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Explorer Watch Video Sticks StoryKeeper (2)

The Explorer Archetype

Thin-brush-gray

You are a beautiful human. With explorer traits, you may find yourself investing a lot of energy in your dreams and projects.

You are probably known for your incredible strength, independence, and drive to succeed. You have an uncanny ability to plan the next step and follow through on what’s important to you. 

You inspire so many people, and they love to spend time with you. 

But this can cause problems because people often want more than you’re comfortable giving, and you’re more likely than other archetypes to build walls that keep you safe.

It’s not that people don’t matter deeply to you —they do. It’s just feels too risky to let down your guard. And you’ve had good reasons to hold people at arm’s length.

Some explorers find themselves wondering if the perfect relationship is still in the future . . . or if their ideal match is the one who “got away.”

The truth is . . .  people with your archetype often struggle with sharing and closeness. 

You probably need a lot of space to feel secure. 

We can help. Understanding the attachment archetypes is the first step.

The Explorer Archetype

Explorer Watch Video Sticks StoryKeeper (2)
Thin-brush-gray

You are a beautiful human. With explorer traits, you may find yourself investing a lot of energy in your dreams and projects.

You are probably known for your incredible strength, independence, and drive to succeed. You have an uncanny ability to plan the next step and follow through on what’s important to you. 

You inspire so many people, and they love to spend time with you. 

But this can cause problems because people often want more than you’re comfortable giving, and you’re more likely than other archetypes to build walls that keep you safe.

It’s not that people don’t matter deeply to you —they do. It’s just feels too risky to let down your guard. And you’ve had good reasons to hold people at arm’s length.

Some explorers find themselves wondering if the perfect relationship is still in the future . . . or if their ideal match is the one who “got away.”

The truth is . . .  people with your archetype often struggle with sharing and closeness. 

You probably need a lot of space to feel secure. 

We can help. Understanding the attachment archetypes is the first step.

Understand the 3 Attachment Archetypes
icon-tree-blue
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EXPLORER

adapted
Pros

Great at focusing on their own dreams. Strong and independent. Inspirational.

Cons

Explorers build walls and hold their partners at arms-length to avoid being hurt.

Sharing intimate feelings can bring up such a powerful fear of loss, they often keep relationships superficial, like a rock skipping across the lake. Or maybe they can go deep but need big gaps of time between interactions.

It doesn’t feel safe to be close to people’s feelings. And that discomfort can be seen in an explorer’s difficulty sustaining eye contact.

Explorers may send mixed signals (push-pull) and might have unequal boundaries that are sometimes unfair and unrealistic. They’d rather take care of their own needs because relying on someone feels risky and unnecessary. 

Because explorers tend to have a positive view of themselves and a negative view of others, they might pick at their partner’s insignificant faults to emotionally distance themselves when their partner gets too close for comfort.

Or they might long for connection but feel stressed when it happens. Or feel the most connected to their partner when the partner is near but involved in something else. Or prefer sharing activities where both people’s attention is on something else (not each other). That takes off the pressure.

When an explorer takes small steps toward secure attachment (such as by telling a partner they’re taking some self-care time and will be available to connect in x-amount-of-time), it can make a huge difference in their relationship quality and longevity.

An explorer on the path to healing is a hero in training. It’s not easy, and it’s worth it. 

THE HERO

secure

Pros

Take the journey to relationship paradise.

You, your partner, family members, or friends may have many of these traits, and the more the better. Being with a hero is like finding out you won the jackpot . . . every day! Year-after-year, there’s an overflow of riches.

Heroes are comfy with intimacy, autonomy, and interdependence. They’re warm, positive, and stable.

There’s laughter. There’s play. There’s juicy closeness.

Heroes are open, trusting, self-reflective, and have a positive view of themselves and others. When it comes to conflict, they’re open to sharing and talking things through.

And they know they deserve the same respect they offer, so they refuse to settle.

Heroes live lives full of love and meaning.

And of course, they’re wonderfully equipped to help their partners heal. Just being with one can flip us out of an adaptive archetype in 2-3 years.

If you’re not completely in this camp yet, but you’re invested in developing healthy relationship skills, you’re on the path to secure love.

Welcome to Your Hero’s Journey.

Cons

Heroes tend to settle-down with other Heroes. It’s rare for them to be available. 

If they pick a partner with an adapted attachment pattern, it can confuse their otherwise steady attachment system and pull them off center.

blue-hummingbird-icon

RESCUER

adapted

Pros

Incredibly loving, compassionate, nurturing, encouraging, and committed. Rescuers are all in.

Cons

Rescuers people-please to show love and usually have a positive view of others and a negative view of themselves.

This negative view can make it hard for them to really soak up their partner’s love and believe in it–so they might belittle or block loving gestures.

