EXPERIENCING CHILDHOOD NEGLECT AND ITS REPERCUSSIONS ON ADULT RELATIONSHIPS
Updated: May 3
Could your actions be subconsciously driven by your unfulfilled childhood needs? What are your needs and are they healthy?
Our basic needs are:
1/ to feel loved
2/ to be cared for
3/ to be heard and understood
4/ to be seen and attended to
5/ to feel protected
When all our needs are met we feel nutured, content, having the best possible start in life to grow up into secure individuals.
Depending on how far are we willing to go to meet our needs, they are either healthy, or not. Unhealthy needs are our basic needs which have not been adequately met whilst we were growing up. In order to meet them we are willing to go through pain and against ourselves. By writing this article, I would like for you to realise how your unmet childhood needs impact on what you seek in life and how far you are willing to go to find it.
THE LACK OF LOVING CARE
Relentlessly seeking to be in a relationship, we find ourselves in one after another or sometimes in overlapping relationships. We seek approval of our own worth through others. Only if others love us we can love ourselves too. Typically we fall hard and fast for others because we tend to idealise them, which makes it impossible not to fall in love with them. This gets us into all sorts of trouble like wanting to please our partner to feel accepted, completely dismissing any signs of mistreatment. Oftentimes we stay in abusive relationships long overdue which only further damage our sense of worth, in turn making it impossible to leave. Caring more about others opinion of us, we neglect ourselves mentally and emotionally.
THE LACK OF CONNECTION AND CLOSENESS
We love to be held and physically close, seeking to validate our worth and loveability through sexual encounters. Often using sex as a tool we seduce others to gain a sense of control and value. Typically we start and build our relationships on superficialities, mistaking physical attraction and infatuation for true love. By offering our bodies as the most valuable part of who we are, we attract those who aren't interested in anything else but our shell. Often we attract emotionally immature, unavailable people, who are equally emotionally neglected and insecure.
THE LACK OF EMOTIONAL AVAILABILITY
Seeking encounters with little emotional intimacy, we engage in multiple superficial relationships and sabotage the truly loving ones because we are afraid of being emotionally vulnerable. Due to the emotional void present in our relationships (and inside of ourselves) we get either bored of our partners, or resign to living separate lives next to each other yet alone.
THE LACK OF GENUINE INTEREST AND UNDERSTANDING
Our unhealthy need to be heard and understood shows up in many areas of our life. Be it the need to have the last word or wanting to be always right. We are overbearing and intense debaters without respecting others people's views, unwilling to provide them space for expressing themselves.
THE LACK OF ATTENTION
We tend to be needy, expecting others to be there for us at the drop of a hat. Unaware of taking things personally when others say 'no' to us, we carry tons of resentment when we cannot be the centre of attention. Having high expectations, demanding special care some of us are willing to remain physically or mentally ill to ensure we get noticed.
THE LACK OF PROTECTION
We seek safety in others, dismissing our own inner guidance (our whole body sensing, our gut feeling and intuition). When we confuse emotional safety for financial protection we look for wealthy partners because to us wealth represents strength. Missing on life we would have truly chosen we end up in controlling relationships with our our soul sold to others together with our true desires.
When the company of our carers was in some way insufficient, we loathe our own company like that insatiable, little child we once were. We feel lonely on our own as our needs scream aloud for attention. Suffering inside, we pretend to be ok whilst fearing being abandoned because our insecure inner child falsely believes that our needs can only be met through another...
To mature is to grow up and learn how to cater to our needs: How to re-parent and guide ourselves, how to re-connect to our authentic core and care for ourselves practicing self-love. Ironically, we are often very good listeners and patient carers, catering to the needs of all others. We are on hand to help when others feel down but when it is us who feels down we run away! Anything to avoid feeling the painful truth which points us to areas in need for healing. But unless we heal that which is clearly broken we cannot feel whole, happy. It is therefore important when looking for love and happiness to learn what drives us, instead of letting our unhealthy needs and false beliefs pull the strings...
Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.
Copyright © 2016 Michaela Patel