Did you know that emotional wounds often take longer to heal than physical ones?
Turns out that these wounds can shape our thoughts, feelings, and behavior without us even realizing.
In other words, if you’ve been hurt in the past, it’s possible that those wounds haven’t healed yet and are guiding your actions.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 10 commonly overlooked manifestations of emotional wounds.
Hopefully, reading this will encourage greater self-reflection and understanding, and ultimately, pave the way for healing and growth.
Let’s dive right in:
1) You push people away
Picture this scene:
Your sister asks you, “You okay? You’ve been so distracted lately, wanna talk about it?” and you snap back at her with “I’m fine! Why don’t you worry about yourself and stop projecting your problems onto me?”
This is quite common behavior for people who’ve been emotionally wounded. When those closest to you (your friends and family) show their concern or try to talk about something serious, you get irritated and are short with them.
So why do you do it?
Well, it’s a kind of defense mechanism. You’re not ready to deal with the hurt so you push people away when they try to help.
What’s interesting is that you don’t even realize what you’re doing.
2) You sabotage your relationships
As I mentioned in the point above, you can be pretty rough on your friends and family, but that’s not all!
Chances are you keep going from one failed relationship to another without ever giving anyone a real shot.
You may not realize it, but what you’re doing is sabotaging your relationships because you’re scared to fall in love and have your heart broken again.
3) You cry easily over nothing
Maybe you’ll spill some flour on the floor or realize you’ve eaten all the ice cream and suddenly you’ll find yourself crying.
And don’t get me started on movies! You’ll see a puppy or two lovers reunite and you’ll be leaving your snot and tears all over the place.
I get it, I’ve been there.
Here’s the thing: If we keep piling up our emotions without dealing with them, eventually, we run out of space and they start to spill out.
So basically, when you cry over the fact that there’s no ice cream left in the freezer, you’re really crying about something else, something you might not want to think about just yet.
4) You feel worthless
Wounds will do that to you. They hurt like a bit** and they do all sorts of stuff to your self-confidence and feeling of worth.
So when you find yourself suddenly feeling like you’re unlovable and worthless, know that it’s not really how you feel but rather, it’s your wound talking.
Just because you’ve been hurt doesn’t mean that you deserved it or that there’s something wrong with you.
It happens to the best of us, we get hurt by friends and lovers; it’s all part of being human.
5) You’ve lost interest in the activities you enjoyed
Ask yourself when was the last time you did something you loved that brought you joy?
- When was the last time you took a hike or went to the movies with your friends?
- When was the last time you took a trip somewhere?
It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
Well, that’s the thing with being emotionally wounded, you might not be doing it intentionally, but you’ve stopped doing stuff you like.
You’ve lost interest in things that used to bring you joy and you see no point in doing them anymore.
If you could just force yourself to get back out there, I’m sure it will all come back to you and you will find happiness once again.
6) You’re defensive
Does it feel like everyone is out to get you?
Do you find yourself constantly having to defend yourself, even when you’re not being attacked?
The fact that you were betrayed in the past has left you with a deep sense of hurt and distrust of most people. And while you may not have realized it, you’re constantly putting up a shield as a coping mechanism.
The good news is that once you recognize this behavior, you can start to work on healing your wounds!
7) You’re numbing your emotions
Did you know that a large number of people who were emotionally wounded use substance abuse and other distractions as coping mechanisms to suppress or avoid feeling difficult emotions?
Now maybe you don’t do drugs or get drunk, but think, is there something that you do that helps you numb your emotions?
Maybe you distract yourself by constantly staying busy and seeking external stimulation (playing video games and binge-watching Netflix in your free time).
Or maybe you turn to comfort food because it provides instant relief?
Chances are that you’re numbing your emotions because your emotional wounds haven’t healed yet.
8) You self-sabotage
Here’s yet another defense mechanism that’s supposed to protect you from potential pain and disappointment.
The problem is that it ultimately prevents personal growth and fulfillment, perpetuating a cycle of missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential.
Here’s an example, let’s say you had a difficult childhood with unsupportive parents and frequent criticism.
Because of your childhood, you’ve developed feelings of unworthiness and a fear of rejection.
So how does that manifest?
In your romantic relationships, you push away potential partners who show genuine interest and care.
In your professional life, you undermine your own success by downplaying your achievements and avoiding opportunities for growth.
9) You detach emotionally
If you’ve experienced a significant loss, such as a divorce or even the death of a loved one, you’ve surely felt intense emotional pain and grief.
In response, you may have developed emotional detachment as a way to shield yourself from further hurt.
That means that you’ve become guarded and distant in your interactions with others. You’re probably avoiding forming deep emotional connections or investing yourself fully in relationships for fear of experiencing similar pain.
Does it sound like you?
10) You’re people-pleasing
- In social interactions, you consistently prioritize other people’s needs and wants over your own.
- You have difficulty saying “no”, even when it inconveniences or exhausts you.
- You go to great lengths to avoid conflict or disapproval, always seeking to make others happy or keep them satisfied.
- At work, you take on excessive responsibilities, striving to meet the expectations and demands of others.
- You’re constantly seeking validation and reassurance from coworkers or superiors, fearing criticism.
If this sounds like you, then people-pleasing is another thing that you do because of your emotional wounds.
You just want someone to tell you that you’re loved, appreciated, and accepted.
Tips for healing with emotional wounds
Hopefully, the points in this article have been helpful and you’ve been able to identify the things you do because of emotional wounds.
Now it’s time for those wounds to heal.
Healing from emotional wounds is an individual process, however, I have a few tips that may help you in your journey:
1) Acknowledge your pain
So, you’ve recognized certain behavior caused by your wounds, now it’s time to recognize and validate the emotions associated with them.
Stop running from the pain. Allow yourself to feel it.
Acknowledging your pain is an essential first step toward healing.
2) Seek support
You don’t have to go through this alone, you know. There’s no shame in seeking support.
You may want to reach out to trusted friends or family members, or you may be more comfortable speaking to a professional, such as a therapist or counselor. That’s totally fine.
The important thing is for you to find a safe space where you can share your experiences and process your emotions.
3) Practice self-care
Why do we neglect self-care, especially when we most need it?
Look, if you want to heal, you have to make self-care a priority.
Pick activities that nurture your physical, emotional, and mental well-being, activities that bring you joy, help you relax, and bring you peace.
This could be exercise, meditation, going to a spa, spending time in nature, or even making jam!
4) Set boundaries
If you love yourself, you’ll establish some healthy boundaries.
Trust me, boundaries are crucial in protecting you from further pain.
- Learn to recognize and communicate your needs and limits in relationships and other aspects of life!
- Surround yourself with individuals who respect your boundaries and support your healing process and say goodbye to those who don’t.
5) Challenge negative beliefs
Unfortunately, emotional wounds can lead to negative self-perceptions and limiting beliefs.
Try to identify and challenge these thoughts by examining the evidence for and against them.
Then, replace them with more positive and realistic beliefs that support your healing and growth. It may help to come up with some positive affirmations.
For example, if you believe that you don’t deserve love, repeat this positive affirmation to yourself every day, “I am worthy of love and I will find love”.
6) Practice self-compassion
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Show yourself kindness, understanding, and self-compassion throughout the healing process.
Give yourself the same level of care and support as you would a loved one facing similar challenges.
7) Cultivate positive relationships
Finally, be sure to surround yourself with people who are supportive, understanding, and emotionally available!
Trust me, healthy relationships can help restore your trust in others.
And remember to be patient. Healing takes time, so be gentle with yourself and celebrate small victories along the way.
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