The Superpowers of Securely Attached Adults


While in reality none of us are able to fly, possess super-strength, or X-ray vision (no matter how much we wish we did), you might be surprised to learn that each of us has unique abilities to offer. In fact, securely attached adults have advantages that could potentially be so effective that they could be considered superpowers.

The social skills of individuals with secure attachment are their personal strengths. The benefits of secure attachment span across many life domains including the workplace, intimate relationships, as well as in friendships.

In this article we will discuss:
  • Brief intro on attachment (if you are new to the topic)
  • What is secure attachment?
  • Common signs of adults with secure attachment
  • What are the benefits of secure attachment:
    • at the workplace?
    • in relationships?
    • in friendships?

First things first – what is attachment?

An attachment style is the emotional bond that a child forms with their caregiver during their formative period – typically the first eighteen months of their life.

According to attachment theory, which was devised by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth in the 1950s, the quality of this early bond usually determines our ability to relate to others and how we manage our relationships – both personal and professional – throughout our lives.

If a child spends their early years in an environment that could be considered inconsistent, neglectful, chaotic or traumatic, then they may develop an insecure attachment. There are three types of insecure attachment: anxious-preoccupied, avoidant-dismissive, and disorganized.

However, if a caregiver makes their child feel safe, seen, and understood, as well as responds to their needs appropriately as they develop, then their child will likely develop a secure attachment. As the child moves into adulthood, their secure attachment usually helps them to form a healthy view of themselves and of other people, as well as navigate the different types of relationships in their lives.

Common signs of adults who are securely attached:

  • Positive view of themselves
  • Positive view of others
  • Healthy self-esteem
  • Comfortable with intimacy
  • Capable of setting boundaries in relationships
  • Self-sufficient, they’re also comfortable asking for support when they need it
  • Can trust others
  • People enjoy being in their company
  • Comfortable with emotional closeness
  • Capable of developing and maintaining strong relationships
  • Emotionally balanced
  • Able to emotionally regulate people close to them

Unsurprisingly, the secure attachment style is the one that people typically aspire. After all, people with secure attachment are usually emotionally balanced, calm, and comfortable with intimacy without backing off or becoming overly needy or clingy.

However, having a secure attachment style doesn’t mean that someone is perfect or that they won’t experience relationship problems in the different domains of their life. The difference is that they might be secure enough in themselves to take responsibility for their mistakes and admit when they need support from others.

Although there are no drawbacks to having a secure attachment, it may be useful to read up on the traits and superpowers of the other attachment styles (anxious, avoidant and disorganized). Even though someone is securely attached, they may still share some interesting traits of the insecure attachment styles!

1. The superpowers of secure attachment at work

There is significant evidence to suggest that the ability to form relationships at work has a positive impact on people’s mental health, levels of stress, and burnout. Not only do friendships at work lower stress levels, but having social support also helps to buffer the strain of hard work situations when they do arise.

the superpowers of secure attachment at work

People with secure attachment have an advantage at work when facing stress. That’s because they are comfortable seeking out support when they need it.

Additionally, colleagues tend to gravitate towards those with secure attachment because of their healthy self-confidence.

They also balance their emotions and are comfortable around others in the workplace – regardless of whether they’re in a position of power or not.

Securely attached workers have a healthy trust in others and typically see their bosses in a positive light (as long as they actually deserve it!).

Securely attached people also tend to be happier at work – they report higher job satisfaction and are more content with their working environment.

Thus, people with this attachment style have better work attendance. They have fewer sick days, complete tasks at an efficient rate, and don’t fear rejection from co-workers. They can even accept criticism without becoming overly upset. Securely attached people are dream employees!

Furthermore, if a secure adult desires to do so, they have the capacity to become excellent leaders. They are empathetic and aware of the needs of others, but they are still able to retain focus on work objectives. Because of their openness and warmth towards others, their employees feel comfortable approaching them with work issues. This kind of environment correlates with higher productivity levels, so it’s a win-win scenario for everyone!

