Often, children who have been neglected emotionally as children make these 6
lifelong mistakes

The experiences gained in one’s childhood can have a tremendous impact on one’s development and behavior later in life. In particular childhood emotional neglect can lead to a variety of potential emotional issues later in life. 

Experiencing childhood emotional neglect has a tendency to lead children to feel as if their emotions do not matter. Which may not be communicated directly, but instead can occur as a result of one’s emotional state being neglected by parental figures. Which deprives children of the necessary attention and affection they need during their development. This then manifests into an attitude of believing that one’s feelings are unimportant, which is a direct falsehood. Feelings are a crucial part of the human experience, acting as both a means of motivation and protection. Therefore, the belief that they don’t matter can have various negative impacts on a person. 

Such as labeling oneself as flawed, the absence of an emotionally charged life can lead to feelings of being isolated. In which one may feel that they lack the passion or any other quality that others around them possess. Which in reality is not true, rather it is a lack of emotional development that is hindering those qualities. Alternatively, another impact could be developing feelings of excessive responsibility for others. Whereby, one feels compelled to overly fixate on the feelings of others, in turn forgetting to focus on one’s own feelings. By choosing to place a greater focus on one’s own feelings instead, it can lead to a greater sense of self and confidence. Furthermore, viewing one’s emotions as insignificant can also potentially lead to the belief that you have to do everything by yourself. Which can result in a toxic mindset, whereby one may decline to share their feelings and instead may think that it is a sign of weakness to share their feelings. Which may only further feelings of isolation. Therefore, it is crucial to acknowledge one’s emotions and the emotional needs that may come with them. Additionally, the mentality of one’s feeling being a burden can lead to the assumption that others must therefore also view those feelings as burdensome. However, this assumption is incorrect, being able to be emotionally vulnerable with others is a key part of forming strong interpersonal relationships. In this case one might fear a return to the emotionally neglectful environment of one’s childhood, however this fear is likely to only be a fallacy and by overcoming it and embracing emotions can lead to the formation of new relationships that can aid in overcoming those feelings of isolation.  Finally, being out of touch with your emotions can lead to an attitude of emotional complacency. Whereby you might be afraid to speak your mind out of fear of emotional rejection, and will therefore conform to other’s desires while not making your own needs clear. This can also lead to one becoming out of touch with hobbies, friends, and family. Choosing to decline potential opportunities and leaving potential disputes unresolved, allowing them to fester. Thus it is crucial to understand and recognize all of these potential impacts, and work to rectify it through understanding its roots and effects on present behavior.


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Written by:
Leah Selakovic
SACAC Counselling

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