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How Unhappy Childhood Experiences Can Affect You Today (And How To Deal With It)

How Unhappy Childhood Experiences Can Affect You Today (And How To Deal With It)

The Key Dynamics of Relating is an area that assesses how childhood experiences impact a person in their adult life. Often, looking back can help a person going forward. Psychologists cite parents and relationships as reasons for issues later in life, as memories alter how the present day is perceived. But sometimes merely analysing a popular problem can shed light on why unhappy childhood experiences can affect you today.

Here are some common themes that illuminate the negative progression from a childhood experience to adult life.

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If you have strict parents, you’ll be more afraid to be blamed

Strictness is all about fear, and from a strict parent a child learns consequence for their actions. But when strictness goes too far and scolding happens too often, it can create a fear of being blamed and scolded. This can make a person softer in both social and professional circles, including the workplace, friendship groups, and sporting environments, creating a pushover personality trait. Of course, it can work the other way. Strictness can create a rebellious streak, a defense mechanism learned from childhood.

If you were bullied, you’ll be more self-conscious

Being bullied as a child leads to feeling self-conscious as an adult. This can impact the ability to make friends, as talking to new people requires confidence. A fear of being embarrassed can hold a person back from opportunity. But this can also create strong personal traits such as empathy and respect for other people. Understanding the impacts of harsh words can allow your communication methods to have more thought behind them.

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If you were often blamed with very harsh words, you’ll fear making mistakes

Harsh words can be more detrimental than physical violence. They can cause a person to fear making mistakes again, which means avoiding certain situations in life. It can cause the child to adopt the harsh words and utilize them as they grow, creating their adult vocabulary. As with the above examples, the reverse can occur where a hate of harsh words and blame arise. But the feeling of being degraded as a child forever lasts.

If you were rejected by someone you cared a lot about, you might become more inward

Being rejected in the schoolyard by someone you like is common; it makes us stronger in the long run. But being rejected by a parent, guardian, older sibling, or grandparent can cause psychological effects that ruin later relationships. Trust is a difficult aspect to grasp if you fear rejection. It can create introverts who lack social skills and despise people. And it can also make someone hide their feelings in fear of getting hurt. This can lead to one-night-stands and a lack of care for others.

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If you lacked attention, you’ll be insecure and demand more love

This phrase breeds insecurity. A lack of attention and love can mean a person will demand more love in their later relationships, or it can create unrealistic expectations of others. There may be a constant comparison with siblings, relatives, and other people. Enter a lack of confidence, too much vying for affection, and a disregard for empathy.

How to deal with it

Try to list any positive effects the unhappy experiences brought

This will make the memories a bit better. Think of how to make good use of the experience for your future.

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Try to think of how to make good use of such experience for your future

Based on the positive effects listed, anything else you can make use of for your future. For example, if your empathy has been nourished during childhood due to the unhappy experiences, maybe a job that involves more human interaction would be a good fit for you?

Share your thoughts with others by sharing unhappy memories and the burden will become smaller

When you talk it out, you’re venting your frustrations and/or suppressed feelings. Holding everything in may appear to be a strength, but it’s actually a weakness. People such as parents and other children may be the reason for your issues, but they can also be the cure. Everyone reacts and behaves differently; nobody is a prisoner to their childhood memories.

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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