Were you emotionally deprived in your childhood? This can be useful!

Let us first look at the positive impression that a title can have; Emotional deprivation can be beneficial in later stages of your life, but it is nothing more than a possibility that can occur after the suffering has already occurred. It is an attempt to no longer repair the damage, and by no means means that emotional deprivation is generally beneficial.

In fact, the most dangerous thing is that it is misunderstood all the time. When someone talks about emotional deprivation, we often think of relationships between men and women, but the truth is that it is only one stage – often later – in a destructive order that destroys our ability to understand and deal with our feelings and feelings of others.

The concept itself is very confusing and complex because getting used to emotional deprivation in childhood or after puberty changes the personality, giving it a degree of dullness. After a while, we may become addicted to toxic relationships and stop looking for the normal, as if we prefer to drive a broken car because we are used to it and familiar with its breakdowns, rather than replacing it with a new one. one who does his job efficiently.

We plant thorns

The book “Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics. Fourth Edition”

In the fourth issue of the book “Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics” published in 2009 by a group of American specialists and researchers, “Emotional Neglect” is defined as a pattern of relationships in which an individual’s emotional needs are ignored or rationalized , or the systematic underestimation of its legitimacy, by an important person in our lives (1).

Scientists believe the case began in childhood, but it is an issue that is at stake today, in a different form of the “chicken and egg” dilemma; Do people experience emotional deprivation in their childhood, and then practice it on their children, or do they first practice it on their children, turning them into parents who emotionally deprive their children? There is of course no definitive answer here, but pediatricians and psychotherapists like to start with the child, often because he is more able to arouse sympathy and interest than an adult.

Parents who have experienced emotional distress in their childhood often feel a weak connection with their children later on. “Often” expresses here a pattern proven by long-term experiences, because what they have experienced in the past can – spontaneously and unconsciously – lead them to believe that their child’s emotional needs for attention, support and love are exaggerated, stressful or undeserved. .

In essence, it is simple and easy to understand, like a cancer whose cells divide to add more misery to the world, but what makes it complicated is the huge time lag between exposure to childhood deprivation and the discovery of its devastating consequences later. Habit deprivation causes people to fear their feelings towards others, whether in family or emotional relationships, and over time they turn to self – only themselves – for emotional, spiritual and psychological support, making them less likely to be exposed to emotional trauma later, but, at the same time, it makes them less The ability to understand the same feelings in others.

Dr. Stephen Ludwig and Anthony Rustein, the researchers who co-authored the book, believe that the most dangerous thing is that it can lead emotionally deprived parents to develop negative feelings towards their children, which they consider spoiling and demanding simply because they do so. ask. for their natural emotional rights, and maybe they feel jealous of them because they had what they did not have, or they feel the need to compensate for it all with manna so that they get used to giving their children their miserable childhood remember, and feel guilty because they had a better childhood (2).

Unfortunately, this is a very famous scene in our Arab societies. The father who daily reminds his children and his wife that he is suffering in his work for them, and the mother who wants her children to take care of them, and the constant talk of sacrifice, fatigue and misery, as if they were the children . who decided to have parents and not the other way around.

In general, the important psychological rule here is that it is better in balanced family or emotional relationships to give others a chance to realize how much you love and sacrifice for them, with your actions, at least as long as they do not love you. do not ignore. emotionally in turn. It is much stronger and more effective because over time it is deposited in the subconscious, and changes into a firm belief without the need for oral explanation or persuasion.

the other side

This is the ugly side of it, the side that is indispensable later in life, but dr. Jeunes Webb, a psychiatrist who has spent her life studying emotional deprivation in children, talks about the other side, the side that only helps The case you were one of those who were already emotionally deprived in their childhood, and now suffer under the consequences thereof (3) (4).

Dr. Webb has published the summary of her research in two major books: “Running On Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect” and “Running On Empty No More: Transform Your Relationships”, and in both titles she clearly uses the same verbal variety mentioned above. Emotional hardship is compared to a car burning its engine because it runs out of fuel. In the first book, it explains how to, so to speak, overcome the effects of emotional burn in childhood. In the second book, it talks about using the same emotional deprivation as fuel to transform your future emotional relationships for the better (5) (6).

How can you? Well, we do not know how we are going to tell you we are going to tell you what we are going to tell you, but according to dr. Webb there are 5 main benefits for those who have gone through emotional burnout. in their childhood. We did not know exactly if they were 5, because it is a seductive integer that is often used in titles, or because it is actually 5 (7) (8).

