You likely know that your childhood experiences have shaped you as an adult. Did you know, though, that if you were a victim of emotional abuse as a child, that may show up in your adult life?
Here are nine of the most common ways that emotional abuse suffered as a child may manifest in your adult life:
- Anger. You may feel angry, both consciously and unconsciously, about what happened to you in your childhood. If you’re not careful, though, that anger can spill over into the rest of your life.
- Apologies. You may find yourself regularly saying “sorry” even when there’s nothing to be sorry for, as survivors of emotional abuse often feel like things are their fault – regardless of what happens – because they’ve been conditioned to feel that way by their abuse.
- Conflict avoidance. You may avoid conflict because conflict in your childhood was handled so poorly. That’s a natural response – but also one you can work through, so you can address conflict in a healthy way in your future.
- Eye contact. You may have difficulty holding eye contact, and forcing yourself to do so may cause you anxiety. That’s another remnant of your childhood abuse peeking through.
- Introversion. You may have a hard time letting other people in, or trusting them, because you were so badly burned by your childhood. As a result, you distance yourself from others in an attempt to keep yourself emotionally safe in the future.
- Self-doubt. You may regularly second guess yourself, as your history makes it hard for you to be confident in yourself or your ability to make the right decision.
- Self-esteem issues. You may be especially hard on yourself because you were beat up over shortcomings (real or otherwise) in your childhood. This, too, is something you can work through.
- Sensitivity to loud noises. You may find yourself jumping or feeling afraid at every loud noise, because you were conditioned to fear courtesy the abuses in your past.
- Sidestep compliments. You may have a hard time accepting compliments because you – at least on a subconscious level – don’t believe you deserve this. This is because you were so regularly told you weren’t worthy as a child.
- Constantly beat yourself up. Being emotionally abused can cause your self-esteem to suffer. If you are constantly beating yourself up over things you said or did, it may be caused you were told that everything was your fault when you were a child.