We learn from our caretaker’s soothing how to soothe ourselves. We actually internalize the feeling of comfort that our caretaker provides, so that we can recreate it on our own.
If for some reason, our caretaker was not able to respond to our needs in the way that we needed, our infant selves were affected, and are not able to develop a secure attachment to our caretakers.
And (what a surprise) our adult selves are affected, too. We use the relationship we had with our original caretaker as a template for future relationships: with bosses, with lovers, with spouses, in the way that we parent our own children.
Fortunately, we can develop an “earned secure attachment” by exploring this issue with a caring therapist. (See Interpersonal Neurobiology and Brainspotting.) This corrective emotional experience can make a huge difference in our adult relationships with others.