15 Signs Your Inner Child Is Seriously Unhappy And Needs Attention

15 Signs Your Inner Child Is Seriously Unhappy And Needs Attention

In the last couple of years, the concept of your “inner child” has really taken off. If you don’t know what that is, it’s essentially the part of your subconscious that has mentally and emotionally been picking up messages since you were born. A lot of those messages manifest as certain behaviors, actions, or habits. If you want to get specific, here are 15 of them.

1. You have trouble connecting to joy.

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When was the last time you did something just because it would feel good? If your answer is “I can’t remember,” then your inner child might not be too happy with the circumstances. A lack of joy in life can indicate that your inner child’s need for happiness, fulfillment, and excitement isn’t being prioritized and that needs to change.

2. You have big reactions.

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Maybe when you were growing up your parents didn’t pay too much attention when you were having a tantrum. Today, you might have some really big reactions to small things because you weren’t taught how to self-regulate. No matter where it comes from, it’s your inner child letting out unresolved crap from the past.

3. It’s difficult for you to forgive.

 

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A big sign that your inner child is not happy is if it holds on to grudges like it’s hanging on for dear life. It makes sense: the inability to forgive is often a result of all of the unresolved or unnoticed pain that your inner child has been carrying for years. The best advice is to bear witness to this pain and let your inner child speak, so you can move on.

4. Being vulnerable makes you uncomfortable.

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If you were shamed or ignored for showing your authentic self growing up, then you probably have a hard time being vulnerable and authentic as an adult. You may suppress your genuine self because your inner child learned that if the true you were unleashed, you’d either end up hurt or rejected.

5. You’re noticing certain patterns repeat.

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Negative patterns that come up over and over again can signify that your inner child is not happy. Whether that’s pushing people away or continually finding yourself in toxic romantic relationships, it’s a sign of unresolved issues. Your inner child is acting out in a way and it’s up to you to hear it out and let it know that you’re in the driver’s seat.

6. You’re a people pleaser.

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If you didn’t receive validation or approval from your parents growing up, then your inner child will go searching for it. That means you’ll get into the habit of seeking love and approval from anyone outside of yourself. But here’s the thing: when you’re an adult, you can reparent your inner child and teach it to turn the love they desperately need inward.

7. You have a fear of abandonment.

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This means that your inner child feels unlovable. Whether you were shown or outright told that this was true, it stuck. Today, that makes you terrified of getting close in the first place because people will always abandon you. Take this as your sign to give your inner child a big hug, because you are lovable.

8. You’re a perfectionist.

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Have an obsession with perfection? That probably means your inner child is not having a good time. Being overly critical of yourself might indicate that you’re seeking validation or approval so you can compensate for whatever is currently making you feel inadequate.

9. You have a hard time setting boundaries.

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If you have trouble putting up boundaries, then chances are your inner child isn’t feeling so great. Not being able to implement boundaries as an adult shows that your inner child’s needs for things like safety and autonomy weren’t met. Now is your chance to create that safe space for your inner kid.

10. You don’t feel playful.

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If you’re feeling really knocked down and your sense of play and creativity isn’t showing, then your inner child probably feels neglected. It’s been constantly told that it has to prioritize other things (like work and adult responsibilities) and, somewhere along the way, it lost its spark. What your inner child needs is nurturing and a chance to rediscover what lights you up.

11. You self-sabotage.

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If you notice that you’re often messing things up for yourself (consciously or subconsciously) then that shows your inner child is trying to tell you something. Self-sabotaging is a way for your inner child to protect itself from certain threats or harm that it learned to fear when you were a kid. It’s likely rooted in past experiences of trauma, rejection, or failure.

12. You feel lonely.

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If you’re feeling lonely or isolated then your inner child could be feeling some type of way. These feelings of seclusion could point to past experiences of unmet needs regarding connection, validation, and emotional support. Your inner child wants connection, adult you should try to give that to it.

13. It’s hard for you to trust people.

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Past experiences like betrayal or abandonment might make it really hard for you to place trust in those around you. If you grew up in an unpredictable environment—sometimes things were great, sometimes things were terrible—then this can cause your inner child to be on guard and be hesitant to let others in.

14. You talk to yourself negatively.

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If you have a constant negative inner dialogue, that may mean your inner child isn’t particularly happy. This indicates deep-seated beliefs and perceptions that you formed when you were growing up. It’s a hard thing to unlearn, but if you can give your inner child some positive reinforcement and love, it’ll go a long way.

15. You feel lost.

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There could be multiple reasons as to why you feel this way. But your inner child is likely holding onto past neglect—things like not having any clear guidance or positive role models, and not getting the proper encouragement needed to form an identity. All of those things lead to confusion and a sense of being adrift.

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