To sum it up, the superpowers of a securely attached person in the workplace are:
  • Comfortable with seeking out support when needed
  • Emotionally balanced and comfortable around others
  • Report higher job satisfaction
  • Better work attendance
  • Don’t typically suffer from a fear of failure
  • Empathetic and aware of the needs of others
  • Make good leaders

2. The superpowers of securely attached adults in relationships

Just because someone has a secure attachment style doesn’t mean that they won’t experience relationship problems. Life complications or personal circumstances can cause issues for everyone. Furthermore, the attachment style of a partner also plays a role in how a relationship plays out.

securely attached relationship - the superpowers of secure attachment

However, securely attached partners may be more emotionally equipped to deal with relationship problems than insecurely attached people. Even regardless of their partner’s attachment style. For this reason, secure partners are capable of loving, long-lasting relationships.

Someone with a secure attachment is typically able to be open and warm with their partner. They are comfortable being themselves in relationships because they have a positive template based on their early life experiences.

As a result, they tend to believe that relationships are safe and they trust in their partners and their intentions; secure partners are comfortable enough to be vulnerable and intimate with their loved ones. 

“Securely attached people may be more emotionally equipped to deal with relationship problems than insecurely attached people.”

Individuals with a secure attachment also typically have a healthy sense of self and self-esteem; therefore, they are content to seek support from their partner when they need it. They are also happy to give support to their partner when they need it in return. There is a healthy balance of give-and-take in a relationship with a partner who is secure.

Securely attached adults typically enjoy being in relationships, but they’re also content to be by themselves. This means that they’re less likely to jump into a serious relationship just because the option is there. They will wait and determine whether the “fit” is good. What’s more, someone with this attachment style isn’t afraid to break up with a partner if they feel like the dynamics aren’t working. They know when it’s probably best for both partners to call it a day.

Also, due to their ability to regulate their own emotions, someone with a secure attachment is usually capable of helping a partner with insecure attachment to regulate theirs. So even if a secure adult falls in love with an insecure person, they can help their loved one feel secure and safe within the relationship. 

To sum it up, the superpowers of a securely attached person in relationships are:
  • Emotionally equipped to deal with issues in a relationship
  • Capable of being open and warm with their partner
  • Comfortable enough to be themselves
  • Comfortable to ask for support when needed
  • Happy to give support to their partner when needed
  • Less likely to “jump into” relationships
  • Know when a relationship isn’t going to work
  • Capable of being vulnerable and intimate with their partner
  • Capable of loving, long-lasting relationships
  • Can help insecure partners to regulate their emotions

3. The superpowers of secure attachment in friendships

securely attached friendship - the superpowers of secure attachment

The secure attachment style corresponds with openness and being easygoing. Therefore, someone with this attachment style tends to be calm and balanced, preferring to avoid conflict with friends unless necessary.

They typically choose to practice effective communication in order to solve disputes as they understand the consequences of their behaviors and how their words and actions can affect others.

Securely attached adults are also comfortable reaching out to other people and sharing personal information about themselves. Yet, they respect other people’s boundaries and tend not to overshare or ask probing questions that may make others uncomfortable.

They also won’t take it personally when their friends don’t respond to their calls or messages right away or cancel plans at short notice. They are aware that other people have issues and demands outside of their friendship.

People often gravitate towards a secure person because of their obvious sense of self-assuredness without arrogance. They also express interest in getting to know others. Secure adults can see their own value as a person, as well as the value in other people. For these reasons, a securely attached individual makes a great friend!

In summary, the superpowers of a securely attached person in friendships are:
  • Prefer to avoid conflict
  • Understand the consequences of their actions
  • Comfortable sharing information yet respect boundaries
  • Don’t take things too personally
  • Confident but not arrogant
  • Express interest in others
  • Value other people and themselves

Time to Reflect

What superpower of the secure attachment style do you connect with the most? Remember, no one is one hundred percent secure.

Are you wondering whether you might share some traits with one of the insecure attachment styles? Check out our articles about the superpowers of the anxious, avoidant, and disorganized attachment styles.

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