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How People Who Lack Attention In Their Childhood Love Differently

How People Who Lack Attention In Their Childhood Love Differently

I spent a lot of my early adulthood trying to work out what “love” really was. I was not in a good place emotionally and mentally. I’d endured a lot as a child and had a lot of difficulty loving myself. Fortunately, through many years of self-discovery and support of my husband, I was able to become the person I am today. A more authentic, happier version of myself. Someone who feels and loves deeply. Someone who may sometimes wrestle with their emotions, but has the ability now not to affect those around them as much.

Maybe you’ve felt the way I have. Maybe you still feel that way. But just remember, there is a silver lining. As much as the pain of your childhood hurts, it won’t stop you from living the life that you deserve. It won’t stop you from having the ability to love yourself and to love others.

Here are the 10 ways that people who lack attention in their childhood might love differently, but the positive aspects to each of them.

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1. They understand that love is much more than words.

‘Love’ can mean so many different things to different people. It can mean saying, “I love you”. It can mean buying gifts for someone else. It can mean making time for other people. It can mean giving a loved one hugs and kisses. But to someone who has felt unloved as a child, it might not mean many of these things at all. When you’ve lacked affection as a child, “love” almost feels like a non-existent concept in your life. It’s something that you’re still struggling to understand. But you probably understand that feeling and expressing love is so much more than the words, “I love you”. It’s about proving it with your actions. It’s about trusting someone and being trusting. It’s about respecting a person’s individuality and dreams. The pain you experienced as a child has helped you to gain a deeper understanding of what “love” really is.

2. They know that trust can take a long time to build.

Growing up feeling unloved, unappreciated, and unimportant can leave lasting impacts on a person’s ability to trust.They might be constantly worrying that the people they love will inevitably hurt them. That they are bound to be alone. But this anxiety also means that they know the value of trust. They know that when someone puts their trust in you, it is your utmost responsibility to stay loyal and honest. It will strengthen the bond between two people.

3. They don’t want anyone hurt the way they were.

If you’re an adult whose childhood was far from ideal, chances are that you are determined not to treat others the same. If you’ve come to terms with some of your experiences, you’ve probably realized that it’s not your fault and have worked through some of your emotions. You probably know by now that nobody deserves to be treated like you were. Thankfully, this has helped you to become a kinder, more compassionate and empathetic person who finds it easy to understand how people feel. Throughout many of your relationships, you probably feel a deep love for people and want to listen to their problems. You want them to know that no matter what happens, that someone loves and cares about them.

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4. They find it very difficult to believe that there are “plenty of fish in the sea”.

If you’re someone who didn’t get their needs met as a child, you’ve probably struggled a bit with your romantic relationships. Throughout your relationships, you may have been mistreated but felt you didn’t deserve any better. Maybe you were afraid that someone better would never come along. Maybe you were too scared to speak up about how you felt. But your carefulness in selecting partners also has a plus side. You don’t want history repeating itself – you want to surround yourself with people who love and deserve you. You might be putting up a wall, but it’s a wall that will come down when you’ve found the right person for you.

5. They can’t helping questioning people’s love.

If you’ve experienced a lot of childhood pain, you might find yourself thinking a lot, “It’s too good to be true.” You want to trust people and believe in their love, but you can’t help but question it. Your fear and insecurities are holding you back. The other side of the coin though is that you are more alert to warning signs. You stand up for what you believe in and try your best to put yourself first.

6. They are very sensitive about their weaknesses.

If you’re someone who felt neglected during childhood, your sensitivity levels might be quite high. You might find it difficult to accept constructive criticism. You might find jokes said at your expense as offensive and hurtful. You might believe that you have to be perfect to be a ‘good’ or ‘successful’ person. Thankfully though, this means you’re quite tuned into other people’s emotions and feelings. You show love to others by not hurting them. By being aware of their sensitivities. By giving them honest advice without upsetting them in the process.

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7. They have very high expectations of themselves.

Unfortunately, for those who have grown up fighting for their family’s attention, they might set very high standards for themselves. They might be perfectionists. You might even worry your loved ones because you put a bit too much pressure on yourself. But the upside is, you might also be someone who strongly believes in working hard. You don’t wait for luck to make life happen. You go out there and look out for opportunities. For the first time in your life, you are in control and it’s this control that is so empowering for you.

8. They sometimes find it easier to forgive.

Having been tested and challenged at such a young age, you’ve learnt very early on that acceptance helps in moving forward. That holding onto anger and resentment does nobody any good, especially for yourself. In the same token, you might find it easier to understand the actions of others and to forgive as much as you can. You may not forget the actions of others, but you know that relationships benefit from compromise and forgiveness. Nobody is perfect and you understand that.

9. They just want their loved ones to be happy.

With the painful experiences that you’ve endured, you can’t help but focus on what truly matters in life. All you want is to be happy and for the people you love to be happy. You think that everything else, like money, material possessions, physical appearance, how we compare to others – is simply not as important.

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10. They struggle with loving themselves.

If you’re someone who lacked attention during childhood, the most difficult relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. Sometimes it’ll feel like you’re own worst enemy. That your biggest critic is actually yourself. Your life is a constant battle between what you feel about yourself and what you wish to feel. But learning to love yourself is a journey. When you believe that you are important and have the ability to make a positive difference in the world, you will transform the way you think about yourself and how you love others.

Featured photo credit: Colin J via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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