Forming Attachments: How Easy To Be Manipulated


Get Results: cognitive attachment map graphic
Get Results: cognitive attachment map graphic

I went for a walk earlier today, it’s something I do 4-5 times a week, and have done so for most of the last 12 months. I go walking around a flash locally known as Amberswood. It’s a lovely walk, and I enjoy my time surrounded by nature. I have become accustomed to seeing a family of swans living on the water. I have seen the cygnets growing up, and I must admit it has added a great deal of pleasure to my walk to see the family each day.

For the last couple of days however I have noticed the swans have been missing and the flash seems somewhat empty without them. There are still ducks on the water, but it doesn’t seem the same without the family of swans being there. I am assuming they have migrated for the winter,

I suddenly realised that I had formed an attachment to the swans without even realising it, and am now missing them being around, resulting in a feeling of sadness. This got me to thinking about how we humans form attachments which can often go on to develop into deeper emotional relationships. I came to the conclusion that if something is #1 – a regular part of our lives and #2- it adds some pleasure to it, then we are inclined to form an attachment to that thing.

I don’t think that an attachment would form with either of these elements missing.

I guess this is how brands try to embed themselves into our lives. They appear to us regularly through marketing campaigns, and attempt to provide a positive contribution to our existence. How else would you explain the longevity of brands such as Heinz, Kellogg’s, Cadbury’s  and the like and how we have a great  fondness for them, and seek them out when shopping.

These kinds of attachments don’t usually develop into anything emotionally deeper than a fondness, but they do form as attachments in the same way as deeper relationships would have started out. An attachment is an attachment whether it be to a person, a thing, an idea, an affiliation, or a family of swans. The difference lies in the strength of that attachment and how deeply it embeds into our sense of self, over time.

Lesson Learned

The lesson to learn from this realisation is to be wary of wolves in sheep’s clothing trying to manipulate their way into our hearts. Make sure your attachments are worthy of your feelings.