UPP presents: Let's Talk About It: Emotional Neglect - Psychological Neglect
Updated: Dec 12, 2022
UPP Weekly Mental Digest
Emotional Neglect: Psychological Neglect
by Shari Wilson, Psy. M.
July 30, 2022
Hey Friends, this week we are going to dive into the topic of Emotional Neglect and what it is, as well as, what it looks like when someone is impacted by it and how to work through it. Welcome back to a new edition of "Let's Talk About It."
Have you ever had a moment of reflection and realized that you were going through something as a child, and wanted to open up to your parents about it, however, instead of them sitting down and listening to you, they kind of just blew you off as if it wasn't important?
This may have led to you feeling like what you were experiencing wasn't valid. As time went on and the invalidation of your feelings as a child kept happening, you then would start to feel like your emotions weren't important enough to share. The continual dismissal of how you felt caused reservations because being ignored never feels good. You may begin to internalize every emotion that you experience, which is your way of coping with the fact that you were pushed to the side and made to feel like what you were going through was not important. Sometimes parents can make you feel like being a child means that you shouldn't feel negative feelings because as a child "you have no reason to be sad, mad or depressed." In actuality; yes, you could have been struggling. That response to the emotions that you were having; while being completely disregarded is what we refer to as "Emotional Neglect a.k.a. Psychological Neglect." In a more technical term; "Emotional Neglect", also known as Psychological Neglect, refers to a situation where a parent or caregiver does not provide the basic emotional care, attention, and affection that a child needs in order to develop proper emotional well-being."
Unfortunately, this type of neglect happens to many children, which results in some barriers that are put up and issues that are developed that as an adult have to be worked out. Now that we know what it is and possibly where it stemmed from, where does that bring us to now?
If this neglect was repeated throughout your childhood then there are a few disorders that can be developed from the trauma of the neglect. The lack of validation as a child could cause self-esteem issues because it does not promote confidence and therefore, doesn't allow you to believe in yourself.
You can have issues with trusting people or having healthy relationships/boundaries because you might jeopardize yourself and believe that they won't validate you and you internalize feelings and stunt your potential FOR happiness because "what's the point in sharing how I feel?"
There is a way to avoid negative thinking when it comes to being traumatized from emotional neglect. If you are struggling with something like this as an adult and are open to the possibility of getting help or changing the way that you have been thinking this entire time. Here's where the process begins:
Start to identify positive and negative communication.
Also if there are things that once made you feel like you weren't important because you weren't acknowledged - start to identify the positive and the negative communication anyway. This could be a start to making yourself happy.
Do things that you want to and fulfill needs that have been neglected because no one wanted to validate you.
Begin to validate YOURSELF.
Those 3 things will start a path of reversing the only negative forms of communication into the communication of identifying the negative, over time course-correcting into positive forms of communication. This will lead to being able to filter through both sides without letting it bring you down.
Although there are quite a few things that happen to us when we are children that we had no control over; DOES NOT MEAN that we have to let them define who we are as adults.
We deserve healthy relationships even if we have to correct the errors of someone else.
Thanks for stopping by, this was a great chat!
About the writer:
Shari Wilson has a true heart to listen to anyone who shares their experiences, traumas, or just life in general. She studied at Purdue Global University, acquiring her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis and Addictions Psychology in 2016. On the path to furthering her studies, she received her Master of Psychology in 2018 from Purdue Global University. Since then she has been enamored with the ability to use her education to help others through difficult times.
She is a Consulting Psychologist for UnCharted Path Productions, working on the upcoming psychological thriller series titled, “Hidden District”. She is a mom of 3, a wife, and an amazing friend to those around her.