In general, someone could have the tendency to overlook their own needs and to be there for others. Naturally, this is not going to allow them to lead a fulfilling life but it can just be what feels comfortable.

By behaving in this way, they may find that it is not difficult for them to receive approval and attention from others. Along with this, it will probably allow them to receive enough money to survive.

One Big Act

So, regardless of whether they are around their friends or at work, they are typically not going to fully show up and express who they are. Still, this doesn’t mean that the people in their life will realise this.

This can be primarily due to how well they are able to hide how they feel and their ability to come across as happy. Behind the mask that their wear, then, will be someone who is not in a good way.

A Different Side

When they are in their own company, they may often feel down and deeply depressed. To feel better, they could end up engaging in some kind of activity and/or consume something.

This will allow them to avoid how they feel, if only momentarily, but it certainly won’t allow them to transform their life. There is the chance that this is just seen as how life is and that there is very little that they can do.

An Exercise

If they were to imagine changing their behaviour and expressing their needs, they could end up feeling deeply uncomfortable. What could arise during this time is fear and anxiety and they may feel as though their very survival is at risk.

Therefore, as unfulfilling as their life is, this will be seen as their only option. They are then just going to have to tolerate what is going on.

Another Reality

If it was put forward to them that how they experience life is not their only option and that there is another way, they might find this hard to accept. Thanks to how they experience life, they could see themselves as a powerless victim.

What is going on out there will then be in control of their life and what is going on out there will need to change in order for their life to change. If they were to look back on their life, they may find that it has been this way for as long as they can remember.

A Closer Look

If this is the case, it is likely to show that their developmental years were not very nurturing. This may have been a time when they were regularly neglected and thus missed out on the nutrients that they needed to be able to grow and develop.

But, as they are unable to remember what took place during this stage of their life, how they experience life as an adult won’t make sense. This is likely to show that their brain has blocked out what took place to protect them.

The Ideal

What they needed, throughout this key stage of their life, was to have their needs met on a regular basis. This would have allowed them to stay connected to their true self, so their needs and feelings and to feel safe enough to express who they are.

Having at least one caregiver who was available and able to love them would have allowed them to realise that they are supported for who they are. There would have been no need for them to hide themselves and to be someone else.

A Different Experience

However, as this stage of their life was radically different to this, they would have been deeply deprived. Instead of having their needs met on a consistent basis, they may have been forced to take care of their caregiver's needs and if they didn’t do as they were told, they may have ended up being abandoned and isolated from others in the process.

Taking this into account, a number of their needs would have been overlooked when their caregivers were around and most of them would have been ignored when they were cast aside. This was a time in their life when they needed to be seen and heard, which is why being neglected would have deeply wounded them.

The Message

As they were powerless and totally dependent, they would have had to repress how they felt and to go into a collapsed, shut-down and frozen state. Along with this, they would have come to believe that the only for them to survive and not be left was to hide themselves and to do what other people wanted.

Revealing themselves, on the other hand, would have been seen as something that would cause them to be abandoned and for their life to come to an end. Ultimately, this stage of their life would have been brutal.

The truth

What took place will be in the past, that much is clear but how they felt all those years ago will be held inside their brain and body. Some of this pain will be unlocked when they think about expressing themselves.

For their life to change and for them to realise that they can be supported for who they are, they will need to work through this pain. This is something that is going to take patience and persistence.


If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author of 25 books, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, inner child and inner awareness. With over two thousand, eight hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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