Family 101: Overcoming Emotional Neglect
When we tolerate and stay in an emotionally neglectful family environment, it causes us to believe that our feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and desires do not matter. It is a negative situation that can make us doubt what we entirely feel. It can make us experience difficulty in trusting people as well. In some unfortunate instances, it makes us push people away and hinder them from getting into our lives. Also, emotional neglect can make us continuously worry about what others might think about us.
When our emotional demands are not met, it leaves us with no secure emotional foundation. As a result, we struggle to get to know ourselves, and we experience difficulty understanding what we want. Honestly, when we suffer from emotional neglect, we do not realize it most of the time. We are unaware that this type of neglect is not something that quickly goes away when we want it to be over. That explains why this feeling can go unnoticed for a month or even years.
When our family is emotionally neglectful, they do not try to comfort us. They are not there at all. For this reason, we begin to find ourselves in a mentally and emotionally abusive and unhealthy relationship with others. We struggle to deal with different people because of the fact that the individuals who are supposed to stick with us are also complicated to deal with. We do not have a safe zone of loving, supportive, and caring family members around us. It makes us believe that we are alone.
What To Do?
According to some licensed professionals at BetterHelp, once we realize that our feelings are changing, that is how we can track it down. It can be hard at first because we might think that everything is way too scary. So it would be great if we start understanding the easier ones. We need to identify fear, anxiety, stress, and all sorts. We need to note that overcoming emotional neglect does not happen overnight. It requires time and effort. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways that can help us deal with the situation.
One of the helpful ways is to stop pleasing people. Understandably, we don’t want to feel emotionally neglected by our family; that is why we tend to please everybody. We push ourselves to do things that benefit them, even if it is against our will. However, that should end there. If our family deserves our attention, they should also have to learn to care for us emotionally. They need to realize our worth and not take us for granted. They must understand that we deserve love, understanding, and compassion.
We can also help ourselves from emotional neglect when we stop prioritizing undeserving people’s happiness above ours. We need to tell ourselves that our happiness needs to come first. When we are emotionally neglected, we struggle to know our feelings. To avoid that, we should not allow them to take control of our ability to love and care for those deserving ones. We need to set boundaries and let them know that a relationship should have to be ‘give and take.’ We need to make them realize that it is pointless to spend an hour with people who can’t even spare us a minute.
When the feeling of emotional neglect is so overwhelming, we can also manage it by talking it out. We need to allow ourselves to acknowledge that there is something wrong and that we need to speak about it. Even if people call it a nonsense rant or whatever, we need to express it in any way. We have to be open about how we feel about our situation. We need to be true to ourselves. We need to acknowledge the pain and accept that we indeed need someone’s help. It could be a friend, a co-worker, or a therapist that we can guarantee that would help us no matter what.
If in case we find it difficult to discuss our emotional struggles with others, at least we can work on self-care. Because when it comes to healing from emotional neglect, self-care becomes the number one asset we got. It is our only way of telling our mind, body, and soul that we care and appreciate their effort in keeping us away from emotional and mental exhaustion. Thus we need to care for ourselves regularly by focusing on the things that help us feel nurtured.
When we are living in an emotionally neglectful environment, we tend to get numb. When our feelings are ignored for an extended period, it becomes normal for us not to know how we entirely feel. It is a problem because it hinders us from figuring everything in our life. It prevents us from getting a chance to understand ourselves better. But by taking the time to acknowledge our emotional needs, we help ourselves open a new perspective. It will help us believe that our emotions are valid and that they need attention.