- Avoidant attachment style
If a child grows up with parents who are not there to take care of the child, he learns to take care of himself and grows with an avoidant attachment style.
He will try to be as self-reliant as possible and will evade any intensity in relationships and will avoid sharing himself at deeper and intimate levels in relationships to avoid possible hurt.
The basis of both anxious and avoidant attachment style is Fear of abandonment that stems from a lack of parental love in childhood.
The partners we choose in adult relationships are subconsciously a replica of our parents because we seek the familiar.
Also if we have a poor sense of self and fear of abandonment due to lack of parental love in childhood, we will either have an anxious or avoidant attachment style and we will unconsciously get into toxic relationships.
It is important to take out time to acknowledge our unhealthy patterns and understand where they stem from so that we can consciously work towards healing them and form healthy relationships instead of toxic ones.
2) Operating in extremes in emotional space
It is during childhood, that the child gets help from his parents to learn to recognize and express his emotions in a safe environment.
If the parents are not available during this time, the child will have a hard time recognizing his emotions and expressing them in an optimum manner.
As an unloved child becomes an adult, he will operate in extremes in emotional space, he will either shut himself off to his emotions completely or he will express them in an exaggerated and uncontrolled manner.
3) Unhealthy ego
Like we discussed, a child starts to develop his ego/sense of self around two years of age.
The time and quality the parents devote to the child indicate to him the degree to which he is valued by his parents.
If he is provided love and support consistently during this time, he will begin to internalize the feeling that he is a valuable and worthy person and will mature into an adult with a confident and healthy ego.
However, if a child does not get consistent love and support during his growing years, he begins to feel that there is something wrong with him and grows up to be an adult with a poor and unhealthy ego.
4) Trust issues and Inability to create healthy boundaries
A child begins to form his self-image and worldview pretty early on in the life and most of this is based on his interactions with his parents.
If his parents stand by him and provide loving care and support, he grows up with a deep belief that this world is a safe place and that his needs will be provided for.
He grows up with an ability to trust people and believes in the general goodness in the world.
But if he has faced abandonment by his parents or if they were not there to provide him consistent love and support during his growing years, he grows up with a feeling that this world is a threatening and dangerous place and that anything can leave him at any time.
He has trouble trusting people even in close relationships and friendships due to his fear of loss and abandonment.
Boundary systems are invisible and symbolic “force fields” that have three purposes:
- to keep people from coming into our space and abusing us,
- to keep us from going into the space of others and abusing them, and
- to give each of us a way to embody our sense of “who we are.” – Pia Mellody, Facing Codependence.
Boundaries are very important functional tools for us to survive healthily in the world.
As the infant we have no boundaries, we are totally enmeshed with our parents, but as we grow up and start developing a separate sense of self, we also start to learn what boundaries are by observing how our parents operate.
We will take on whatever boundaries we saw most frequently in our childhood. If our families had non-existent or dysfunctional boundaries, we will take on that behavior in our adulthood.
If a parent is too intrusive or unreliable, the child will grow up to be avoidant and will grow walls instead of boundaries in his relationships.
If a parent is inconsistent in his love then the child will grow up to be too anxious and will try to dissolve all boundaries and merge with others totally.
He will view healthy boundaries created by friends as rejection and abandonment and will take it personally.