This post is about attachment. Attachment to outcomes, attachment to emotions, attachment to world views, attachment to relationships and even friendships.
It was inspired by a discussion I had on /r/purplepilldebate, in which my views were classified as a "dismissive avoidant" attachment style. Wikipedia describes it as such:
"People with a dismissive style of avoidant attachment tend to agree with these statements: "I am comfortable without close emotional relationships.", "It is very important to me to feel independent and self-sufficient", and "I prefer not to depend on others or have others depend on me." People with this attachment style desire a high level of independence. The desire for independence often appears as an attempt to avoid attachment altogether. They view themselves as self-sufficient and invulnerable to feelings associated with being closely attached to others. They often deny needing close relationships. Some may even view close relationships as relatively unimportant. Not surprisingly, they seek less intimacy with relationship partners, whom they often view less positively than they view themselves. Investigators commonly note the defensive character of this attachment style. People with a dismissive–avoidant attachment style tend to suppress and hide their feelings, and they tend to deal with rejection by distancing themselves from the sources of rejection (i.e., their relationship partners)."
I would say the description in the first part is not far from the truth. However, I do not believe I am defensive in my attachment style. In regards to whether I "suppress or hide my feelings", I use my feelings to achieve my goals. I do not wear my emotions on my sleeve, and I think rationally before acting on any emotion.
I actually make a distinct effort to not become attached. Buddhists theorize that attachment is the root of all suffering. People become attached to the ideas they have about the world, to their relationships, and even to their own way of thinking. Anybody or anything who interrupts that idea is an enemy and must be vehemently defended against.
I make an effort to only include those people in my life whom I respect and who bring me up and help me achieve my goals. That includes friendships (one of my goals is to have healthy relationships with my friends), business partners, girls whom I date or fuck, and family.
But I am also very quick to dismiss somebody when they no longer fulfill a positive role in my life. It's easier said than done, especially with family, but boundaries are important.
If somebody is no longer being a good friend to me, I will let them know, and see if they want to make an effort to change. It has made me much happier, and has the benefit of filtering out negativity in my life. As a result, I have a good, core group of friends (male and female) who I have "vetted". I have no problem forgiving somebody nor letting things slide, if they are still a net positive force in my life.
In regards to picking up girls, I used to be extremely attached to the outcome of a situation. I didn't realize how much my self esteem was dependent on the validation of a girl. It is correlated to a scarcity mentality. Now, I have an abundance mentality in that I believe I can find another girl easily. This helps me be way less attached to the outcome of a situation.
Overall, my attachment style lately has served me well, and has made me very happy and successful. Some have said that I am missing out on deeper relationships since I am too quick to dismiss people, but I would point to the very close friendships I have maintained over decades (again, both male and female), with people who have never given me a reason to dismiss them. I am perfectly happy keeping my filter in place.
I may have a dismissive-avoidance attachment style, but I am owning up to it and keeping it. Life is short, and your most valuable asset, time, should not be wasted on anything which isn't helping you achieve your goals.
- http://viewonbuddhism.org/attachment.html "Love: wishing others to be happy. Near enemy: Conditional love (attachment)"
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raga_(Buddhism) "It is defined as hankering after things within the three realms of existence; it produces frustration"
- http://www.dalailama.com/teachings/training-the-mind/verse-2 "Once there is attachment there is also the potential for anger and hatred to arise. Attachment goes hand in hand with anger and hatred. For example, if one's compassion toward someone is tinged with attachment, it can easily turn into its emotional opposite due to the slightest incident."