Being around constant coldness, siloed into remote work, I get not wanting to go out and see friends. The weather is freezing, it’s slippery, the TTC is always late and it’s dark by 4PM. No matter how many years we live through it, that darkness always catches up…
Loneliness can cast a heavy shadow, especially in a bustling city like Toronto. As we delve into the complexities of human connections, we find that our attachment styles play a pivotal role in shaping not only our romantic relationships but also the friendships that weave the fabric of our lives.
Attachment styles aside though, if you leave with anything today is understanding that we ALL need connection. We also ALL feel loneliness. In systems that are built to focus on capitalist values, connection and how people thrive is not at the core of its design. We thrive better and operate as our best selves when we are connected. Understanding your attachment system will only help you understand your own unique challenges, and work to help you navigate it with less stress.
Attachment Styles Unveiled
I’ve often wondered - how exactly does understanding attachment styles help me form my own connections? Well in order to do that, we have to get a good idea of what each attachment style is.
In a world where the hustle and bustle of urban life often accentuates feelings of isolation, understanding your attachment style can be a compass guiding you through the maze of human connections.
Anxious Attachment: The Fear of Losing Connection
People with an anxious attachment style fear abandonment and seek constant reassurance in their relationships. In friendships, they might over-apologize or fear losing a friend after a disagreement. Understanding this style is the first step to forming secure bonds. As well, understanding that a lack of connection may cause your system to send louder alerts of fear and anxiety that need to be tended to with compassion.
Avoidant Attachment: Independence at a Cost
Those with an avoidant attachment style value independence and emotional distance. They may struggle to form close bonds and find it hard to let others in. Recognizing that feelings of loneliness are human, they’re not a sign of weakness or flaw. You too need connection, love and community.
Disorganized Attachment: Navigating Hot and Cold
A disorganized attachment style is a blend of anxious and avoidant traits. Friendships with disorganized individuals may be marked by unpredictability. Understanding their need for closeness while respecting their fear of it can lead to more stable connections. Recognizing that this may increase bouts of anxiety and fear of abandonment, as well as feelings of wanting to disconnect.
Secure Attachment: A Balanced Connection
Individuals with a secure attachment style find a healthy balance between independence and connection. They're comfortable with their need for friendship but don't feel a compulsive dependence on it. Building friendships with securely attached individuals often results in lasting and resilient connections.
Toronto's Loneliness Landscape
Toronto, despite its vibrant energy, has been recognized as one of the loneliest places in Canada. So no! You’re not alone in feeling isolated in the 6ix. The Toronto Foundation's report sheds light on the impact of the post-pandemic era, where crises like housing costs and homelessness have converged into a "polycrisis."
Impact on Friendships
The report reveals a concerning trend – Torontonians are withdrawing from communities and each other. Fewer close friends and family members, coupled with a decline in social interactions, contribute to a growing sense of loneliness.
Decolonizing in community
Understanding that you’re not “the problem,” and that you can slowly begin to address this by taking small steps towards building connection and community. Acknowledging that we are inherently interdependent and we need community to thrive…and survive!!
Attachment Styles in the City
Understanding attachment styles becomes crucial in a city where loneliness rates are higher than in other major Canadian cities. Recognizing your own attachment style and that of others can be a starting point for rebuilding social connections.
From disconnected to supported
Community. Community. Community!! Loneliness can be combated by actively engaging with the community. Reconnect by participating in free activities, volunteering, or organizing events. Social connections are integral to well-being!
Living in many of the cities we function in is stressful on our systems. Movement in many forms, whether it be dance, sports, yoga practice or simply walking is an incredible way of managing the stress on our systems and regulating feelings of loneliness. It’s also a wonderful way of finding and building community with shared interest.
Identifying your attachment style can be helpful.. Take note of when you feel threatened, anxious, or hurt in your interactions. Awareness is the key to breaking patterns that might be contributing to loneliness. Here is a guide to helping you move towards more secure ways of showing up in the world.
Professional help, like therapy or counseling, provides a structured space to explore and reshape attachment patterns. Therapists can guide individuals in understanding negative patterns and developing new perspectives on interpersonal relationships.
In the midst of Toronto's urban landscape, battling loneliness requires a multifaceted approach. Understanding attachment styles, seeking support, and actively participating in community life can pave the way to meaningful connections. As we navigate the complexities of attachment, we unlock the potential for resilient friendships and a sense of belonging in this vibrant city. Find your tribe by navigating a deeper understanding of your attachment needs and wounds!
Until next time,