Every psychologically healthy human being wants love and connection. We crave emotional connection with other people as much as we crave food and water.
However, a large amount of people in the world are overly focused on themselves that even the connections they think they have are of self absorbed character.
This creates an illusion of connection while the other side who actually invests in the relationship suffers emotional neglect.
Emotional Neglect In Parenting
The hardest cases are those where parents make their children suffer emotional neglect unintentionally, of course. They are hardest because the child doesn’t have much of a choice but to invest in the relationship with their parents in order to survive.
When a person is emotionally neglected they can get subconsciously stuck at that age always seeking a way to fill that emptiness with love.
This emotional limbo can result in various ways ranging from inability to find a partner to destructive addictions like drugs and alcohol.
Depending on the type of emotionally neglecting parent, the root cause of that emptiness can differ. There are 6 types of emotionally neglecting parents:
6 Types of Parents Who Push Their Child to Suffer Emotional Neglect
1. The Authoritarian Parents
They are the people who only want their children to follow their rules and never allow the child to pour out their feelings. They are ashamed of their own feelings and have probably been suppressing them for a long time.
Since they have lived like slaves to societal norms they wont allow anyone in their responsibility to live less rigidly. They crave that feeling of power that they have been serving under and can’t find within themselves, so they exercise it on their children.
These parents will raise a child who is on one extreme of the spectrum, either a rebel to authority or being too submissive.
The root cause of these children’s emptiness is the inability to find personal freedom within the boundaries of society.
2. The Overly Permissive Parents
They are the ones who never interfere in their child’s affairs. They do not question their child’s decisions, wants, needs and passions. They do not stimulate their children nor guide them to find their way in life.
They are too scared to take responsibility for their children’s development. They don’t like to create conflicts and they run away from confrontations. For them, it’s better to avoid conflicts rather than correctly parent their kids. It’s their fear to take responsibility that does the parenting here.
These parents will raise a child who has difficulty in setting limits and boundaries. In a couple of studies, overly permissive parenting resulted in adolescents with bad behavior and inability to constructively lead an argument without showing negative emotions.
The root cause of these children’s emptiness is a lack of discipline and acceptance of authority, combined with misguidance.
3. The Narcissistic Parents
These are the people whose world revolve around themselves and their needs. They care more about their personal wants rather than their children’s. If their child’s behavior doesn’t make them look good or benefit their persona in a way, it’s frowned upon. They don’t show empathy and do not love their children for who they really are.
Narcissistic people constantly seek approval from others because they can’t find it within themselves. Their image is their priority and every relationship is a relationship that makes them look good. They live their desired lives through their children and are personally offended when their children don’t live up to their expectations.
These parents will raise children who find difficulty in identifying their needs, detached from their emotions, and feeling undeserving to have their needs met.
The root cause of these children’s emptiness is the inability to accept themselves for who they are.
4. The Perfectionist Parents
These are the parents who won’t accept their child to be less than perfect. If their child is not the best in everything they are not happy. They want to show off their children rather than love them and raise them to become healthy human beings.
Perfectionists are people who can’t accept their flaws or that of others. Because nobody is perfect, they project this need for perfection upon their children and whenever their children do not meet their expectations, they are irritated. Perfectionist parents have a deeply rooted belief that they are not good enough, so they must be perfect.
These parents will raise a perfectionist child who sets unrealistic expectations and feels anxious for not being good enough. These kids grow up to be overly stressed and people pleasers, they find difficulty with intimate relationships and accepting criticism.
The root cause of these children’s emptiness is the belief that they are not good enough.
5. The Absent Parents
These parents were not there in their child’s growing up years due to death, divorce, work or some other reasons.
Aside from cases of death or divorce these parents have different priorities in their life rather than raising their children. They are absent physically but even at the moments when they are with their children, they are absent mentally and emotionally due to obsession with their priorities.
These parents will raise an overly responsible child who is overwhelmed with life’s worries. These children are usually the kids who mature really soon and forget how to have fun.
The root cause of these children’s emptiness is dissociation from their inner child.
6. The Controlling Parents
These parents think that nobody can survive without them and always want to be in control. They rarely leave their children the freedom to make their own decisions and lack real faith in them.
Controlling people lack faith in themselves and everyone they are responsible for. Because they don’t trust themselves, they trust the members of their family even less. So they believe that nobody can handle their lives without them. This is their way of coping with the inability to have faith in themselves, the illusion of control is the only thing that gives them a sense of importance.
These parents will raise kids who lack self esteem. These children, most often, grow up depressed and lonely. They don’t have faith in themselves and haven’t exercised their self confidence.
The root cause of these children’s emptiness is lack of faith in themselves to exercise self confidence.
How Can You Heal Yourself If You’ve Been Emotionally Neglected?
If you look at the root causes of each type’s emotional neglect, you will realize that the affected individuals will always look for ways to get back the unreturned love they invested.
The key to self healing is stopping the search for the unreturned love, forgiving, and filling that emptiness with self love.
To go even deeper, the emptiness inside only exists because you still expect the invested love toward your parents to return. The emptiness is just an illusion, a shadow you create to avoid letting go.
However, when you realize that you are the source of all love that you gave, and that you gave that love unconditionally, than it is rather pointless to create conditions for that love to return.
Instead, accept yourself for who you are and give yourself the love you seek from others.
Here are 4 steps you can practice!
If you, or anyone you know went through an emotional neglect in the childhood, the following tips will help to get yourself out of the reality where you got emotionally stuck:
1. When a certain emotion arises, identify it whether it is positive or negative. Acknowledge its presence because by simply feeling it, you’re establishing a deeper connection with your feelings.
2. Believe that you have needs that must be met though you don’t feel you deserve to have those needs met. Once you recognize what your needs are, take small steps in meeting those needs.
3. Acknowledge any negative ‘old’ belief that may be lurking in your mind. If you still feel you’re not deserving to have your needs met, just see that belief as a belief and not a fact.
4. Give yourself the loving care you deserve. Treat yourself like a child who needs gentleness, tenderness, compassion, and nurturance, avoiding being too self-critical or judgmental.
Be patient with yourself because growing up is a process that doesn’t have any shortcuts. Like any other wounds, an emotional wound takes time to heal.
And healing is the only way to loosen up yourself from that emotional reality you’ve been stuck for so long.
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