employ their attachment strategy.

B people, people with B strategies don't do this. This strategy functions in infancy. By adulthood, two sorts of B strategies can be differentiated.

Naive Bs had simply had the good fortune to grow up in safety and security with good enough parents. Mature Bs have reached neurological maturity, usually by the mid 30s, have reached neurological maturity. They function in life's major roles as a spouse, as a parent, someone's child, and they carry out an ongoing process of psychological integration across relationships, roles, and contexts.

Naive Bs tend to be simplistic. Mature Bs grapple with life's complexities and nuances, but both of them are very good for relationships. Both of them are very, very healthy attachment strategies.

B4-5 gets a reactive strategy. These are individuals who exaggerate negative effects, but only a bit. They're a bit sentimental. Sometimes they're irritated, but inherently they're still balanced.

Generally, B strategies are balanced.

Now we come to dysfunctional strategies.

You remember that A and C are not safe strategies, not functional, not balanced, not secure, insecure. That's Ainsworth contribution.

So let's now review the C strategies that emerge in childhood and remain for life.

C1-2, threatening disarming strategy. It involves relying on one's own feelings to guide behavior.

These are the kind of people who say, I trust my intuition. I'm never wrong.

They would rather trust their gut instincts than any rational analysis and any countervailing information or data. They have confirmation bias, which is centered on their own grandiose infallibility.

These people also use somewhat exaggerated and they change displayed negative affect. So they're a bit off the charts, they're a bit out there, and their main aim is to influence other people's behavior.

So what they do, they exaggerate their displayed negative effect, or they change it suddenly, that is, intermittent reinforcement.

Specifically, the strategy of C1-2 consists of splitting, exaggerating, and alternating the display of mixed negative feelings in order to attract attention and manipulate the feelings and responses of other people. The alternation is between presentation of a strong, angry, invulnerable self who blames others for any problem, other plastic defenses, and the appearance of a weak, fearful, invulnerable self who entices others to give and protect.

So we have these alternations. C1-2 is a very normal strategy.

It's founding people with low risk for mental health problems and a great zest for life.

So while C1-2 is a manipulative strategy and grounded in some form of grandiosity, it is still highly functional, highly functional for the individual, and to some extent highly functional for the intimate partners of the individual.

So this is the picture in infancy.

One could say that in infancy, the preponderance of dysfunctional attachment strategies is very low, because a child cannot afford to not get attached. A child whose attachment strategy fails is at risk for her life. It's a question of survival.

So there's a lot of constraining of negative affectivity, of changeability, of mood-lability. There's a lot of constricting and constraining of mental health effects, theoretically, ostensibly.

All these infantile attachment styles can still lead to mature, adult, functional relationships.

But then what happens is most infants tend to grow up. As they grow up, they begin to develop attachment strategies which are really, really problematic for relationships, intimacy, and love.

So let's continue.

You remember all the previous attachment strategies, the infancy ones?

They prevail. They continue into preschool.

So in the infancy phase, the parents mediate the effect of the context upon the infant, including the risk to the infant.

The infant perceives risk and develops strategies mediated via his parents.

He has no direct access to reality or to the environment.

But in preschool, the child begins to learn safe forms of self-reliance for short periods of time.

He's beginning to wander off. He's beginning to, in other words, separate and become an individual, individually.

And so all the previous strategies continue well into preschool and well into the grave, I mean, throughout life.

But new strategies are added.

The first new strategy is A3.

Individuals using this strategy, known as compulsive caregiving, it's actually a strategy first described by Powellby in 1973.

So individuals using this strategy rely on predictable contingencies, inhibit negative affect, and protect themselves by protecting their attachment figure.

In childhood, these people try to cheer up or care for a sad, withdrawn, depressed, unavailable, vulnerable attachment figure.

In other words, they parentify themselves. They become parent figures to their own attachment figures.

Attachment figures is another name for parents in most cases.

So these children learn that if they want the attachment figure to stick aroundand if they want the attachment figure to function even minimally, they have to parentify, to parent the attachment figure.

