Although someone has emotional needs, it doesn’t mean that they will be aware of these needs let alone do what they can to meet them. If this is the case, these needs are largely not going to be met.
When it comes to their emotional needs, this will relate to their need to be seen, heard, supported, encouraged and loved, amongst other things. As these needs are typically not going to be met, it is going to have a negative impact on them.
So, they can often feel drained and they might feel as though something is missing. However, as they are not aware of these needs and thus, why they feel this way, they won’t be able to join the dots, so to speak.
What is going on for them can then be put down to another reason, such as them suffering from depression or not eating right. Consequently, they could end up being put on medication or changing their diet.
Then again, due to how busy they are, they might not have time to acknowledge what is really going on for them. If they were to slow down and just be, what is going on for them might soon enter their conscious awareness.
What this can show is that they will be focused on doing what they can please others, which means that their attention will primarily be on what is going on externally. Still, this might not be something that they are aware of.
The Same Position
To take one step back, even if they are not in this position and they are aware of the effects of not listening to themselves, they can still have a strong need to please others. Either way, then, they will be neglecting themselves.
Ergo, regardless of how their life looks from the outside, they won’t be living in a way that is in alignment with who they are. As they are not receiving what they need, they might soon get to the point where they are no longer able to behave in this way.
What could play a part in this is if they were to experience a breakup, a job loss, a serious illness or a loss. As painful as this will be, it might loosen up their defences and allow them to see that they are focused on others and are not there for themselves.
This is not to say that they will just be able to change their behaviour, though, as they could experience a fair amount of resistance. A big part of them could have the need to continue to behave in the same way.
If they were to merely think about changing their behaviour, this could cause them to feel anxious and fearful. Along with this, they could end up feeling guilty and ashamed.
Therefore, while they will no longer want to play a role and ignore their own needs, they will feel compelled to do so. Not doing this will be seen as something that will put their very survival at risk and as a bad thing.
What’s going on?
Considering how they feel, it won’t be a surprise that it is normal for them to neglect themselves. What should feel comfortable and be what is normal is for them to be in touch with their emotional needs and to do what they can to meet them.
Ultimately, they are not here to please others; they are here to live a life that is in alignment with who they are. And, for this to take place, they will need to be there for themselves.
A Deeper Look
If this is how they have been for as long as they can remember, there is a chance that their emotional needs were seldom if ever met during their formative years. Throughout this stage of their life, they might have been both physically and emotionally abandoned.
As they were powerless and totally dependent at this stage of their life, being physically abandoned would have been a lot harder for them to handle. To handle what was going on, then, they would have been forced to lose touch with a number of their needs and to adapt to their parent or parents needs, in the hope that they wouldn’t be left.
To simply receive their parent or parent’s attention, they would have had to be who they wanted them to be. Seldom if ever having a number of their emotional needs met would have deeply wounded them.
As they were egocentric, they would have come to believe that their needs and feelings were bad. The years will then have passed but they will still believe that the only way that they will have people around and survive is if they hide who they are.
Drawing the Line
The person or people who were supposed to love them emotionally abandoned them and this is why they will emotionally abandon themselves. Yet, the reason this took place is most likely because their parent or parents were also abandoned during their formative years and were simply unable to provide them with what they needed.
For them to gradually put this stage of their life behind them, they are likely to have a lot of pain to work through and unmet developmental needs to experience. This is something that will take courage and patience and persistence.
If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.