Last Updated on March 1, 2023 by the thought method co.
Non-attachment is currently trending on the self-help circuit.
And while non-attachment is an important concept that needs to be explored, what is currently being advocated isn’t actually “non-attachment,” it’s toxic non-attachment.
Because self-help gurus aren’t teaching their followers about non-attachment, they are telling their followers to ignore their humanness and it’s toxic as fuck.
While it sounds great to never feel hurt, you’re not a fucking robot.
So if you follow the toxic advice, you’re not only missing out on learning a worth while concept, you’re also creating unhealthy thought habits that are going to keep you stuck and make you miserable and lonely.
So let’s dissect the current non-attachment, bullshit trend, why it’s toxic as fuck and then go into some examples of healthy attachment so you can develop a healthy attachment style and create a happier life with strong connections.
What is attachment?
Humans are social creatures, and we thrive when we have a pack. In that pack we connect with other people (we attach). Attachment theory is an area of study that focused on the way we attach.
There are three main types of attachment:
Secure. You maintain your selfhood while also allowing yourself to be emotionally vulnerable and connect with others.
Anxious. You are nervous in relationships, think they will fail and feel you don’t know where you stand with others.
Avoidant. You are nervous about getting hurt or attached so you sabotage relationships and push connections away.
What is non-attachment
Non-attachment is the ability to accept things as they are, not how you wish they could or think they “should” be. Non-attachment is the ability to appreciate situations, people and things but not rely your identity or happiness on them.
So while that new car/house/relationship is making you happy, you can be happy without it, too.
Non-attachment is the acknowledgement that you are a singular being who can function on your own while acknowledging that support and help from others makes like happier and easier.
So while you may enjoy being independent and doing certain things on your own, you also ask for help when you need it.
The toxic non-attachment trend
The current, toxic trend is to not get “attached.” To not be upset if someone ghosts or leaves, and to be OK no matter what happens.
It might seem cool and tough to be nonchalant, but it’s fucking extreme and stupid. Because you’re not a robot. You will get attached to people and relationships.
If you deny this part of your humanness it will cause you pain and it’s going to make your life suck. Because to not attach means you have no emotion.
Yeah, it won’t hurt when someone leaves, but you won’t enjoy them when they are around anyway. It’s like you’re already dead… emotionally dead that is… a.k.a. you’re going to get fucking depressed.
When is attachment problematic?
When it goes to extremes.
You have been surrounded by toxic attachment your entire life. Namely, that you need to find “the one” to be “complete.”
This is a problematic attachment because it’s extreme and tells us we aren’t whole without someone else. It forces us to search for happiness outside of ourselves, give people power over us and to become dependent on things outside of our control.
The toxic non-attachment trend is an opposite extreme and tells us that we don’t need anyone. It’s just a problematic.
How to spot problematic attachment?
To find out if you are practicing problematic attachment, look for extremes.
Examples of Problematic Attachment:
- My partner is my everything I would be nothing without them.
- I don’t need anyone or anything. My partner could walk out of my life right now and I would be completely fine.
- If I just get a newer car then people will like me better.
Examples of Healthy Attachment:
- My brother does all of the cable and IT hook-ups in my house. I depend on him for tech advice and if he wasn’t around I would have to learn or find someone else to help.
- Whenever I have trouble making a decision I ask my friends for their perspective, but at the end of the day I make the decision that I feel is best for me.
- My partner treats me well and I love spending time with them. I know how to be happy without them but I do love when they are around.
Real life example of healthy non-attachment
Recently I was seeing someone. We had fun; he made me laugh. I got attached.
Sadly, it didn’t work out. Not seeing him anymore sucks. Even though I am sad and think about him from time-to-time I am happy we met and had a great time together. I learned a lot of valuable lessons.
So while I miss him and smile thinking of the fun we had (because I was attached), I also acknowledge that it wasn’t a good fit.
Final note on attachment
The people who advocate for toxic non-attachment are unaware of the toxicity and may have an avoidant attachment style. Whatever the case, they are operating out of extremes and fear of being hurt.
Because with attachment can come pain and hurt. But it’s what we do with that hurt that matters. Lying ourselves and saying we don’t have hurt at all (which is what the non-attachment trend is advocating) is just going to limit you and keep you in that hurt space longer.
But then we practice non-attachment in a healthy way, we allow ourselves to experience life, we grow and we open ourselves up to love.
In the title of this article, I asked if you were brave enough to get attached. You are brave enough.
So the real question is: will you choose to be brave? Will you decide to give yourself the best life full of complexities and ups and downs? Will you allow yourself to feel, live, love and grow?
I really hope you do.