How Having Workaholic Parents Can Affect Attachment Style



While having parents who are absent due to work can lead to insecure attachment styles, Lyons assures that these are not permanent conditions. “The first step is to identify the strategy and then begin to challenge it and practice new behaviors,” she says.  

To start, consider writing down negative patterns that show up in your life and figuring out what you could do differently. Getting support from friends, other trusted family members, or a therapist can all be helpful in the growth process. 

If you’re interested in mending the relationship with your parents, know that it might be difficult, but Sosa says “it is important that these dynamics are discussed as parents may be so preoccupied with work that they are unaware of the extent of the damage.” 

All parties have to be willing to put in work in order to make steps toward reconciliation though, as licensed clinical psychologist Ayanna Abrams, Psy.D., previously told mbg. “After doing your own reflection of what you want from this relationship and who you want to be in this relationship, you can consider various ways to approach this family member with honesty and with an offering of openness,” she suggests. 

In the case of feeling neglected by a family member, though, it’s natural to not see them as a source of solace. “Sadly, if the parent has been ongoingly absent (whether they work or not) over the years, they have communicated to the child that their feelings, interests, lives don’t matter,” Lyons explains. “The best scenario would be that the young adult recognizes this gap and gets support through a counselor or a responsible adult to sort it through.”

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