They won’t even be aware they’ve done this. Or they’ll think the person wasn’t sincere or might change tomorrow. Or maybe they feel unworthy. Love just can’t land.

Rescuers often analyze what they said and worry they’ve done something wrong. It’s hard to feel confident and not second-guess everything.

Rescuers give too much and can be taken for granted or exploited in toxic situations. 

When a rescuer keeps score and fears their love isn’t reciprocated—like a flash of oil in a hot pan—their anxiety and disappointment can quickly turn to flames of anger, criticism, or nitpicking if their partner doesn’t respond.

Rescuers’ fear of losing connection can get so overwhelming they might accidentally smother their partner. Without meaning to, they can push away the very love they long for and treasure.

When a rescuer takes small steps toward secure attachment (such as by learning how to calm their inner critic or by questioning their thoughts), it can make a huge difference in their relationship quality and longevity.

A rescuer on the path to healing is a hero in training. It’s not easy, and it’s worth it.

icon-spiral-blue

THE ARTIST

In 10% of the Population, a Rare 4th Archetype Combines Rescuer and Explorer traits.

Understand the 3 Attachment Archetypes
icon-tree-blue

THE HERO

secure

Pros

Take the journey to relationship paradise.

You, your partner, family members, or friends may have many of these traits, and the more the better. Being with a hero is like finding out you won the jackpot . . . every day! Year-after-year, there’s an overflow of riches.

Heroes are comfy with intimacy, autonomy, and interdependence. They’re warm, positive, and stable.

There’s laughter. There’s play. There’s juicy closeness.

Heroes are open, trusting, self-reflective, and have a positive view of themselves and others. When it comes to conflict, they’re open to sharing and talking things through.

And they know they deserve the same respect they offer, so they refuse to settle.

Heroes live lives full of love and meaning.

And of course, they’re wonderfully equipped to help their partners heal. Just being with one can flip us out of an adaptive archetype in 2-3 years.

If you’re not completely in this camp yet, but you’re invested in developing healthy relationship skills, you’re on the path to secure love.

Welcome to Your Hero’s Journey.

Cons

Heroes tend to settle-down with other Heroes. It’s rare for them to be available. 

If they pick a partner with an adapted attachment pattern, it can confuse their otherwise steady attachment system and pull them off center.

blue-hummingbird-icon

RESCUER

adapted

Pros

Incredibly loving, compassionate, nurturing, encouraging, and committed. Rescuers are all in.

Cons

Rescuers people-please to show love and usually have a positive view of others and a negative view of themselves.

This negative view can make it hard for them to really soak up their partner’s love and believe in it–so they might belittle or block loving gestures.

They won’t even be aware they’ve done this. Or they’ll think the person wasn’t sincere or might change tomorrow. Or maybe they feel unworthy. Love just can’t land.

Rescuers often analyze what they said and worry they’ve done something wrong. It’s hard to feel confident and not second-guess everything.

Rescuers give too much and can be taken for granted or exploited in toxic situations. 

When a rescuer keeps score and fears their love isn’t reciprocated—like a flash of oil in a hot pan—their anxiety and disappointment can quickly turn to flames of anger, criticism, or nitpicking if their partner doesn’t respond.

Rescuers’ fear of losing connection can get so overwhelming they might accidentally smother their partner. Without meaning to, they can push away the very love they long for and treasure.

When a rescuer takes small steps toward secure attachment (such as by learning how to calm their inner critic or by questioning their thoughts), it can make a huge difference in their relationship quality and longevity.

A rescuer on the path to healing is a hero in training. It’s not easy, and it’s worth it.

Untitled-1-06

EXPLORER

adapted
Pros

Great at focusing on their own dreams. Strong and independent. Inspirational.

Cons

Explorers build walls and hold their partners at arms-length to avoid being hurt.

Sharing intimate feelings can bring up such a powerful fear of loss, they often keep relationships superficial, like a rock skipping across the lake. Or maybe they can go deep but need big gaps of time between interactions.

It doesn’t feel safe to be close to people’s feelings. And that discomfort can be seen in an explorer’s difficulty sustaining eye contact.

Explorers may send mixed signals (push-pull) and might have unequal boundaries that are sometimes unfair and unrealistic. They’d rather take care of their own needs because relying on someone feels risky and unnecessary. 

Because explorers tend to have a positive view of themselves and a negative view of others, they might pick at their partner’s insignificant faults to emotionally distance themselves when their partner gets too close for comfort.

Or they might long for connection but feel stressed when it happens. Or feel the most connected to their partner when the partner is near but involved in something else. Or prefer sharing activities where both people’s attention is on something else (not each other). That takes off the pressure.