So they parentify themselves. And so they try to cheer up the parental figure. They try to care for the parental figure.

In adulthood, these people usually find employment where they rescue or care for others.

They have very strong saviour-rescuer complexes. And so they gravitate towards other people who appear weak and needy.

And this is also true in intimate relationships. They fix people. They're fixers. They're healers.

And so they would tend to have this messiah-fixer complex when they come across a potential intimate partner.

I'm going to fix her. I'm going to make her better. I'm going to heal her with my love.

The precursors of A3 and A4 can be seen even in infancy.

It's in the strange situation experiment. It's very clear.

But the strategy only functions fully in preschool years.

And so individuals in this period begin to show signs of this.

Now, A3 is where we first encounter promiscuity, casual sex, avoidance of intimacy.

And here is what the literature says.

Individuals with A3 and A4 use a compulsively promiscuous strategy. This is from, I'm quoting Crittenden 1995.

They use a compulsively promiscuous strategy to avoid genuine intimacy while maintaining human contact.

So in casual sex, when you're promiscuous, you have human contact. You have a warm body. You have the smells and the taste of a partner.

But it's not real intimacy. It's not genuine intimacy. It's fake. It's like junk food. It's fake. It's passing. It's ephemeral.

And so these people avoid genuine intimacy, says Crittenden, while maintaining human contact, and in some cases satisfying sexual desires.

Crittenden says these people with A3, A4 strategy show false positive effect, including sexual desire, to little known people, strangers, and they protect themselves from rejection by engaging with many people superficially and not getting deeply involved with anyone.

This strategy develops in adolescence when past intimate relationships have been treacherous and strangers appear to offer the only hope of closeness and sexual satisfaction. It may be displayed in socially promiscuous manner that does not involve sexuality or in more serious cases as sexual promiscuity.

Crittenden regards sexual promiscuity as an extreme sign of attachment dysfunction.

And so do I. And I'm not talking about agentic promiscuity, which is basically an empowered choice. I'm talking about compulsive promiscuity that involves sexual self-trashing, masochistic, self-defeating, self-destructive, reckless behaviors.

Now A4 compulsively compliant individuals were actually first described by Crittenden and Delala in 1988. They try to prevent danger. They inhibit negative effect and they protect themselves by doing what attachment figures want them to do. They are people pleasers, a co-dependence.

If the attachment figure is angry and threatening, the compliance level goes up, but the attempts to people please escalate.

These A4 characters tend to be excessively vigilant, hypervigilant, quick to anticipate and meet other people's wishes and generally agitated and anxious. The anxiety, however, is ignored and downplayed by the individual and often is somatized.

It appears in bodily symptoms that are brushed aside as being unimportant.

This A3 and A4 emerge in preschool and remain for life.

And so during preschool period, we have the A3, A4, but we also have the C3 and C4. The C34, aggressive, feigned, helpless.

It's a strategy that involves alternating aggression with apparent helplessness to cause other people to comply out of fear of being attacked or to cause people to assist out of fear that one cannot care for oneself.

So it's dual messaging. It's like a mixed signal.

I'm going to attack you so you better comply. You better do what I want you to do. You better cater to my needs. And if not, then I'm going to destroy myself. I'm going to victimize myself because I'm helpless and I can't do otherwise. So you need to help me. You need to help me because I cannot care for myself.

So there's an alternation between these two, this aggression and learned or feigned helplessness.

Individuals using C3, which is the aggressive variant, this strategy, they emphasize their anger in order to demand caregivers compliance.

And those using the C4, feigned helplessness, which is a form of aggression, of course.

Codependency involves emotional blackmail. It's aggression. So C4, feigned helplessness, these people give signals of incompetence, inadequacy, submission, need, extreme neediness.

The angry presentation, C3 elicits compliance and guilt in other people, whereas the vulnerable presentation, C4 elicits rescue, saving, fixing, healing.

Now, again, you can see all these behaviors in infancy, but the strategy only functions, only blossoms, flourishes in preschool years and later.

And then, of course, after preschool, what do we have? School age.

In school age, people establish symmetrical attachments with best friends, for example, while concurrently maintaining affiliative peer relationship.

