People who lacked validation as a child usually display these 8 behaviors (without realizing it)

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Let’s talk validation – that crucial boost we all need growing up.

But what if you didn’t get enough?

Well, buckle up because that can lead to some serious twists and turns in adulthood.

After digging deep into human behavior and psychology, I’ve uncovered eight telltale behaviors that often pop up in folks who missed out on childhood validation.

And the kicker?

Most don’t even realize they’re doing it.

So, let’s crack the code on these behaviors. They might just shed some light on why you or someone you know acts the way they do. It’s like diving into a gold mine of self-awareness and understanding.

Ready to dig in?

1) Excessive people-pleasing

People who didn’t receive the necessary validation during their formative years often develop a strong tendency to please others. This behavior stems from a deep-seated belief that they need to earn approval and acceptance by meeting other people’s expectations.

In their quest to gain validation, these individuals might often suppress their own needs and desires.

They may go to great lengths to avoid conflict or confrontation, even if it means compromising their own well-being. This can lead to a cycle of self-neglect and an unhealthy pattern of constantly seeking external validation.

However, it’s important to remember that excessive people-pleasing is not a sustainable or healthy behavior in the long run. It can result in burnout, resentment, and compromised mental health.

2) Difficulty expressing emotions

Another common behavior exhibited by individuals who lacked validation as children is difficulty in expressing their emotions. This struggle often arises from a fear of being rejected or judged for their feelings.

In childhood, if emotional expression was met with dismissal, criticism, or punishment, the child learns to suppress their emotions. This coping mechanism can carry into adulthood, resulting in difficulties in emotional expression and communication.

The individual might find it challenging to identify and articulate their feelings, leading to misunderstandings and conflicts in their relationships.

They may also struggle with self-awareness and emotional intelligence, which are crucial for personal growth and healthy interactions.

3) Perfectionism

Let’s talk about perfectionism – a classic trait in those who missed out on childhood validation. They have this nagging feeling that they need to be flawless to earn love and approval.

These folks set the bar sky-high,  in every little thing.

But here’s the kicker: it’s a recipe for stress and anxiety. They’re always on edge, fearing they’ll mess up or fall short.

And guess what? This perfectionism often leads to procrastination and indecision. They’re so scared of not hitting the mark that they put things off or avoid them altogether.

Sure, striving for excellence is commendable, but when perfectionism brings on self-criticism and burnout, it’s time to slow down and smell the rose.

Let’s remind ourselves that making mistakes is part of the journey, and it’s all good to learn from them.

4) Difficulty trusting others

A lack of childhood validation often leads to trust issues in adulthood.

If, as a child, one’s feelings, thoughts, or experiences were consistently undermined or dismissed, it can create a deep-seated fear of vulnerability.

Such individuals may find it challenging to open up to others or trust them. They may be guarded in their relationships and slow to let people in.

This fear of vulnerability often stems from the fear of rejection or criticism that they experienced in their childhood.

Trust issues can significantly affect one’s personal and professional relationships. They can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness and can prevent individuals from forming deep, meaningful connections with others.

5) Unhealthy relationship with criticism

A person who lacked validation during their childhood may also develop an unhealthy relationship with criticism. They may perceive it as a personal attack and respond defensively, even when the criticism is constructive and well-intentioned.

This reaction often stems from the childhood experiences of being repeatedly criticized or dismissed. As a result, they may find it hard to separate their self-worth from others’ opinions of them. They may also struggle with self-criticism and might be excessively hard on themselves when they make mistakes.

But here’s the deal: criticism is part of the growth game. It’s about learning and evolving. So instead of seeing it as a slam, let’s embrace it as a chance to level up.

6) Low self-esteem

Individuals who lacked validation during childhood often struggle with low self-esteem. This means they may feel like they’re not good enough or worthy of love and acceptance.

These feelings of inadequacy can show up in different ways. They might constantly compare themselves to others, downplay their achievements, or doubt their abilities.

Sometimes, they might even sabotage their own success because deep down, they don’t believe they deserve it.

But here’s the thing: Building self-esteem is possible.

It’s about recognizing your worth and celebrating your accomplishments. It’s about knowing that you’re enough just as you are, regardless of what anyone else says.

7) Tendency to overthink

A tendency to overthink is a common trait among those who lacked validation in their childhood. These individuals, in their search for approval and acceptance, may often second-guess themselves and their decisions.

This overthinking can stem from a fear of making mistakes or disappointing others. It can lead to excessive worry, anxiety, and stress. It can also result in decision paralysis, where the fear of making the wrong choice leads to no choice being made at all.

Overthinking can not only cause mental and emotional strain but can also hinder productivity and personal growth. It’s crucial to learn ways to manage this tendency, such as mindfulness techniques and cognitive-behavioral strategies.

8) Hypersensitivity

Hypersensitivity is a common trait among those who lacked validation in childhood. It’s like having your emotional volume turned up to eleven, making you react strongly to criticism or even minor setbacks.

This heightened sensitivity is often a defense mechanism, developed in response to a childhood where feelings and thoughts were invalidated or ignored. So now, every little thing feels like a big deal.

Sure, being sensitive can help you connect with others deeply. But when it’s dialed up to hypersensitivity, it can cause unnecessary stress and strain on relationships.

The key?

Learning to manage it. Think mindfulness, setting boundaries, and seeking support when you need it. It’s all about finding that sweet spot where sensitivity becomes a superpower, not a burden.

Fostering healing and personal growth

Recognizing these eight behaviors is the initial step on the journey towards healing and personal growth. Understanding that these behaviors are not inherent flaws, but rather coping mechanisms developed during childhood, can be liberating.

It’s crucial to remember that your past does not define you.

While childhood experiences have shaped your behaviors, you possess the ability to reshape these patterns as an adult. This process requires patience, self-compassion, and often professional guidance.

Consider seeking therapy or counseling, where a professional can provide tools and techniques to help you navigate this journey. Practices such as mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral strategies, and self-care routines can also be beneficial.

Remember, we’re all works in progress. It’s okay to ask for help, and it’s okay to take time for healing. You owe it to yourself to foster healthier patterns, allowing for personal growth and healthier relationships.

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

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