When an explorer takes small steps toward secure attachment (such as by telling a partner they’re taking some self-care time and will be available to connect in x-amount-of-time), it can make a huge difference in their relationship quality and longevity.

An explorer on the path to healing is a hero in training. It’s not easy, and it’s worth it. 

icon-spiral-blue

THE ARTIST

In 10% of the Population, a Rare 4th Archetype Combines Rescuer and Explorer traits.

Untitled-1-06

EXPLORER AT A GLANCE

known for

strength, independence, and blazing their own trail .  .

but may often struggle to let people close . . . there’s this intense need for space, and comings and goings from their partner can be jarring and upsetting

in relationship

often pick relationships with rescuers and feel suffocated,

focus on their priorities but ignore their own feelings and needs and expect partners to be emotionally self-sufficient,

avoid commitment with short relationships or firm boundaries

their fear it’s not safe to trust keeps relationships superficial

when upset

they go silent, flee, and distance from feelings that bring up shame or guilt . . . 

may hide in work and solitary activities, like athletics, nature, or screens.

if a partner feels too close for comfort, they may fixate on the partner’s insignificant “flaws,” like physical features or the partner’s “neediness” to reestablish distance

gray-hummingbird-storykeeper-rescuer

EXPLORER AT A GLANCE

known for

strength, independence, and blazing their own trail .  .

but may often struggle to let people close . . . there’s this intense need for space, and comings and goings from their partner can be jarring and upsetting

in relationship

often pick relationships with rescuers and feel suffocated,

focus on their priorities but ignore their own feelings and needs and expect partners to be emotionally self-sufficient,

avoid commitment with short relationships or firm boundaries

their fear it’s not safe to trust keeps relationships superficial

when upset

they go silent, flee, and distance from feelings that bring up shame or guilt . . . 

may hide in work and solitary activities, like athletics, nature, or screens.

if a partner feels too close for comfort, they may fixate on the partner’s insignificant “flaws,” like physical features or the partner’s “neediness” to reestablish distance

Where Do Archetypes Come From?

Thin-brush-gold
StoryKeeper - Relationship Attachment Archetypes (11)

Dive into the Hero Archetype in the psychology field, and it’s called “Securely Attached,” meaning it’s easy for Heroes to discern, cultivate, repair, and maintain healthy, lasting connections. It’s intuitive.

These people grew up saturated in emotional chicken-soup at least 20-30% of the time, according to research from attachment scientist Ed Tronick. Their feel-good climate wasn’t perfect, but it was good-enough to make them inhabit five feelings, which became their way of being in the world.

5 Things Hero Archetypes Grew Up Feeling . . . 

  • safe and protected
  • seen and known
  • comforted, soothed, and reassured
  • unconditionally supported and encouraged, and 
  • prized by caregivers who expressed complete delight in them.

PLUS, their caregivers were physically present, genuinely accessible, consistent, reliable, trustworthy, and completely interested and happy to learn everything about them they wanted to share. When a rupture happened, their parents quickly repaired the bond. (Daniel P. Brown, Harvard)

This created a whole, happy brain—with both the Attachment System and Exploratory System active and humming along. 

Where Do Archetypes Come From?

Thin-brush-gold
StoryKeeper - Relationship Attachment Archetypes (11)

Dive into the Hero Archetype in the psychology field, and it’s called “Securely Attached,” meaning it’s easy for Heroes to discern, cultivate, repair, and maintain healthy, lasting connections. It’s intuitive.

These people grew up saturated in emotional chicken-soup at least 20-30% of the time, according to research from attachment scientist Ed Tronick. Their feel-good climate wasn’t perfect, but it was good-enough to make them inhabit five feelings, which became their way of being in the world.

5 Things Hero Archetypes Grew Up Feeling . . . 

  • safe and protected
  • seen and known
  • comforted, soothed, and reassured
  • unconditionally supported and encouraged, and 
  • prized by caregivers who expressed complete delight in them.

PLUS, their caregivers were physically present, genuinely accessible, consistent, reliable, trustworthy, and completely interested and happy to learn everything about them they wanted to share. When a rupture happened, their parents quickly repaired the bond. (Daniel P. Brown, Harvard)

This created a whole, happy brain—with both the Attachment System and Exploratory System active and humming along. 

BUT

through no-fault of their own, our caregivers often fall short.

Perhaps they were overwhelmed, grieving, or distracted with work, and we experienced neglect . . . emotional neglect is more toxic for the developing brain than physical abuse.

Perhaps an accident, a medical procedure, poverty, death, divorce, depression, addiction, anxiety, or civil unrest cut off our caregivers’ energy and stopped them from being present and attuned.

We can be deeply loved and our pro-social brains will still adapt to emotional neglect, criticism, rejection, abuse, and inconsistent caregiving like it’s trauma.

