Women who lacked validation growing up usually display these 7 behaviors later in life

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Validation during childhood is crucial for shaping who we become as adults. When we lack this affirmation, it can leave lasting marks on our behavior.

For women, growing up without validation often leads to certain common behaviors in adulthood.

I can see this perfectly in one of my own relatives. From her stories of her childhood, and my experience with her parents, it’s clear to me that she didn’t get the assurance and validation she craved.

And as hard as she’s working on herself, there’s no denying that her upbringing left some marks on her character.

This isn’t about pointing fingers or placing blame, but rather understanding the root cause behind these actions.

So let’s dive into the world of women who lacked validation growing up and the 7 behaviors they usually display later in life.

1) Overcompensation

One common behavior among women who lacked validation growing up is overcompensation.

Overcompensation is a psychological term that refers to the process of making up for perceived deficiencies. It’s like trying to fill a void, something that was missing during their formative years.

For women who didn’t receive enough validation as children, this often translates into an excessive need to prove themselves in adulthood. This can manifest in various ways, such as being overly competitive, perfectionistic or constantly seeking approval from others.

The root of this behavior lies in the absence of validation in their early years. It’s not about blaming or labeling, but about understanding why these behaviors occur.

We can have compassion for these women when they seem to try too hard to prove a point, and not write it off as arrogance or excessive competitiveness. They just need some more time to heal and embrace a healthier sense of self-worth. 

2) Difficulty in accepting compliments

Another behavior I’ve noticed in my relative, and other women who didn’t receive enough validation as kids, is a difficulty in accepting compliments.

Growing up, she didn’t get a lot of validation from the adults around her. She was expected to work hard, get good grades, come out on top no matter if it was university entrance exams or an art contest.

If she did anything less than excellent work, the response wasn’t “We’re so proud of your efforts,” but “Next time, you’ll know to try harder.”

As a result, when someone compliments her as an adult, she often finds it hard to believe. Instead of simply saying ‘thank you’, she tends to deflect or downplay the compliment.

This behavior stems from a deep-rooted belief that she’s not deserving of praise, something that took root during her youth when validation was scarce.

The good news is, once we recognize these patterns, we can work towards changing them. For my relative, it’s been a journey of learning to accept compliments graciously and believing in her own worth.

3) Fear of rejection

Fear of rejection is another common behavior seen in women who lacked validation in their formative years.

Obviously, rejection in any form can be hard to handle. However, for those who grew up without adequate validation, it can be particularly devastating. It’s like a confirmation of their worst fears – that they are not good enough.

Notably, studies have shown that repeated experiences of rejection can actually lead to heightened sensitivity to future rejection.

This means that these women may perceive rejection where it doesn’t actually exist or exaggerate its magnitude when it does occur.

My experience with my relative confirms this – sometimes she takes things the wrong way even though I didn’t mean anything by them, and if I take longer than usual to reply to a message she feels like I’m ignoring her.

If you have interactions like this with someone too, be sure to approach them with understanding. They’re not trying to attack you, they’re trying to deal with their own fear and pain from their past. 

4) Struggle with self-esteem

Self-esteem issues are another common behavior among women who lacked validation while growing up.

The lack of validation in the formative years can lead to a constant feeling of inadequacy. It’s like they are perpetually trying to fill a void, striving to be good enough and often falling short in their own eyes.

This struggle with self-esteem can manifest in many ways – from being overly critical of themselves to doubting their abilities and accomplishments. They may even sabotage their own success due to a deeply ingrained belief that they don’t deserve it.

Understanding this behavior can empower them to break the cycle, and work on building a healthier self-image based on self-love and acceptance, rather than external validation.

5) Craving for external validation

A deep-seated craving for external validation is another behavior often displayed by women who weren’t validated enough in their childhood.

This isn’t about seeking attention or being needy. It’s about a yearning, an almost desperate desire, to be seen, heard, and acknowledged.

It’s about wanting to know that they matter, that they are good enough just as they are.

This craving can often lead to them seeking approval in unhealthy ways – from trying to fit into societal norms to staying in toxic relationships.

It’s important to remember that everyone deserves to be validated. Recognizing this craving for what it is – a reaction to a lack of validation in the past – can help them learn to fulfill their own needs and seek validation in healthier ways.

6) Difficulty trusting others

Trust is a small word with a very heavy meaning – especially for women who grew up without enough validation. I know this because I’ve watched my relative wrestle with it.

Growing up without enough validation often made her question the motives of others. If someone was kind to her, she would wonder what they wanted in return. If someone complimented her, she would doubt their sincerity.

She realizes today that this lack of trust wasn’t about them – it was about her belief in herself. It was a reflection of her own insecurities, born out of a lack of validation during her childhood.

And she has also admitted to me that recognizing this has been a game changer. It has helped her understand her own triggers and work towards building healthier relationships based on trust and mutual respect.

7) High levels of anxiety

Finally, women who lacked validation during their childhood will unfortunately often experience high levels of anxiety.

It makes sense when you consider how stressful it is to have the constant need to prove yourself or the fear of not being good enough. It’s like living on the edge, always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

This anxiety is not just psychological but can also manifest physically, leading to symptoms like insomnia, palpitations, and other stress-related health issues.

It’s a difficult side effect, but there is always the possibility for change. Understanding this link between lack of validation and anxiety can be a crucial step towards managing this anxiety effectively and leading a healthier, more balanced life.

Ultimately: It’s about healing and growth

At the heart of this exploration into the behaviors of women who lacked validation growing up, lies a story of resilience and transformation.

We’re not defined by our past, but we can learn from it. Recognizing the impact of a lack of validation in childhood is the first step towards understanding and changing these behaviors.

The journey towards self-validation and healing can be challenging, but it’s also empowering. It’s about reclaiming your worth, not as defined by others, but as you see yourself.

As Carl Rogers, a renowned psychologist, once said, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

So, here’s to embracing our stories, understanding our past, and stepping forward into a future where we validate ourselves. It’s not just about surviving but thriving in our own unique way.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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