There is this neighbor of mine who has a kid who is about 3 yrs and every time I try to offer her a candy she would run and hide behind her mother. It took me almost 2 months to make her accept a candy but she was still perched on her mom. As children we become attached to our parents and other caregivers. In this scenario, attachment is seen extremely healthy and necessary for an infant to grow.
This just doesn’t stop here. As adults we may also have patterns of attachment, at home, school, college and in the workplace. We can become attached in many ways, sometimes we are attached to other people; sometimes we are attached to particular kind of situations, or substances. Obsessive attachments, as we know become addictions and that’s when we panic and seek help.
In the workplace, we can often become attached to a particular culture or a belief about the way things should be done. We can become attached to our perceptions of others and also about how relationships should look in the workplace. People who resist change are usually people who are attached to how things should be.
I have worked with organizations where leaders and managers have become attached to their viewpoints about their employees and their capabilities. They sometimes become attached to an attitude or belief about the information they are receiving. I personally know one Senior Manager who is a stalwart in his field and a very credible and respected person. Many a times I feel like a dwarf intellectually while talking to him because of his vast knowledge in his domain. The only thing on which we have a disagreement is the way he judges people. Many a times I have asked him , how can he judge when you don’t have all the inputs required to brand him/her and I would add that judging without inputs would make your judgment nothing less than a wild guess. Yet he prefers his attachments and stays rooted. Despite attempts to try to give him a different insight, he preferred to be right and his view prevailed.
In childhood attachment can bring certainty in an uncertain world . It offers a safety net in case we fall but adult attachment in any form is unhealthy, whether it is a belief of a person or a habit. Often we don’t even realize we are attached to something or someone, until we have to face physical, emotional, or intellectual change. Attachment actually becomes a defense mechanism to fear and eventually you grow used to this. Our reality is shaped by our beliefs. What we focus on becomes our world and thus the corresponding attitudes and ideas can limit our life tremendously.
If we could recognize when we are attached and with kindness to ourselves relinquish our attachments and replace them with more caring and mindful alternatives, then our lives would be happier and lighter.
Now that we know how cumbersome our attachments are lets see how to overcome it.
- We all need to form relationships with people and situations. We need to build a framework of beliefs and ideas so we can function.
As we grow into adults we should recognize when we are attached to people and instead reframe this into healthy connections. Connection is a healthy way of relating without the fear base that attachment signifies. We can intimately connect with our very close relationships.
- We need to let go of our need to be right
By keeping an open mind and being prepared to examine our beliefs and thinking: being prepared to change them when necessary; we keep fresh and open to what life brings.
- And finally we can be purposefully positive
we need to recognize when we are being negative and how this might be limiting ourselves and others in our lives and our workplaces. Holding onto negative views and conclusions will ultimately lead us to the same. Remember, you become what you want to become so make a willful positive choice.