What is important is that dr. Webb says that her experiences with emotionally disadvantaged people place her among the most powerful personalities she has come into contact with in her professional and private life, despite the difficult emotional challenges they usually face, which are usually central. around the tendency to blame themselves and divert their anger to the self And the loss of sympathy for their personal pain, which are traits, as you can see, do not express themselves as much as they express the self of those around them .

Over time, your character will adapt to adapt to solve the problem at the root.

If you’re one of those people who frequently uses phrases like “I do not need help”, “I will handle it myself”, or “I will have no problem with whatever you decide”), psychiatry tells you that this hardness in dealing with your problems and your pain is one of them.The consequences of emotional deprivation in childhood, and the frequent feeling of insignificance of your emotional needs, and the systematic failure to meet them, will put you on a stage makes them believe that they are really unimportant.

It’s the psychological trick of your subconscious mind to stop feeling disappointed in the future. If you ask and do not get what you are asking for, then in time your character will adapt his conditions to acclimatize to solve the problem at the roots, and in a completely pragmatic arithmetic way, or in other words, as point “A ”Brings you to point“ B ”each time, and if point B has hurt each time, you will learn from experience to avoid point A in the first place.

Five will amaze you

According to the research and experiences of dr. Webb there is a degree of emotional distress – so to speak – that can be gained from difficult emotional experiences in childhood, and this is represented in 5 main characteristics she noticed throughout her career in those who suffered from the problem in their childhood it (9) (10).

  • The first of these characteristics is independence

The only downside to the loneliness you felt when you were growing up was that you learned to be on your own all the time. You had to solve your problems on your own, with teachers and bullies at school, with complicated feelings in adolescence, and with all the surprises of the world around you. In short, your childhood was a continuous practical training in self-sufficiency, and it gave you a good amount of skills, you may not realize its value at that point, but they became very influential in your life as an adult.

  • The second adjective is kindness

A good number of research and studies have shown that children are able to feel empathy towards others, and what dr. Webb says that getting used to emotional deprivation in childhood can make people less in touch with their feelings and personal pain, than an instinctive defensive approach against expected frustration, but at the same time it increases some of their sensitivity to the feelings and pain of others, and enable them to understand it more because they see in them what they suffered during their childhood.

The important realization here is that this is not an inevitable result, rather it depends mainly on the severity of emotional deprivation in childhood and the degree of balance that a non-major element can cause in a child’s life. For example, the uncle or aunt can make the child feel that the problem is limited to his relationship with his parents only, and from here he can handle his problem better, and he does not have to drag it all over the community, but it is need to remember that there are degrees of emotional deprivation, some of which can transform The child turns to a sociopath who finds no way to compensate for his pain except by inflicting pain on others.

  • The third characteristic is generosity

As a logical consequence of the above, this emotional greed in dealing with yourself can drive you to be more generous in dealing with others, to balance your soul and to distinguish yourself from those who were the cause of your suffering. And then flexibility, which is the tremendous ability to adapt without difficulty and adapt to many problems, which you have gained thanks to your long experience of ignoring your beliefs, opinions, desires and needs.

  • Finally, and also as a logical consequence, you can finally win people’s love

Independence and flexibility make you easy to socialize, more careful in dealing with your human environment, and less likely to get into trouble, and your difficult experiences make you able to give advice and support in adversity. All of the above give you a set of personal characteristics that give you confidence in yourself on the one hand and the confidence of others in your person on the other hand.

This is what is truly astonishing, that something can sometimes lead to its opposite for a very simple reason, but scientists and researchers often forget it when they perform similar experiments; People’s extraordinary ability to adapt and adapt.

Of course, words like “power” and “sometimes” are very important in this context, because they are assigned and not generalized, but we like to think that there is a degree of poetic justice in the matter, and this amount is unfortunate, is not evenly distributed in all cases and contexts, because emotional deprivation also makes many victims.



  1. Developmental Behavior Pediatrics Textbook – Science Direct
  2. Dr. Stephen Ludwig and dr. Anthony Rustein’s observations on emotional deprivation in childhood – Science Direct
  3. Dr. Jeunesse Webb – Psychology Today
  4. The Hidden Damages of Emotional Depression in Childhood – Psychology Today
  5. Running On Empty: Overcoming Your Emotional Neglect From Your Childhood By Dr. Jones Webb – Amazon
  6. Running On Empty No More: Transform Your Relationships by Dr. Jeunes Webb – Amazon
  7. 5 Surprising Strengths of Emotionally Deprived – Psychology Today
  8. 8 Dangerous Signs of Emotional Depression in Family Relationships – Psychology Today
  9. Questions about emotional deprivation – Dr. Jonice Web
  10. 5 Surprising Strengths of the Emotionally Deprived – Understanding Compassion

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