The lyrics of your favorite songs about relationships can help validate your thoughts and feelings, but can also reveal things about your experiences in relationships that you may not have realized—something that you may not have realized many times before. -are doing, against which you keep coming.
Favorite song lyrics can reflect the attachment style
First, a refresher on attachment styles, which can be thought of broadly as four categories, says Alai. Eagerly attached people worry about rejection and seek a lot of reassurance about their relationships.
Avoidant people, on the other hand, respond to their negative expectations of relationships by shutting down emotion and intimacy in favor of independence. People with mixed attachment styles have confused expectations, fluctuating between clingy and cold. Finally, secure people have an optimistic outlook on relationships, are open communicators, and trust their partners.
The researchers asked nearly 570 people to tell us their favorite songs, and then coded nearly 7,000 songs for the attachment style their lyrics expressed. In turn, we consistently found that people engaged in avoidance preferred music with avoidance lyrics.
They expected to see a clear correlation between anxiously engaged people and anxious songs because they are the most emotional, but surprisingly, this was the most difficult result.
This strong association of avoidance is reflected not only at the individual level but also at the societal level. In a second study, researchers coded more than 800 Billboard number-one hits from 1946 to 2015 for their attachment themes and found that the songs became more avoidable and less secure over time.
Popular music lyrics are running parallel to sociological trends of social disconnection – people losing independence, becoming more dependent on others, and feeling more isolated.
If one is a person with anxiety disorder, would hearing ‘Someone Like You’ over and over again do more harm than good? It all starts with self-awareness about your attachment style.
As an anxious person, you must recognize that you are vulnerable to a negative feedback loop, and your emotions are snowballing. Music can be a very powerful stimulator of this because it can stir up deep feelings and memories, ultimately reinforcing your anxieties.
Listen to the song a few times to help you process what you’re going through and express your thoughts and feelings. You can decide whether listening to songs that reflect your experiences about yourself is either helping you or reinforcing destructive behaviors for yourself. At some point, you may find it more productive to listen to music that provides a sense of security.