6 Signs Your Inner Child Is Still Hurting

(The information in this article is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content, including text, images, and information, contained in this article is for general information purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional.)

Are you in touch with your inner child? Do you enjoy going outside and playing with your kids? On the other hand, have you forgotten how wonderful it is to play? If you have free time, do you fill it up by working more or do something else?

Adults who were raised in an unhappy household are still carrying the trauma with them, and they have never reconnected with or healed their inner child. This agony leaves deep scars that may impede one’s capacity to experience joy, enjoy current relationships, achieve success, or even raise children as they desire.

As adults, we all deal with the consequences of our past in different ways but sometimes we forget how important it can be to take care of ourselves from the inside out–especially when it comes to our own inner child. This article is to talk about 6 signs your inner child is still hurting. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you can find ways to take care of it.

1. You don’t trust yourself or others.

Your inner child is the part of you that had to learn how to survive and protect yourself from physical and emotional pain, but it can also keep you stuck in the trauma of your past. This child feels like you don’t measure up, no matter what you do which leads to self-blame and a diminished sense of self-worth. You feel guilty when you should feel happy, which also results in you dealing a hard time accepting compliments and have trouble believing in yourself.

2. You’re overly responsible.

As a child, you had to grow up too soon–which means that you tried to be perfect at everything because anything less was not okay – it simply would not do. This behavior continues into adulthood and leaves you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated because life isn’t perfect. And while we all need balance in our lives concerning work and play, the inner child’s fear raises a caveat that becoming too relaxed and accepting of oneself or one’s circumstances (impoverished childhood, neglectful parents) will result in the same pain as the past–making you continue to avoid confronting the past.

3. You feel like you don’t have a voice or can’t say no.

As a child, when your emotional needs weren’t met, you learned to sacrifice yourself in order to survive. When someone wants something from you, that discomfort of being a kid who didn’t get your way is reawakened, making it challenging for you to stand up for yourself and what you want. This is especially relevant when the expectation comes from a loved one. Therefore, being acquainted with your emotional needs rather than contradicting yourself for others’ sake is a healthier resolution for yourself in a long run.

4. You find yourself constantly seeking approval.

Your parents were unable to give you the love and approval you needed, which in turn, as an adult, you constantly try to fill this void by seeking approval from others. You look for compliments and often get caught up in pleasing everyone but yourself. This approval-seeking behavior is exhausting and doesn’t create feelings of self-worth or contentment which can lead to depression.

5. You judge yourself harshly.

Your inner child equates mistakes with being “bad” in an effort to correct yourself in order to avoid judgment–both good and bad. However, the downside of judging yourself harshly is that it prevents you from taking risks or trying something new because your inner child fears failure above all else–which means doing anything out of the ordinary is out of the question. This can lead to a feeling of lack of success, low self-esteem, and an inability to set boundaries.

6. You’re a people pleaser.

Your inner child learned that others’ approval is more important than your own because you needed to keep your loved ones close in order to survive–and pleasing others was a way to do it. This behavior may feel automatic with family or colleagues, but ultimately it will lead you to feel drained, resentful, and stuck in relationships where there’s an imbalance of power that makes you feel powerless. While taking care of others has its place in healthy relationships, make sure you know when is considered enough–which means setting the boundaries necessary to take care of yourself.

Letting go of the past and growing up doesn’t happen automatically. It takes effort to replace limiting beliefs with empowering ones by recognizing your patterns of behavior from childhood that may still be affecting you as an adult. The key is to ensure yourself not to be identified by these subconscious conclusions formed in childhood–and instead, slowly divert consciously to decide who you want to become. This practice might be hard to be honed at first, but it’s gonna worth your time for the betterment of your well-being at the end of the day. Can you relate to any of the signs above? If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to share or comment. Till next time!


  1. Power of Positivity. (2019, May 31). 10 Signs Your Inner Child Is Still Hurting. https://www.powerofpositivity.com/inner-child-hurting/

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