23 thoughts on “Friendship Remedy For The Emotionally Neglected

  • July 22, 2018 at 10:43 am

    Jonice, You must notice a real difference in effects of CEN on men versus women. Besides the CEN one receives in the family men also suffer doubly because they also must conform to the Man Box. Breaking through with both can become almost impossible, you may know what you need to do but are afraid or are discouraged from one or both.

    • July 22, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      Hi Ted, yes I do notice some differences between CEN in men and women. I wrote a blog about it on this page a year or two ago. Men are definitely expected to squelch their emotions in today’s society. It causes all kinds of problems to be raised with CEN and to then live in the emotionally intolerant adult world. Thanks for sharing your comment!

  • July 22, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Love your blog, was skeptical at first because I’m used to signing up for subscriptions to these things and them turning out to be scams and plugs, but your articles are well-written, insightful, and have genuinely helped me make some big changes in my life. Thank you so much.

    • July 22, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      My pleasure SW! I’m very glad to be helping.

  • July 22, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    The problem for me, I think, is that I tend to choose people who aren’t the healthiest emotionally, and are often not emotionally available. How do you find and attract emotionally healthy people that are looking for friendship at my age? Most of the women I know are busy, busy, busy—with family and kids and even grandkids. I’m not the slightest bit interested in an intimate (dating) relationship with anyone, but companionship at times would be nice–someone to share my day, plan trips, go shopping with….it’s not easy.

    • July 22, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      Dear Anita, that’s a great question! The healthier you get yourself emotionally, and the emotionally available you become, the healthier people you will attract and keep as friends. So the best way to build the best friendships is, surprisingly, to focus on yourself first.

    • July 22, 2018 at 7:12 pm

      For me it was joining a club. I’d always wanted to learn to play lawn bowls so I took off by myself and got some coaching. I was welcomed by all the club members. Then my husband joined. That was 3 years ago. I met a couple of ladies who then wanted to do Tai Chi. So that was my next step. They have social events so I’m now meeting other people and increasing my circle. I love that I was able to go out there and do things just for me. For years I just stuck with my family but that wasn’t enough for me. Take a risk. You definitely won’t be disappointed.

      • July 22, 2018 at 7:23 pm

        Awesome Sue! Thanks for your encouragement to others. Keep up the good work.

    • July 22, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      Antia, the problem may not be that you “chose” the wrong people as much as the people you are able to have contact with do not happen to be emotionally available. It’s very hard to cultivate meaningful friendships. I would be happy to be your internet pal if there was an opportunity provided to connect through this site. I wish you lots of luck in finding quality people! You are not alone in your struggle!

    • July 25, 2018 at 11:28 pm

      Anita, I am seriously in the same boat. I could have written the same words. Quality friendships are needed! You can only focus on yourself for so long. 😊 Wish we could connect. I have a friend who emails with me and we connected via FB posts as she was navigating a divorce and I needed help with a prodigal child. Our talks have meant so much!

  • July 22, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    The article makes a lot of assumptions. It also blames the individual for their needs not being met. Not every child that grows up emotionally neglected builds walls around themselves and/or undervalues themselves. In fact, being emotionally neglected can make you more aware of your value, what you really deserve and the need to be open to people. Sometimes despite our best efforts to connect we just do not have the right people around to connect with. I understand this popular blaming the victim culture is a way that they can feel like they have control over their circumstances; if they just did the right thing and acted in the right way then surely positive friendship would come their way. Sadly, this is not how reality works. Sometimes the cards you are dealt are bad parents as well as bad friends.

    Additionally, we are living in an age of digital connection where likes and generic comments on someone’s social media constitute a friendship and it focuses us on ourselves sharing your thoughts, your pictures, your goings rather than connection with others. It’s hard enough in this climate for people without as much emotional baggage to connect, let alone people who really need meaningful connections with quality people.

    Telling people who are already in emotional distress that if they just got “healthy” they would attract the right people is false science and downright cruel. It assumes they aren’t already healthy or doing right things and sets them up for failure and disappointment. There is no guarantee you will have the right people to connect with regardless of your emotional health or attitude. Perhaps a better use of time would be helping people in these situations connect and cope with living without being able to have their needs fulfilled.

    • July 22, 2018 at 3:34 pm

      Dear Jane, there is nothing in my article about blame. It’s about understanding what went wrong so that we can fix it. Yes, the digital age is a problem, I agree! And it is hard to meet people in person in today’s world, yes for sure. But if you read my article again you will see that I’m encouraging people who were ignored as children to stop ignoring themselves further by over-focusing on others. I have seen, time and time again, that the path to healthy relationships involves giving ourselves what we missed in childhood. There is no blame or shame. It’s all about working ourselves toward the solution. Thank you for your comment.

