Personality Theory Paper
Different people have different personalities which denote the aspect of individual differences existing among them. Personality refers to the traits or characteristics that form a unique identity of an individual which is different from others. Personality theories have been constructed to establish the differences and similarities among the unique traits and attributes possessed by an individual. These theories focus on studying the personality of individuals from different aspects and dimensions.
One such theory which has deeply influenced my beliefs and assumptions regarding people is the attachment theory. The basic premise of this theory is the interpersonal relationships among human being. It is not only a psychological theory but also an evolutionary theory since it incorporates and explains the enduring relationships of a person from his birth to death (Bowlby, 1990). ATTACHMENT THEORY Attachment as the word indicates means a bond with something. In the context of this paper, it refers to an emotional bond existing among certain individuals.
The theory is based on the premise that the bond children form in their infanthood with their caregivers continues throughout their life from birth to death. In order for the child’s social and emotional development to occur in a proper manner, it needs to have a secure and close relationship with its caregiver which will increase its chances of survival especially in stressful situations. Attachment is a process of gaining proximity towards someone who gives care, love and attention to the child in his initial months (Mooney, 2009).
Due to this attachment behavior, children develop attachment patterns and internal working models which have a tremendous impact on his feelings, thoughts and expectations in his later age. The children need a sense of security in their initial months which they gain through their mothers who are available, sensitive and responsive to them. This sense of security gives them feeling that they depend on their mothers and use this secure base to explore the world and then return to it.
The theory emphasizes that attachment is formed only as a result of need for safety and protection by the child. Children may get attachment to more than one figure in their infanthood but these figures can also be arranged in a hierarchal order where the lack of principal attachment figure causes the child to move towards the next figure in the hierarchy. It is not necessary that the child forms a bond only with his mother but the bond can be formed with any figure that is responsive in social interactions with the infant.
The caregiver becomes a source of security for the child and they start exploring here and there in their presence because their attachment system is relaxed in the presence of the caregiver. The children stay away from strangers in infanthood or from those with whom they are not attached. They also experience feelings of fear and anxiety in the absence of the caregivers. There are different characteristics of the attachment behavior exhibited by the children.
Firstly, the child considers the caregiver a safe haven which provides comfort and soothing and to which he can return to while feeling afraid or threatened. Secondly, the caregiver is a secure base for the child on which the latter can depend and explore the world. Thirdly, there is proximity maintenance in which the child makes every effort to stay close to his caregiver in order to feel relax and safe. Finally, the child will experience separation distress that is discomfort and sadness when he is separated from the caregiver (Bowlby, 1990).
ATTACHMENT STYLES The attachment theory consists of different attachment styles which help us in understanding the behaviors and personalities of people in society as well as workplace. The attachment behavior in the early years of a child has an impact in his later years of life and can have an impact on person’s self-esteem, confidence and strong romantic relationships. In order to understand this influence, it is important to study the three different styles of attachment. Secure Attachment
In this type of attachment, the child experiences minimum distress in the absence of the caregiver because he is sure that the caregiver will return to soothe him. They feel secured and dependent on their caregivers and look forward to them when frightened. This behavior develops as a result of consistent and constant response by the caregiver to the needs of the child. Ambivalent Attachment This type of personality becomes distressed on the departure of the caregiver since they are not sure that the caregiver will return in the time of need.
This is a result of poor caregiver availability and inconsistent responses to the child. Avoidant Attachment These children exhibit no distress on the absence of a caregiver and give no response on their return in fact; they show similar response to a caregiver or a stranger. This style develops due to neglectful nature of the caregiver towards the child while encouraging independence (Mooney, 2009). IMPORTANCE OF THE ATTACHMENT THEORY AND STYLES These attachment styles in the childhood have a significant influence on the adult’s personality in the adulthood and their behavior in the society and workplace.
These styles enhance our understanding since people with different styles will exhibit different patterns of relationships and behavior towards others. These styles develop an internal working model as the child grows which shapes his expectations about relationships, his behavior towards others and others behavior towards him. The social interactions with people further develop an individual’s internal working model which plays an important role in shaping his behavior and personality.
The individual starts using negotiation, bargaining and compromising in his attachment behavior as he continues to grow. The individual then develops a desire to form proximity with other people instead of the familiar ones depending on his attachment style. The child’s relationships with his parents or caregivers have an impact on the peer relationships formed in the later part of the life. It is believed that individuals having a secure attachment style are higher in self-esteem, competence and form strongly positive peer relationships.
The peer relationships contribute to the intellectual development of an individual and also impact his social skills and formation of a social identity (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991). The behavioral patterns exhibited by the people in the society and workplace are a direct result of parent-child relationships and peer relationships. Those who experience avoidant behavior in their childhood do not form strong relationships in the society and are frequently conflicting with their coworkers in the workplace whereas those who form a secure relationship form stronger interpersonal and work relationships in their adulthood.
The attachment theory and the styles offer an insight that enhances our understanding of why people behave in a certain way in the society and the workplace. Besides that, the theory also helps us in understanding our own behavior at various places and what we can do improve it. We understand that our personality today is a result of the attachment style adopted in the childhood and what can be done to further improve it so that we interact positively with others both in the society as well as workplace.
The social attachment and emotional development is properly exhibited in our later life when we come into contact with strangers and non-familiar people. Attachment styles play a role in developing relationship competence and openness which affect work relationships and subsequently leadership style effectiveness. Organizations should closely observe the attachment styles of individuals before selected them for leadership positions since people with ambivalent and avoidant styles cannot form an enduring relationship with coworkers as compared to people with secure relationship style.
These styles are the major source of conflict in work settings therefore a better understanding of these can help us to guide our behavior in organizations. Some people can effectively work with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures while others exhibit discomfort and awkwardness with people from different cultures and backgrounds. The study of attachment styles will help managers and leaders to direct efforts towards their own behavior and mindset in order to strengthen their interpersonal skills and leadership capability (Manning, 2003). CONCLUSION
Thus, theory of attachment has an important influence on our understanding not only others behavior and personality but also our own mindset which we can change according to the needs of the society and workplace. The different styles of attachment help us in understanding our own style and others behavior towards us. Having this knowledge, we can interact accordingly with others. Therefore, I consider attachment theory most related to our lives and enhances our understanding of individual behavior and personality. REFERENCES Bartholomew, K. , & Horowitz, L. (1991).
Attachment styles among young adults: a test of a four-category model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 61(2), 226-244. Bowlby, J. (1990). A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development . Basic Books. Manning, T. T (2003, Jan, 01). Leadership across cultures: attachment style influences. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies. Retrieved Apr 05, 2009, from http://www. allbusiness. com/human-resources/employee-development-leadership/547202-1. html Mooney, C. G. (2009). Theories of Attachment: An Introduction to Bowlby, Ainsworth, Gerber, Brazelton, Kennell, and Klaus . Redleaf Press .Sample Essay of Paperial.com