Difference Between Emotional Attachment and Psychological Attachment

The term attachment holds a lot of emotions and it explains feelings that cannot be put into words. 

It could be called an invisible connection between two people or even between an organism and another. 

Emotions aren’t restricted to humans alone. Animals have emotions and so do plants. Humans just don’t see it.

Emotional Attachment vs Psychological Attachment

The main difference between emotional attachment and psychological attachment is that emotional attachment commonly is a bond between two people who know each other too well whereas psychological attachment doesn’t require the individuals involved to be companions or even friends for a long time. It could even happen on the spur of a moment.

Emotional Attachment vs Psychological Attachment

Emotional attachment is something special that needs not to be described in words to convey its significance. It is common for people who have been in contact for long to find themselves longing for each other no matter the distance. Their contact isn’t just about talking and then leaving it at that. It involves a special heart-to-heart connection.

Psychological attachment can be considered equally significant as an emotional attachment. But the intensity of the relation between the individuals is limited to a certain extent. There would barely be any longing for each other and the need to see the person has its limitations to situations that demand it. Psychological attachment can be seen as professional sometimes.

Comparison Table Between Emotional Attachment and Psychological Attachment

Parameters of ComparisonEmotional AttachmentPsychological Attachment
Being in One Another’s Presence Boosts ConfidenceYesNot always
Seen Most in ChildrenYesNot necessarily
Mostly ProfessionalNoYes
Gives a Sense of SecurityYesDepends on the individuals
Nurtures The TalentsNot alwaysYes

What is Emotional Attachment?

Emotional attachment is an intimate relationship between two organisms or between people in general.

People who are emotionally attached in general tend to have a very strong bond between themselves that is rarely obscured by petty issues.

There are plenty of feelings that pass between people who are emotionally attached and at times it’s difficult to understand for someone outside that relation.

The best example of emotional attachment is between a baby and their parents or the one who looks after them.

Once babies automatically discover that there is someone who constantly keeps a check on them and makes sure their needs are taken care of, there forms an invisible bond.

This bond is something that the baby grows around and it’s what gives the baby a sense of security around their parents.

Emotional attachment generally paves the way to anxiety and depression if they are made to stay away from their companion.

This sort of anxiety is seen in babies when they are taken away from their caretakers. They start crying and fussing.

For adults, this anxiety is shown in many different forms. Sadness is a common thing along with depression for the individuals affected.

In those cases when the emotional attachment might seem too overbearing for someone, they might start rejecting the other one.

Such sudden abandoning by someone who was once the closest might lead to clinical depression and might provoke them to do something dangerous.

Emotional attachment has plenty of advantages revolving around its emotional range.

When someone is emotionally attached to another, the confidence of either is always boosted and they are prompted to try out new things that might have once frightened them.

They won’t feel any kind of pressure when they are around the ones who make them feel loved and special.

The ones who are emotionally attached to another might start to show the behavioral characters of the other.

This is an indication of an undeniable connection that brings out their heart to enact the person they are attached to.

What is Psychological Attachment?

Psychological attachment is a smooth form of mental attachment to someone but it involves no heart-to-heart connection.

People tend to have psychological attachments to those who might seem the most valuable to them.

This value is not measured with the heart, but with a well-calculated mind.

This means that psychological attachments can seem like a logical solution to many problems.

It is seen between a professional and another individual who might seek their help at times of need.

The most common example of psychological attachment is between a student and a teacher.

A student might start getting attached to the teacher who helps them out in times of need and makes sure that they don’t fall in trouble.

The teacher becomes the student’s best mentor and they develop a bond that is in many ways similar to a parent and child.

The kind of relation between an employee and employer is also a psychological one.

The employee in need of help might approach their employer and the employer makes sure that they don’t do anything wrong.

This might become a frequent scenario and what forms between the two is a psychological attachment where one nurtures the other.

It is not common to see people who are in a psychological attachment with one another to be in a panic attack when they are separated.

There are no anxiety issues or persistent bouts of sadness when they don’t see each other for long.

In a psychological attachment, it’s rare to see the aura of the other person being carried on to the other.

There are no behavioral patterns that might influence the other to take it on.

There is no security and safety feeling intertwined with a psychological attachment as most of the time it’s a professional relationship.

Main Differences Between Emotional Attachment and Psychological Attachment

  1. Emotional attachment provided a sense of safety to the individuals involved when they are in each other’s company, but this is not common for a psychological attachment.
  2. When being away from one another, a feeling of anxiety and depression is common between people who are emotionally attached but such sadness wouldn’t be seen for people who are psychologically attached.
  3. The behavioral characters of one in an emotionally attached relationships are common to be accepted by the other and carry out the same behavior whereas such behavioral character takeovers are not common in psychological attachment.
  4. While psychological attachment is usually a professional relationship, emotional attachment is more personal.
  5. Emotional attachment tends to be more intimate and a deeper connection persists between the individuals whereas in psychological attachment there are no deep connections involved.

Conclusion

Most of the time, whatever the sort of attachment it is between individuals, it is commonly reciprocated.

There is a mutual understanding between all the people involved in both emotional and psychological attachment.

Even though any sort of attachment needs to provide a sense of protection and a haven, it is not common for psychological attachment to be providing all that.

The thin line between professional and personal relations is what all emotional and psychological attachment is all about.

Emotional attachment is commonly seen in animals and also in plants. It’s just that humans don’t understand it.

But psychological attachment is rare and barely ever seen in other organisms.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0148296310002250
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037/0021-9010.93.4.912
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