Scars from your childhood have a way of staying with you. If someone were to ask you if you were emotionally neglected as a child, your immediate response might be “no.” But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll understand that your behavior as an adult has a lot to do with your experiences as a child. As painful as it may be to look back, childhood emotional neglect could be the reason behind your actions today.
Here are six signs you were emotionally neglected as a child:
1. You Feel Numb
Feeling numb is something that can come and go. It isn’t a physical sensation, it’s an emotional sensation. Every once in a while, you feel numb to everything that’s going on around you. You realize that you should feel some emotion, but nothing really seems to matter. This type of emotional response is a sign that you were emotionally neglected as a child. You learned at a young age to stifle your emotions so you don’t get hurt.
2. You Refuse Help From Others
If you were emotionally neglected as a child, you often had no help when you needed it the most. You were constantly on your own. This feeling can follow you into adulthood. You learned never to be dependent on anyone else, so even if things are difficult for you, you refuse to reach out and ask for help from others.
3. You Have Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem can be tied to many things, including being emotionally neglected as a child. When you were little, you may have felt like you weren’t worth your parents’ time or love, because they never paid much attention to you. While untrue, this feeling can be hard to shake. It can translate into low self-esteem and low self-worth throughout your adult life.
4. You Feel Like Something Is Missing
If you were emotionally neglected as a child, you may always have the feeling that something is missing. There’s a hole inside that you leave open for a certain person’s love that you crave. Deep down, you believe that filling this space will finally bring you joy.
5. You’re A Perfectionist
When a child is neglected, they might try almost anything to get their loved one’s attention. If you’ve been seeking that attention your whole life, you might end up being a perfectionist. You try to be perfect in everything you do, in order to finally get noticed and appreciated.
6. You’re Sensitive To Rejection
Are you sensitive to rejection? Being afraid of rejection in your adult life is a sign of rejection in the past. Being emotionally neglected can create a fear inside you that stays with you. Even constructive criticism hurts you, because you feel like you’re being attacked and told that you aren’t good enough.