Imprinting: These problems are experienced by people who were lonely as children

If you have these problems, you were secretly lonely as a child

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What we experience as children shapes us for the rest of our lives. These problems are typical of people who often felt lonely when they were young.

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The experiences we collect during our childhood can greatly shape our personality, our self-image and the attitude to life that accompanies us as adults. It’s not just the relationship we have with our parents that plays a role. Friendships or relationships with siblings are also very important. Even the most loving, healthy mother-child relationship cannot replace a child’s experience of being accepted and valued by peers or other children. And a good school friend won’t help you understand why your sister doesn’t want anything to do with her sibling.

In this respect, it is quite possible that we grow up in a loving, healthy home and still feel isolated, for example from siblings or classmates. The following are typical problems of people who, for whatever reason, often felt lonely in their childhood.

Anyone who has these problems was secretly lonely as a child

1. You are suspicious when someone wants to spend time with you.

Anyone who was often lonely as a child and was unable to have relationships that taught him/her to feel wanted and accepted may have problems learning or allowing this feeling throughout their life. In their later relationships, the affected people are usually irritated and unsettled when they experience someone making an effort for them and signaling to them that they like to be around them and want to spend time with them. At least initially, they suspect either a mistake on the part of the other person or a hidden, possibly malicious, intention. People who were lonely as children often take a long time to confide in someone and open up – if they ever do it at all.

2. You can’t contradict other people.

Many people who never experienced unconditional support in their relationships as children become accustomed to always adapting and being as comfortable as possible for those around them. They rarely express a different opinion and keep their needs to themselves unless they coincide with those of those around them. Such people also usually find it extremely difficult to say no. They do what they think is necessary to avoid being left out and lonely again.

3. You always expect to be abandoned.

Those who grew up as a lonely child can sometimes develop imposter syndrome when it comes to relationships as a result of this experience. Those affected by imposter syndrome are convinced that other people overestimate their achievements and successes and live in the constant belief that they can be exposed at any time. If imposter syndrome affects relationships, those affected think that those around them do not see their true self, but rather have a distorted image of them. And that as soon as they realize their error, they will turn away and forsake them.

4. You feel misunderstood most of the time.

To protect themselves and survive, some people develop a clever strategy when they are lonely as children: They convince themselves that others do not understand or see them properly. And that is why they exclude them. Sometimes this is actually true: children with rare characteristics such as high intelligence, high sensitivity or a gender identity that does not correspond to their external physical characteristics can feel lonely in an average classroom because no one there understands them.

Although this strategy is not the worst way to deal with loneliness either way, it can result in a permanent feeling of being misunderstood – combined with the belief that this misunderstanding is an inevitable fate that one can do nothing about. Those affected give up trying to communicate with other people or clear up misunderstandings. Although in reality there are many people who understand it or at least want to.

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