So it's all about peers. The reference group is peers, and peers have a much bigger influence than, for example, parental figures or teachers or even role models or celebrities.

During school years, again, we have all the previous attachment strategies. I repeat again, previous attachment strategies developed earlier in life, deceased and survived into death throughout the lifespan.

So in school years, we have everything we had before, but a new strategy emerges and it's known as C5-6. It's an extreme form of C3-4.

It involves active deception to carry out the revenge or illicit rescue. It's about revenge and rescue.

Individuals using this strategy substantially distort information, particularly blaming others for their own predicament and heightening their own negative effect.

The outcome is more enduring and less resolvable struggle or conflict. People using C5, which is the punitive strategy, they're called the deceptive, the distant, the self-control. They're much more so than people who use C3.

These people appear invulnerable. They dismiss other people's perspectives while forcing other people to attend to them, and they mislead other people regarding their own inner feelings of helplessness and desire for comfort.

So it's a facade, it's a compensatory thing, and it's very reminiscent, of course, of grandiose narcissism or overt narcissism.

Individuals using the C6, which is seductive, this strategy, they give the appearance of needing rescue from dangerous circumstances that are in fact self-induced. C6 individuals mislead other people regarding how angry they are, and this alternating pattern is often seen in bully victim pairs with gangs and in violent couples, where the hidden half of the pattern is usually forgotten or forgiven until the presentation reverses.

And this strategy develops during the school years, but actually it doesn't function fully until adolescence, which is the next stage in the lifespan.

In adolescence, we transform best friend attachments into romantic reciprocal attachments with the sexual component. Here, with the failure starts. Here, people who are incapable of love, romantic attachments, intimacy, and relationships, they treat in adolescence.

So in adolescence, again, we have all the previous attachment strategies, A1, A3, A4, and so on and so forth. We have all the, you know, previous strategies, but we have a few new ones. So we have A5.

A5 individuals use a compulsively promiscuous strategy. And so I mentioned it before, and so A5 blossoms in adolescence. It is where it starts to manifest really powerfully and becomes the dominant attachment strategy for life.

People say, well, people can change. You shouldn't inquire too deeply into the past history of your partner. What matters is how your partner is behaving with you now.

That's nonsense. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and certain things never change. For example, attachment strategies and attachment styles.

So you need to inquire really, really deeply into the background of your partner, sexual history, relationship history, intimacy skills, relationship outcomes, infidelity, if there was any, etc. You need to do all this because it's going to repeat itself.

We know, for example, that people who had cheated once are three to five times more likely to cheat again. We even know that people who had been cheated on are far more likely to be cheated on again. It's all pretty predictable. We're pretty predictable people.

The strategies that are described here are very, very important. They're very important because they give you the tools to classify your potential intimate partner and, of course, to classify yourself. If you do that, you're able to predict with a large degree of accuracy what's going to happen.

So A5 individuals are similar to previous attachment style that I had mentioned, and it's a compulsively promiscuous strategy. As I said, it's intended to avoid genuine intimacy and so on.

But A6 is a really new layer, a really new strategy, which emerges in adolescence.

It was first described by Baulby, who else, in 1980.

Individuals who use A6, it's a compulsively self-reliant strategy. These people don't trust other people. They regard other people as unpredictable in their demands. They find themselves inadequate in meeting these demands. They avoid other people in their demands because they think the demands would be capricious and arbitrary, and also they don't believe that they are adequate to answer these demands.

People with A6 inhibit negative affect. They protect themselves by relying on no one other than themselves. They're totally self-sufficient and self-contained. They expect nothing from others. They never ask for help. They reject advice as an intrusion, as an imposition.

This protects the self from other people, but at the cost of lost help, lost advice, lost comfort, succor, and assistance. It's a big loss. It's not a very wise or clever trade-off, and it's very defensive.

Usually the A6 strategy develops in adolescence after individuals have discovered that they cannot regulate the behavior of important but dangerous or non-protective caregivers.

So these people withdraw from close relationships as soon as they are old enough to care for themselves.

