10 things you don’t realize you’re doing because you’re emotionally wounded

by Lachlan Brown | June 30, 2024, 6:51 pm

Ever heard that a broken heart takes longer to mend than a broken bone?

Well, it’s true! Past hurts can sneakily guide how we think, feel, and act.

So if something from way back still feels raw, it might be pulling the strings behind some of your actions today.

In this article, we’ll spotlight 10 signs of emotional wounds. 

Our goal? To help you spot them, understand them, and start your healing journey.

Let’s jump in!

1. Over-apologizing for Everything

Ever said “sorry” even when you bumped into a chair or when someone else stepped on your foot?

Over-apologizing is more than just being polite; it can be a sign that you’re carrying emotional baggage.

When we’re hurt in the past, we sometimes feel like we need to avoid any chance of causing trouble or displeasing others.

This can make us say “sorry” too often, even for things that aren’t our fault.

While it’s good to own up to mistakes, constantly apologizing can mean you’re not giving yourself the credit and space you deserve.

Remember, it’s okay to stand your ground and recognize when something isn’t on you.

2. Avoiding Deep Connections

I remember a time when I’d keep everyone at arm’s length. Making small talk? Sure. Sharing personal stories or feelings? Not so much.

I didn’t realize then that my emotional wounds were pushing people away.

When we’re hurt before, it’s like our heart builds this invisible wall, trying to protect itself.

We might think, “If I don’t get too close to someone, they can’t hurt me.”

But in doing so, we also miss out on the warmth and joy of genuine connections.

If you find yourself keeping friendships and relationships superficial, it might be time to ask why and see if past hurts are holding you back.

It’s scary to open up, but it can also be incredibly freeing and healing.

3. Constantly Doubting Yourself

There was a phase in my life where every decision, no matter how small, felt like climbing a mountain.

Should I wear this? Is my work good enough? Was that joke okay?

These doubts were not about clothes or jokes; they stemmed from deeper emotional wounds.

When we’ve been criticized, let down, or hurt in the past, it’s easy to start doubting our worth and capabilities.

This self-doubt can turn into a background noise, making every choice harder.

But here’s the thing: just because you were hurt before doesn’t mean your instincts and feelings aren’t valid now.

It’s essential to acknowledge these feelings of self-doubt and remind ourselves of our worth and the strength we possess.

4. Numbing the Pain Instead of Facing It

We live in a world filled with distractions: endless TV shows, social media scrolls, and mindless habits that eat away our hours.

But sometimes, these distractions aren’t just about killing time—they’re our way of drowning out the pain.

It’s raw, but true: many of us numb our emotional wounds with activities, substances, or even work to avoid facing the hurt head-on.

It’s like putting a band-aid on a deep gash; it covers it up, but the wound remains untreated.

The truth is, facing our pain is terrifying. But continuously numbing it only allows it to fester.

Healing begins when we muster the courage to confront that pain, to sit with it, understand it, and eventually find ways to let it go.

5. Seeking Validation Instead of Self-Acceptance

The likes on a post, the compliments on an outfit, the nods of agreement in a meeting – these can become addictive, especially when we’re hurting inside.

Instead of seeking comfort and assurance within ourselves, we turn to the external world, hoping it will fill the void.

But the truth? No amount of external validation can mend an emotionally wounded heart.

It might offer a fleeting sense of worth, but it’s like trying to quench your thirst with saltwater; it leaves you longing for more.

The real journey to healing is found in accepting and loving ourselves, flaws and all, without waiting for the world to do it for us.

6. Being Overly Positive and Avoiding Negativity

It might seem odd, but sometimes, always being the “glass-half-full” person can be a sign of underlying emotional wounds.

While optimism is generally a good trait, compulsively avoiding any negative emotion or thought can be a defense mechanism.

It’s like painting over a stained wall without cleaning it first—the issue still lurks beneath.

By constantly shutting out any negative feelings, we deny ourselves the chance to process and heal from them.

True emotional balance isn’t about being positive all the time; it’s about recognizing all feelings, both good and bad, and giving ourselves the space to experience and learn from them.

7. Overcompensating by Being a People Pleaser

Ever find yourself saying ‘yes’ to every request or constantly adjusting your actions and opinions to fit the mold others expect?

This tendency to overcompensate by being excessively accommodating often stems from emotional wounds.

Deep down, there’s a fear that if we don’t meet everyone’s expectations, we might face rejection or isolation.

But constantly bending over backward for others can be draining and can make us lose touch with our own desires and boundaries.

While it’s noble to care for others and seek harmony, it’s equally important to recognize and honor our own needs and feelings.

Remember, it’s okay to say ‘no’ sometimes and prioritize your own well-being.

8. Creating Emotional Distances Even When Physically Close

I’ve been in rooms filled with loved ones, surrounded by laughter and chatter, yet felt miles away.

It’s a strange sensation, being physically present but emotionally distant.

I later understood that it was my way of self-preservation, a protective barrier I’d unknowingly built due to past emotional wounds.

It was easier to drift into my own world rather than risk vulnerability or potential hurt.

But this emotional detachment also meant I was missing out on genuine moments of connection and intimacy.

Recognizing this pattern was the first step towards letting my guard down, allowing myself to be truly present with those I care about.

9. Seeking Control in Unpredictable Situations

Life is unpredictable, but for someone carrying emotional wounds, this unpredictability can feel unbearably threatening.

As a result, there’s a drive to control every aspect of life – be it relationships, work, or daily routines.

This urge for control is often a way to avoid feeling vulnerable or to prevent past traumas from repeating.

However, this tight grip can suffocate spontaneity and freedom, making relationships strained and life’s experiences limited.

Embracing the fact that we can’t control everything, and finding peace in life’s uncertainties, can pave the way for healing and a more enriching life experience.

10. Pushing Love Away Even When You Crave It

Deep down, many of us yearn for love, connection, and acceptance.

Yet, ironically, when it’s within arm’s reach, we push it away.

It’s not that we don’t want it—it’s the fear of getting hurt again that makes us recoil.

The raw truth is, emotional wounds can make us distrustful of genuine affection and intimacy.

“What if they leave?” “What if I’m not enough?”

These fears make us sabotage relationships before they even begin, or find faults in those who only wish to get close.

Denying ourselves love doesn’t shield us from pain; it only prolongs the loneliness.

Embracing vulnerability, and understanding that love comes with its risks, can help break these walls and let genuine connection in.



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