What can attachment theory teach you about yourself and your relationships? : Life Kit According to the field of attachment theory, each person has a unique attachment style that informs how that person relates to intimacy: secure, anxious or avoidant. We talk with Amir Levine, a neuroscientist and co-author of the book Attached, about how your attachment style can impact your relationships.

What's your attachment style? Take this quiz to find out

What's your attachment style? Take this quiz to find out

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Connie Hanzhang Jin/NPR
Illustration of a curious person standing in the midst of three attachment styles, with each style depicted as a textured wash of color.
Connie Hanzhang Jin/NPR

How do you feel when your partner doesn't respond to your text right away? Is it easy for you to express your feelings to friends or loved ones, or do you struggle? Do you stay in touch with exes? Worry your current partner will leave you?

How you answered those questions can offer some insight into your attachment style. According to the field of attachment theory, each person has a unique attachment style that informs how you relate to intimacy: secure, anxious, avoidant and a small subset who are anxious-avoidant.

This quiz, adapted from Amir Levine and Rachel Heller's bestselling book, Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find — and Keep Love, will help you figure out your own attachment style.

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Research has shown that even just knowing about the four attachment styles can positively influence your relationships. "It helps people become more secure," says Levine, who is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist at Columbia University.

And though you may not have a choice in which attachment style you have, it's not just up to you to address it — other people have a role to play too. "It's something that happens in the space between two people. They think, 'Oh, I have this attachment style, so I have to fix it by fixing myself.' But it's a relational thing," says Levine.

He recommends creating a "secure village"— surrounding yourself with secure people as a way to make yourself more secure.

Curious about your partner's attachment style? This quiz can help.


The podcast portion of this story was produced by Clare Marie Schneider. The quiz was produced by Connie Hanzhang Jin and Koko Nakajima with editorial support from Beck Harlan and Clare Marie Schneider.

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