About Us

We provide online therapy to high achievers in New York.


We specialize in supporting high achievers facing a range of challenges such as:


You have questions. We have answers.

From the Blog

7 Signs You Were Emotionally Neglected As a Child

Growing up, we often believe that our childhood was “normal” or “fine.” However, sometimes, certain aspects of our upbringing can have lasting effects on our emotional well-being. Emotional neglect, though subtle, can leave deep scars that impact our relationships, self-esteem, and overall happiness. In this blog, we’ll explore 7 signs that may indicate you were emotionally neglected as a child and discuss how recognizing these signs can be the first step towards healing and personal growth.

What is emotional neglect?

Emotional neglect is a subtle yet profound form of child abuse or maltreatment that occurs when caregivers fail to meet a child’s fundamental emotional needs, hindering their healthy psychological development. Unlike physical abuse or neglect, which often leave visible marks, emotional neglect can fly under the radar, making it challenging to detect and address. Here are some signs you were neglected as a child, along with emotional neglect examples:

Lack of Affection:

Imagine a child yearning for a hug or a kind word from their caregiver, only to be met with indifference or distance. This lack of love, warmth, and physical affection can leave the child feeling emotionally starved and disconnected, sowing the seeds of insecurity and detachment. Recognizing such experiences as signs of childhood neglect in adults is crucial for understanding and addressing the long-term impacts of emotional deprivation.

Ignoring or Dismissing Emotions:

Picture a child pouring their heart out, only to have their emotions brushed aside or dismissed as insignificant. When caregivers fail to acknowledge or validate a child’s feelings, it sends the message that their emotions don’t matter, leaving them feeling unheard and misunderstood.

Failure to Provide Emotional Guidance:

Envision a child struggling to make sense of their emotions, navigating a maze without a map. Without proper guidance from caregivers on how to identify, express, and manage their feelings, children are left to fend for themselves, ill-equipped to cope with life’s inevitable challenges and setbacks.

Inconsistent or Absent Emotional Presence:

Picture a child longing for emotional connection, only to find their caregivers emotionally distant or unavailable. Whether due to their own struggles or preoccupations, caregivers may fail to be emotionally present for the child, leaving them feeling neglected and alone in their emotional needs.

Withholding Love or Approval:

Imagine a child craving love and acceptance, only to have it dangled like a carrot on a string. Caregivers may use love, attention, or approval as a means of control or manipulation, conditioning the child to seek validation externally rather than developing a healthy sense of self-worth from within.

7 Signs You Were Emotionally Neglected As a Child

1. Difficulty Expressing Emotions:

Imagine trying to paint a picture without any colors or brushes. That’s how it can feel for someone who experienced emotional neglect when it comes to expressing emotions. Growing up, you may not have had the opportunity to learn how to navigate and communicate your feelings effectively. This lack of emotional validation and support during crucial developmental stages can leave you feeling like you’re stranded on an island of numbness and detachment, unable to connect with your own emotions or those of others. Recognizing this as one of the 7 signs you were emotionally neglected as a child is crucial for understanding and addressing its impacts.

2. Perfectionism:

Picture yourself walking on a tightrope, constantly teetering on the edge of failure. This is the reality for many who were emotionally neglected and grew up striving for perfection. When your emotional needs weren’t met as a child, you might have developed a belief that your worthiness hinges on your achievements and external validation. Perfectionism becomes a way to prove your value, seeking approval from others as a substitute for the self-acceptance and self-worth that were lacking in childhood. Identifying perfectionism as one of the 7 signs you were emotionally neglected as a child can lead to greater self-awareness and healing.

3. Fear of Abandonment:

Think about a time when you felt like you were standing alone in a crowd, invisible to those around you. This feeling of isolation is all too familiar for those who grew up with emotional neglect. When your emotional needs were consistently overlooked or dismissed, you may have internalized the belief that you are unworthy of love and belonging. This fear of abandonment can lead to clinging onto relationships desperately or avoiding close connections altogether, afraid of being left behind once again. Recognizing fear of abandonment as one of the 7 signs you were emotionally neglected as a child is an important step towards healing and building healthier relationships.

4. Difficulty Setting Boundaries:

Picture yourself in a room with no doors or windows, unable to define where you end and others begin. This is how it can feel for someone who experienced emotional neglect and struggles with setting boundaries. Without clear boundaries established in childhood, you may not have learned to assert your needs or prioritize self-care. Instead, you find yourself drowning in a sea of resentment and overwhelm, constantly putting others’ needs before your own, unable to draw the line between where you end and they begin.

5. Low Self-Esteem:

Imagine looking into a mirror and seeing only flaws and imperfections staring back at you. This is the reality for many who were emotionally neglected and grew up feeling insignificant or unworthy. When your caregivers failed to provide the emotional validation and support you needed, you internalized these beliefs of inadequacy. As a result, you struggle with low self-esteem, carrying the weight of self-doubt and insecurity into adulthood, affecting every aspect of your life, from work to relationships to personal goals.

