Emotional neglect during childhood is something many people put up with. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is largely overlooked in psychology.
There aren’t any observable signs that someone has been emotionally neglected and that is why it is really difficult to be identified. There aren’t any recognizable symptoms in the childhood, but they do appear in the adulthood.
Emotional neglect usually appears when the parents fail to respond to their children’s emotional needs while raising them. These parents are well-intentioned but their parenting methods usually lead to this problem.
Psychologists have identified five types of parents that are more likely to emotionally neglect their children:
• permissive parents
• authoritarian parents
• parents with narcissistic qualities
• absent parents
• perfectionistic parents
Most people cannot recall being emotionally neglected since their brains didn’t record it as an event. Instead, as adults, they struggle with self-doubt and uncertainty.
We are going to present you 10 signs that imply you were emotionally neglected in the hope that you will understand the real reason for your burden and learn how to deal with it:
1. You struggle with self-discipline
You have troubles standing up for yourself, even when you think you are right. This makes you unable to overcome your weaknesses.
2. You have a feeling that something is missing
You have a strange feeling of emptiness which is a result of the love you were deprived of as a child. You feel like something is missing in your life, but you can’t identify what it is.
3. You never rely on others
You pride yourself and you never ask for help when you need it. You feel deeply uncomfortable if you depend on someone else.
4. You prefer to be alone
You have the feeling that you don’t fit in with other people and that they don’t really understand you. Therefore you prefer to spend time alone.
5. Sometimes you feel unhappy for no apparent reason
You often feel unhappy but you can’t explain why. It even makes you feel anxious because these feelings show up unannounced and out of nowhere.
6. You have difficulty in identifying and expressing your emotions
You often have strange and overwhelming feelings and you can’t identify or deal with them. You also seem unable to express your own feelings and emotions.
7. You have compassion only for others
You always comfort your friends when they share their problems with you, but you find it difficult to share yours. You have no compassion for yourself and you are prone to self-criticism.
8. You often feel guilt or shame
You feel ashamed of the things that other people would never be ashamed of and you always blame yourself for every negative situation that has happened to you.
9. You love animals more than people
Animals are able to love unconditionally, they don’t judge you and therefore you find it easier to connect with animals rather than with people.
10. You have low self-esteem
If your parents ignored your feelings and emotions you will certainly do the same in the adulthood. Consequently, this may result in low self-confidence and low self-esteem.
To recover from the emotional neglect you should learn how to reconnect with your emotions.
You should try to recognize both the negative and positive emotions so that you can easily deal with them. Also, make sure you take steps to meet your needs and take good care of yourself.