There is a social form of strategy in which individuals function adaptively in social and work contexts, but are distant when intimacy is expected in an isolated form.

Some people function perfectly in their careers, in their workplaces, but when intimacy is involved, their calmness, detachment, avoidance, withdrawal render it impossible for them to connect.

There's another form in which individuals, in A6 individuals, cannot manage any interpersonal relationship and then withdraw as much as possible from other people, totally to the point of celibacy and schizoid kind of solitude.

This emerges in adolescence. A6 emerges in adolescence, and many of these adolescents are sometimes misdiagnosed as schizotypal, or they are the weirdos of the class, and they're mocked, and they're outcasts, they're excommunicated, they're ostracized, they are ridiculed, and so on so forth, and they remain like this for life.

Finally, we reach adulthood, most of us. We reach adulthood where we establish symmetrical and reciprocal spousal romantic attachments that foster both partners' development, and there is the nurturance of children in non-reciprocal and non-symmetrical attachment relationships in which the adult is the attachment figure.

So we play a dual role. We play a role of an equal with our intimate partner and a role of an attachment figure, which is again non-symmetrical with our children, if we have any.

All the previous attachment strategies are active very much and in play, including many of them who preclude intimacy, love, and relationship, make them impossible.

But there are a few additional strategies that emerge only in adulthood.

A7, delusionally idealizing individuals. It's a late edition, Crittenden first described it in 2000. These people have had repeated experience with severe danger that they cannot predict or control. They display brittle false positive effect and protect themselves by imagining that they're powerless or hostile attachment figures will protect them.

This is a very desperate strategy of believing falsely in safety when no efforts are likely to reduce the danger. It's a kind of hostage syndrome. Paradoxically, the appearances of these people, of A7 people, their appearance is generally pleasing and there's no hint of the fear and trauma, the lie behind the nice exterior until circumstances produce a breaking functioning, they suddenly collapse mentally.

This pattern only develops in adulthood, which is a lot about the kind of adulthood that modern people have.

A8, externally assembled self, also described for the first time by Crittenden in 2000.

So people with A8 attachment strategy do as other people require. They are people pleasers, they have few genuine feelings of their own and they try to protect themselves by absolute reliance on other people.

Usually professionals who replace their absent or endangering attachment figures.

So Minkhausen syndrome and Minkhausen by proxy syndrome may be an extension of this.

Both A7 and A8 are associated with pervasive and sadistic early abuse and neglect, finally leads us to psychopathy.

Psychopathy emerges in adulthood and it's known as the A plus C plus strategy or AC strategies. They combine the sub-patterns of both A and C like it's best of both worlds.

In practice, most of these people have distorted patterns. For example, A34 is higher, C34 is higher, you know, this kind of thing.

Individuals using these strategies display very sudden shifts in behavior. They're very impulsive, they're very defined and reckless.

In the cases of blended strategies, they show very subtle mixing of distortion and deception.

And the extreme form of this is of course psychopathy.

So if you have a look, if you review, if you listen back to this recording, you will reach the very sad conclusion that a majority of attachment strategies are focused around fending off danger, protecting oneself, and therefore they are not very conducive to intimacy, love and relationships.

Finally, there's C778, menacing paranoid. It's the most extreme of type C strategies. It involves a willingness to attack anyone combined with the fear of everyone.

Type C strategies all involve distrust of consequences and an excessive reliance on one's own gut feelings.

At the extreme, this pattern becomes delusional with delusions of infinite revenge over ubiquitous enemies.

The menacing strategy, C7. On the reverse side, there's paranoia regarding these enemies, C8.

And these two strategies do not become organized before early adulthood.

Reviewing these attachment strategies tells us that when we attempt true intimacy, true love in abiding functional relationships, we have to overcome many, many layers of disturbed attachment strategies.

Attachments strategies that lead to fear, danger, avoidance, withdrawal, negative affectivity, or self-denial and self-deception. It is not therefore surprising that so many of us fail in our quest to find warmth, acceptance, and a friend, a friend for life, and even the most basic and primitive of all needs and desires.


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