Experiencing emotional neglect as a child can change who you are, well into adulthood. In response to trauma, our minds can work in mysterious ways, making us believe things that may not necessarily be true.
If you grew up in an environment in which your emotional needs were neglected, you may see the world differently and not even realize it. Growing up in this environment can make you feel as though you are a burden or an inconvenience. As a result, you may see life from a skewed perspective, due to trauma responses. When asked what you need to feel happy, if you have been emotionally neglected, here are some responses that you likely resonate with.
1. Complete self-reliance.
People who have been made to feel as though their emotions were a burden may tend to steer clear of seeming needy of others. Even if they truly need help, they are not likely to ask, because asking feels like you are being too much to someone else.
2. To explain every action you take.
Those who have been emotionally neglected may tend to overexplain. They may do this because they have been misunderstood all of their life or made to feel invalid. They may also do this because they yearn to be heard and recognized.
3. To try to please everyone.
Children want so badly to be accepted and to be loved. When they are emotionally neglected, they may go to great lengths to try to win over the people who let them down, which can lead to people pleasing.
4. To be perfect.
When you get so used to being overlooked, or too harshly treated when you are acknowledged, it can push you to try to be perfect. Emotionally neglected kids tend to think, “If I can be perfect, maybe then they will love me.” However, perfection isn’t possible.
5. To avoid conflict.
Growing up in a household of neglect can be chaotic. Toxic parents can be intense. The combination of these factors can make the slightest conflict seem like the end of the world to someone who was neglected or abused.
6. To hide your true emotions.
When you are neglected emotionally, you tend to believe emotions are something to fear. Instead of facing them head-on, you may tend to bury them, because you were never taught that emotions are normal.
7. No questions about your feelings.
Hiding your emotions can be somewhat easy, until someone questions you. This is why emotionally neglected adults may believe that they need to not be questioned about how they feel. It is much easier to bury emotions when no one is paying attention.