To increase your self-esteem, you must decide:
(A) Which pattern of relating did you learn in your family of origin?
Jennifer Ryan writing in I Choose Change lists the three types of attachment that we may have had with our parents:
1. Secure attachment: “Securely attached children develop trust in their environment and primary caregiver, and as an adult they trust their partners and people they get into relationships with. Securely attached children have secure relationships as a general rule.”
2. Avoidant attachment: “This child has an environment that is unstable. Meaning, they can’t be sure if mom will reassure and comfort them when in need or not. Sometimes Mom will be there, sometimes she won’t. Sometimes she’ll “blow up” when frustrated and angry, and not tend to her child’s needs, and sometimes she is calm, cool, collected and picks up the child when in distress. The child learns that he can’t trust his primary caregiver.”
“He never knows if Mom will be available to him or not, and soon he simply stops trying. As an adult, this person can have very low expectations and learn not to seek assistance from those around them. Or in the extreme opposite, this person may have expectations of others that are too high and they develop a grandiose “I don’t need help, I can do it all!” mentality.”
3. Ambivalent attachment: “This child had a parent that was passive and who failed to understand the importance of emotional connection. Mom may have provided basic needs – food, shelter, clothing – but the closeness needed that builds trust in a child isn’t there. As an adult, this person is extremely lonely.”