6. Difficulty Trusting Others:

Picture yourself building a fortress around your heart, barricading yourself from the possibility of hurt and disappointment. This is how it can feel for someone who grew up with emotional neglect and struggles to trust others. When your caregivers were emotionally unavailable or inconsistent, you learned to rely solely on yourself for comfort and support. This lack of trust can lead to a guarded demeanor and reluctance to open up to others, afraid of being let down once again. Recognizing difficulty trusting others as one of the 7 signs you were emotionally neglected as a child is crucial for understanding and addressing its impacts.

7. Chronic Feelings of Emptiness:

Imagine carrying around an invisible backpack filled with stones, weighing you down with a sense of emptiness and loneliness. This is the burden that many who experienced emotional neglect carry with them into adulthood. Despite external achievements or relationships, there’s a lingering void that remains unfulfilled. This chronic feeling of emptiness stems from a lack of emotional connection and validation in childhood, leaving you searching for something to fill the void, never quite finding what you’re looking for. Identifying chronic feelings of emptiness as one of the 7 signs you were emotionally neglected as a child is an important step towards healing and finding fulfillment.

How to Heal from Childhood Emotional Neglect

Healing from childhood emotional neglect is not a destination but a transformative journey that requires a deep commitment to self-discovery and growth. Here’s how to heal from childhood emotional neglect:

Acknowledge Your Feelings:

Begin by bravely acknowledging and accepting your emotions, regardless of their intensity or discomfort. Give yourself permission to experience and express a wide range of feelings without judgment or self-censorship. This act of self-validation is the first crucial step towards reclaiming your emotional truth and embracing your inner world.

Identify Patterns and Triggers:

Take time to reflect on your past experiences and present behaviors to identify recurring patterns and triggers stemming from emotional neglect. Notice situations or relationships that evoke strong emotional responses or remind you of past trauma. Understanding these patterns can help you recognize and address underlying wounds with compassion and awareness.

Practice Self-Compassion:

Cultivate a gentle and compassionate attitude towards yourself as you navigate the complexities of healing. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a cherished friend facing similar challenges. Embrace self-compassion as a guiding light on your journey towards self-love and inner peace.

Seek Support:

Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or mental health professionals for support and validation. Surround yourself with individuals who can offer empathy, encouragement, and guidance as you navigate the healing process. Seek out therapists or support groups specializing in trauma and emotional neglect to receive specialized care and understanding.

Set Boundaries:

Establish and maintain healthy boundaries in your relationships to safeguard your emotional well-being. Learn to assert your needs and prioritize self-care, even if it means setting limits or distancing yourself from toxic individuals. Embrace the power of saying no and honor your boundaries as a sacred act of self-preservation and self-respect.

Practice Mindfulness:

Incorporate mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga into your daily routine to cultivate presence and awareness in the present moment. Mindfulness allows you to develop greater emotional regulation and resilience, enabling you to navigate life’s challenges with grace and equanimity.

Engage in Self-Reflection:

Carve out time for introspection and self-reflection to explore your thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors influenced by childhood emotional neglect. Journaling, therapy, or self-help exercises can serve as powerful tools for gaining deeper self-awareness and insight into your inner landscape.

Explore Your Inner Child:

Connect with your inner child through creative activities, visualization exercises, or inner child work. Tenderly nurture and validate the wounded parts of yourself that may have been neglected in childhood, offering them the love and support they deserve to heal and thrive.

Challenge Negative Beliefs:

Confront and challenge any negative beliefs or self-limiting thoughts stemming from experiences of emotional neglect. Replace these damaging narratives with empowering beliefs that affirm your worthiness, resilience, and capacity for growth. Embrace your inherent strength and potential to rewrite the script of your life with courage and determination.

Celebrate Your Progress:

Acknowledge and celebrate every step forward on your healing journey, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Recognize the courage and resilience it takes to confront past wounds and embrace the path of self-discovery and growth. Each milestone achieved is a testament to your strength, resilience, and unwavering commitment to healing.

You deserve to heal from the pain of childhood emotional neglect and create a fulfilling life filled with love and connection – reach out for help today!

Growing up feeling emotionally neglected can leave lasting scars and unresolved pain, but you don’t have to carry this burden alone. If you’re struggling with the effects of emotional neglect from childhood, therapy can provide a safe space for healing and growth. Here’s how to get started, including recognizing the 7 signs you were emotionally neglected as a child

  1. Schedule a Free Consultation: Reach out to Uncover Mental Health Counseling to start a conversation about your experiences of emotional neglect as a child. Our compassionate therapists understand the profound impact of childhood emotional neglect and are here to offer support without judgment.
  2. Connect with a NYC Psychotherapist: Our team includes experienced therapists who specialize in helping individuals navigate the complexities of childhood emotional neglect. We’ll match you with a therapist who can provide the understanding and guidance you need to address your specific challenges.
  3. Begin Your NYC Therapy Journey: Together with your therapist, you’ll explore the effects of emotional neglect on your emotional well-being and relationships. Through personalized strategies and therapeutic techniques, therapy can empower you to heal from past wounds, build resilience, and cultivate a sense of self-worth.

Share via:


More From Our Blog