      • July 22, 2018 at 8:46 pm

        The blame is implied. You are making an assumption that just because someone was emotionally neglected that they overlook themselves and need to “fix” something.

      • July 23, 2018 at 7:42 am

        What you are calling an assumption is just the way human psychology works. Blame is not involved.

  • July 23, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Dear Jonice,

    I read your books and found many answers. Thank you very much. But not all answers. How does CEN apply to immigrants? In their case CEN may be due to difficulties in adjusting to life in a new country. They may accept CEN as the price to pay and be grateful for being able to immigrate. Does CEN apply only to people who solved their other problems?

    • July 23, 2018 at 8:29 pm

      Hi Peter, CEN happens for different reasons in different cultures and populations of people. It cannot be boiled down to any one group or type. CEN does not only apply to people who’ve solved their other problems! It can, however, be covered by other more obvious or visible or tangible problems, making it hard to see. Sometimes I talk about it in its purest form because that makes it easier for people to see and understand it. Hope that answers your question.

  • July 25, 2018 at 2:51 am

    I call this The Law of Isolation. I’ve found that it applies in even the most life changing circumstances.

    For example, 9 years ago I was told I had a form of chronic leukemia. I informed my boss of what was happening as I had to have a tests to determine the nature of the cancer which meant taking some sick leave. During the week between being told I had a malignancy and getting the actual diagnosis, I had several discussions with him (initiated by myself) on the matter as I was stressed out of my brain and thought I needed someone to talk to (nobody else cares so I chose him). When I returned to work after the diagnosis he asked once what the diagnosis was and never raised the subject again. He showed no concern when I was suffering from insomnia for months after the diagnosis. He never asked me once how I was feeling or if he could do anything to help. It was as if nothing had ever happened. I should also point out that I was seated right next to him and he was widely liked within the team.

    I’ve told several others and they all behaved in a similar manner. With the benefit of hindsight, I should’ve kept the entire thing to myself. Anyway, I’ve found that sharing my problems is of little personal assistance. It doesn’t change the facts of the situation and people’s sympathy/empathy runs of me like water of a duck’s back. I think I might be immune to kindness.

    • July 25, 2018 at 8:27 am

      Dear Bill, I encourage you to talk with a therapist about this. Something is going wrong for you somewhere, I agree! Choosing the right people and cultivating relationships with them is the best way to ensure that we’ll have someone in our corner when we need them. And growing up in an emotionally neglectful household can make it very difficult to learn how to start and nurture genuine support systems in your life. I hope you’ll check the “Find A CEN Therapist Page” on my website and contact a therapist near you. Sending you my best wishes.

  • July 25, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    “The way you feel about yourself and treat yourself shows. Other people will start to see and feel that you are a person who matters. They will naturally treat you differently.”

    what if people already ignore you and don’t see the changes you make? What if you already feel neglected and shunned by everyone; that no one sees when you feel good?

    I’ve struggled with this for too many years; and until this article I didn’t have an understanding why…. but now I’ve spent most of my life building walls; that no one notices when i open a window and try to get out or let people in. I’m so re-closed that taking myself to a therapist or counselor ALONE is impossible for me now… because I feel so deeply that no one really cares or listens.

    • July 25, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      I am so sorry that you’ve been living this way. You are the only one who can turn this around. I hope you will take a risk and take the chance of opening yourself up, even just a little, to a carefully chosen person, hopefully a trained therapist. Sending you all my best wishes.

      • July 25, 2018 at 5:16 pm

        Why does everyone tell me that I have to do this alone; but not understand how difficult that is for me? I think my situation is more unique because of my rare life difficulties. I’m sure I’d make a good study case if I was important enough. I identify with everything you’ve said; but I’m also a surviving twin. I never knew my twin even though we were both born. He died a few months later. I’m rambling. I’m sorry. Thank you. I don’t think I have any hope anyways.

  • July 26, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    My friends definately have issues. It’s looking like 2 or 3 are depressed as well as other issues.
    Because my friends have issues, I’m feeling like I am emotionally not where I need to be.
    Hope this makes sense!

    • July 27, 2018 at 8:06 am

      Dear Lynns, it does make sense. We can all be greatly affected by our friends! I hope you will think about building up your boundaries as a solution.


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