Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN): Happens when your parents fail to respond enough to your emotional needs as they raise you.
Growing up with your parents under-responding to your feelings throughout your childhood sets you up to under-respond to your own feelings through your adulthood. Essentially, you are trained to ignore, minimize, and perhaps even be ashamed of, your own feelings.
But the good news is that Childhood Emotional Neglect is not a lifelong sentence. You can heal it. And it’s not as difficult or complicated as you might think.
By beginning to pay attention to yourself and your own feelings, you can begin to honor your deepest self; the self that was so ignored as a child. The more you focus on yourself, your own feelings and needs and wants, the better you can take step after step through the CEN healing process.
Why You Need Affirmations
As a psychologist who specializes in treating Childhood Emotional Neglect, I have walked hundreds of people through the 5 stages of CEN recovery. And I have watched motivated people slip off-track, distracted by the demands of their everyday life or discouraged about their inability to make it happen fast enough.
One thing I know from going through this with so many CEN folks is that the ones who succeed, who really change their lives, are the ones who never give up.
The best thing you can do to heal yourself is to keep your goals in your mind as you go through your day. And to help you do that, I am sharing with you daily affirmations in every area of your recovery: healing yourself, healing your marriage, parenting your children, and coping with your emotionally neglectful parents.
Once you get started, you may want to use some from all 4 areas, because once you start to see yourself through the lens of CEN, you may reflect differently on every important person in your life.
How to Use The Affirmations
I recommend you read through all of the affirmations below. As you do so, you may notice that certain ones jump out at you. These are the ones that you likely need the most right now.
You can use these affirmations in two different ways. You can say them to yourself when you need them, to keep you on track, remind you of what’s important, and strengthen you. And you can also use them as starting points to help you think about, or meditate on, what’s important in your healing. I hope you will use them, and use them well.
Special Note: To learn how to repair Emotional Neglect in your most important relationships see the book Running On Empty No More: Transform Your Relationships With Your Partner, Your Parents & Your Children. Childhood Emotional Neglect can be subtle and unmemorable so it can be hard to know if you grew up with it. To find out Take The Emotional Neglect Test. It’s free.
38 Daily Affirmations/Meditations For Healing Your Childhood Emotional Neglect
FOR HEALING YOURSELF
My wants and needs are just as important as anyone else’s.
My feelings are important messages from my body.
My feelings matter.
I am a valid human being with feelings and needs.
I am worth getting to know.
I am a likable and lovable person.
I am the only person responsible for getting my own needs met.
It is not selfish, but responsible, to put my own needs first.
Asking for help is a sign of strength.
Feelings are never right or wrong. They just are.
I am proud to be a deeply feeling person.
All human beings make mistakes. What matters is that I learn from mine.
I deserve to be cared for.
My feelings are walled off, but they are still there, and they are important.
Every feeling can be managed.
FOR PARENTING YOUR CHILDREN
My children’s feelings drive their behavior. Feelings first.
I can’t give my children what I do not have myself.
My child is important, but so am I.
The better I care for myself, the better I can care for my child.
I don’t need to be a perfect parent. I just need to pay enough attention to their feelings.
I will give my child what I never got from my parents.
The best way to do better for my children is to do better for myself.
FOR HEALING YOUR MARRIAGE
I matter, and so does my husband/wife.
My partner cannot read my mind.
It’s my responsibility to tell my partner what I want, feel and need.
My partner and I each have hundreds of feelings each and every day.
It’s okay if my partner’s feelings are not the same as mine.
The facts are less important than my partner’s feelings.
When it comes to my marriage, sharing is key.
My partner needs me to talk more and ask more questions.
FOR COPING WITH YOUR PARENTS
I did not choose to grow up emotionally neglected.
My parents could not give me what they did not have.
My parents are not capable of seeing or knowing the real me.
I am angry at my parents for a reason. They failed me in a very important way.
I can spend time with my emotionally neglectful parents. My boundaries will protect me.
I don’t have to be validated by my parents. I validate myself.
If my parents are not able to see me, I will see myself.
It’s my responsibility to give myself what my parents couldn’t give me. And I will.
Childhood Emotional Neglect can be subtle and unmemorable so it can be hard to know if you have it. To find out Take The Emotional Neglect Test. It’s free.
To learn much more about how Emotional Neglect happens and how to heal it, see the book Running On Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect.