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Julie Menanno: Secure Love: Attachment Needs, Burnout, and Your Relationships with... Everything

“Insecure attachment—period—whatever category you’re in, is 100 percent nurture. One hundred percent. It’s a relationally driven disorder.”  Dr. Julie Menanno, author of “The Secure Relationship,” joins the FRIED podcast to talk about relationships and attachment theory. For many of us, our parents or caretakers, failed to meet our needs. To control the resulting anxiety, we form insecure attachment, the variety of which Dr. Julie further explains here. These childhood attachment styles then take a toll on our current relationships as we continue to struggle to get our needs met—or even to understand our needs in the first place—engage in non-nourishing coping strategies, and give of ourselves in a way that leaves us depleted rather than replenished. 

To be understood is one of our most deep-seated needs. Some of us think we are practicing empathy when actually we have just learned to be hyper-vigilant of others emotions, in order to form our reaction ahead of time. When we make decisions for ourselves and others based on our assumptions of how they feel, we further dysregulate the relationship. Dr. Julie explains a two-fold process for breaking this cycle.

On this episode of FRIED, Dr. Julie will share how to create space for pause and why resentment and anger are useful while blame is not.


  • “The first bit of grace I want you to give yourself today is, if you are a parent or a caregiver and you can be present and secure and balanced 50 percent of the time, you are killing it.” (8:17 | Caitlin Donovan)

  • “It leaves [you] not knowing how to help yourself, never learning how to help yourself in those places. And [when] we don’t know how to help ourselves, we’re going to go into all sorts of ways, junk food ways, to help ourselves that really don’t help us get [our needs met]. Like I said, junk food meaning, yeah, you’re getting the food, but you’re not getting the nourishment. You’re overfed, undernourished.” (11:00 | Julie Menanno) 

  • “Everybody’s going around trying to feel safe, trying to not feel alone, trying to not feel rejected, and that’s the vehicle to feeling accepted is understanding, and validation and acceptance. I’m breaking them apart, but they’re all the same glob. It’s de-shaming.” (22:26 | Julie Menanno) 

  • “Empathy comes from a regulated place. A balance of head and heart. Empathy does not come from dysregulation and it does not come from emotional cutoff.” (25:29 | Julie Menanno) 

  • “No matter what, this work is about a gift to yourself. It’s about you being your best self for you. And it’s hard because we associate self-work and all these ways of showing up as our best self in the relationship with giving to another in this exhausting way.” (39:24 | Julie Menanno)


Connect with Julie Menanno:

Connect with Cait:

Initial Call with Cait:

Initial Call with Sarah:


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