The very core of your person is not dictated by the brand of shoes you wear nor by the kind of car you drive; rather, it is determined, broken, and nourished by the relationships you form with others. Discord or estrangement, whether intentional or by inevitable nature, with these people can leave a scar-especially if they occur in your formative or childhood years.
Still, emotional damage is nothing to be ashamed of. There is not a soul on Earth that hasn’t once undergone a loss of trust, trauma or devastating situation.
Could you have emotional damage?
Keep reading to find out.
1. You’ve Had a Close Person Fracture Your Trust
The most common source of emotional damage is broken trust. Has a friend, family, or significant other betrayed or abandoned you? Broken trust can manifest in various ways depending on your boundaries and relationship with the other person. In any case, experiences like these may leave you utterly shattered as well as distrustful towards the benevolent individuals in your life.
2. You Don’t Look at Others the Same Anymore
It is a good thing to develop a good judge of character. It allows us to distinguish between those that genuinely care and those that bear bad intentions. However, there is a fine line between being vigilant and being unnecessarily paranoid of forming deep bonds with those around you. Harboring excessive fear from past experiences can only rob us of future intimate relationships we were destined to ignite.
3. You’ve Built a Moat Around Your Heart
Ever heard of the saying, “once bitten, twice shy”? Well, when one is hurt, their instinct is usually to retreat back into themselves, to refuse to expose their tender hearts and most intimate thoughts with others again. If vulnerability is difficult for you, begin by taking small steps. It is not worth forsaking relationships with the wonderful people you are bound to meet over one bad apple.
4. You Frequently Compare Yourself to Others
Emotional damage is often accompanied by feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. Looking around you, you may notice people you perceive as more intelligent, more beautiful, or more remarkable. It is difficult not to compare in coexistence with these people, but it can be especially detrimental to your self esteem in the long run. It is especially difficult for those with low self esteem to sustain healthy and stable relationships in the long run.
5. You Don’t Feel Comfortable Being Yourself
Having been rejected or abandoned before, you look immediately within and question your own self worth rather than objectively considering the situation at hand. It is critical to keep your frame open and understand the full picture when you can. This way, you do not misallocate blame to yourself. You are enough.
6. You are Reluctant to Open Your Social Circle
Sure it’s not bad to remain with the tried and true-the friends that have consistently demonstrated their loyalty to you. But remember that true growth can only occur when you surround yourself by new perspectives and a diverse group of people. It is crucial that you don’t let the weeds that are bad experiences restrain you from reaching out to others again.
7. You’ve Undergone a Harsh Breakup
Breakups, however they may occur, are often agreed to be one of the most painful experiences to exist. If you feel disinclined to dive back into the dating world, understand that it is entirely okay to take your time. Also, remember that the game of love is the precise exemplar of the notion ‘there cannot be gain without risk’’.
8. You Prefer Being Alone
Given the chance, are you inclined to engage in solitary activities? You find it safest when you are out of the reach of society and people because you believe the only person you can truly trust is yourself. However, it is important to remember that good, bad and complicated people exist in all corners of the Earth. It is impossible to avoid them all, but simultaneously, it is not worth living deprived of human interaction and love.
9. You Yourself Have Become an Elusive Figure
You are so afraid that history will repeat itself that you are determined to write the pages instead of waiting passively and letting events happen to you. That’s why you take it upon yourself to leave before another has the opportunity to hurt or leave you first. This is an unhealthy and especially hurtful pattern. Only by addressing this can you form deep, genuine bonds with others.
10. You are Haunted by Labels
Have you been called broken and damaged before? The truth is, not one person is really more broken than the other. It would be futile to compare emotional scars, especially as that energy can be channeled into recovery instead. You are not what other people tell you you are. Only you yourself have sovereignty over your own identity.
The trend of brokenness is age-old; it prompts generations to prey on generations, friends to hurt friends, and lovers to abandon lovers. The fortunate thing is, there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how constricting or dark it may be at the moment.
Even if you bear emotional scars, you are not emotionally damaged. Remember to always treat yourself with love and compassion. The road to healing will always begins with self-love.
“19 Signs of Emotional Damage and Ways to Get Past Them.” LovePanky, 20 Jan. 2016, www.lovepanky.com/my-life/reflections/signs-of-emotional-damage.
Isadora Baum, CHC. “9 Signs Your Childhood May Have Damaged You Emotionally & Affected Your Future Relationships.” Bustle, Bustle, 25 May 2017, www.bustle.com/p/9-signs-your-childhood-may-have-damaged-you-emotionally-affected-your-future-relationships-59080.
Manus, Kwartler. “What Qualifies as Emotional Damages?” Kwartler Manus, LLC, 11 June 2018, www.kminjurylawyers.com/firm-news/blog/2018/june/what-qualifies-as-emotional-damages-/#:~:text=Emotional%20damages%20are%20situations%20in,entity’s%20negligent%20or%20intentional%20actions.
Robinson, Lawrence. “Emotional and Psychological Trauma.” HelpGuide.org, 19 Apr. 2021, www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/coping-with-emotional-and-psychological-trauma.htm.
“Warning Signs and Risk Factors for Emotional Distress.” SAMHSA, www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline/warning-signs-risk-factors.