Because it is. Trauma is a loss of connection.

And a brain without connection strengthens synaptic adaptations that anticipate more of the same to out-run pain.

Discover My Attachment Archetype Explorer

BUT

through no-fault of their own, our caregivers often fall short.

Perhaps they were overwhelmed, grieving, or distracted with work, and we experienced neglect . . . emotional neglect is more toxic for the developing brain than physical abuse.

Perhaps an accident, a medical procedure, poverty, death, divorce, depression, addiction, anxiety, or civil unrest cut off our caregivers’ energy and stopped them from being present and attuned.

We can be deeply loved and our pro-social brains will still adapt to emotional neglect, criticism, rejection, abuse, and inconsistent caregiving like it’s trauma.

Because it is. Trauma is a loss of connection.

And a brain without connection strengthens synaptic adaptations that anticipate more of the same to out-run pain.

hummingbird-icon-camille-pack

ARCHETYPE
BRAIN SYSTEMS

explorers’

fear of closeness makes their attachment system short-circuit (along with dissociation from those feelings)

but this is “tolerable” because

their exploratory system hyper-activates . . . which creates left-brain dominance and an illusion of self-sufficiency

after danger

we self-protected by adapting rescuer traits, explorer traits, or the artist’s combo-platter

these adaptations helped us survive, but they don’t serve us now.

our brain circuity will continue to recreate the same types of painful dynamics

all our lives, unless we intervene

rescuers’

attachment system hyper-activates . . . they’re on the lookout for loss

it might attract them to familiar-feeling, dismissing partners

with so much energy devoted to preventing lost connection, their exploratory system can flicker off

hummingbird-icon-camille-pack

ARCHETYPE
BRAIN SYSTEMS

after danger

we self-protected by adapting rescuer traits, explorer traits, or the artist’s combo-platter

these adaptations helped us survive, but they don’t serve us now.

our brain circuity will continue to recreate the same types of painful dynamics

all our lives, unless we intervene

rescuers’

attachment system hyper-activates . . . they’re on the lookout for loss

it might attract them to familiar-feeling, dismissing partners

with so much energy devoted to preventing lost connection, their exploratory system can flicker off

explorers’

fear of closeness makes their attachment system short-circuit (along with dissociation from those feelings)

but this is “tolerable” because

their exploratory system hyper-activates . . . which creates left-brain dominance and an illusion of self-sufficiency

Thin-brush-gold

It’s all unconscious. We tell ourselves a story about how people treat us, and it painfully unfolds around us.

It’s not our fault (or even our caregivers’) that we didn’t get the nurturing we needed, but we can do something now. One baby step at a time, we can shed our protective shells and inhabit our innate security. 

We can evolve beyond what happened to us.

We can become our own StoryKeeper.

We can become each other’s.

FFD7A9

Thin-brush-gold

It’s all unconscious. We tell ourselves a story about how people treat us, and it painfully unfolds around us.

It’s not our fault (or even our caregivers’) that we didn’t get the nurturing we needed, but we can do something now. One baby step at a time, we can shed our protective shells and inhabit our innate security. 

We can evolve beyond what happened to us.

We can become our own StoryKeeper.

We can become each other’s.

FFD7A9

Copy of STORYKEEPER UNLEASH YOUR HERO (4)

Live From Wholeness

Thin-brush-gray

After we’ve resolved early wounding, our lives are all the richer. Our capacity is greater. So is our empathy, our creativity, our connection to the divine, the depth of our meaning and purpose, and our bonds . . . 

We absolutely can strengthen and re-access our secure attachment wiring. It’s just skill-building practice. And the easiest way to do it is through relationship.

Attachment security is part of our core-identity. Experiencing it is like unearthing gold.

Everything gets lighter. We feel playful and free. And we can measure our riches in terms of belonging—to ourselves and each other.

We’ve been here. We know what it’s like. We’ve helped thousands of couples, and we can help you too.

For support extending your secure attachment skills, watch our training today.

Discover My Attachment Archetype Explorer
Copy of STORYKEEPER UNLEASH YOUR HERO (4)

Live From Wholeness

Thin-brush-gray

After we’ve resolved early wounding, our lives are all the richer. Our capacity is greater. So is our empathy, our creativity, our connection to the divine, the depth of our meaning and purpose, and our bonds . . . 

We absolutely can strengthen and re-access our secure attachment wiring. It’s just skill-building practice. And the easiest way to do it is through relationship.

Attachment security is part of our core-identity. Experiencing it is like unearthing gold.

Everything gets lighter. We feel playful and free. And we can measure our riches in terms of belonging—to ourselves and each other.

We’ve been here. We know what it’s like. We’ve helped thousands of couples, and we can help you too.

For support extending your secure attachment skills, watch our training today.

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