7 Causes of Feeling Unwanted Which Have Roots in Your Childhood

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If you’re feeling unwanted, it could be more than moodiness. These feelings could derive from a childhood event thought to be long forgotten.

Feeling unwanted doesn’t always come from being loved incorrectly. Sometimes feeling unwanted or unloved comes from the inability to feel love.

Sometimes it stems from unhealthy social interactions or feelings of incompetence. There are so many reasons why a person would feel unwanted, and sometimes it comes from as far back as childhood.

Root causes of unwanted feelings

For some people, no matter how hard they try, they feel empty. Love is hard to recognize for what it is, and rejection seems almost unbearable. These are not normal reactions, and these reactions can grow into total alienation.

Feeling unwanted can drive someone to abandon any healthy relationships in preference for isolation just because rejection is too hard to bear. Taking a look at childhood roots can reveal the truth about feeling unwanted and how it can be of our own adult making.

1. Isolation

Feelings of isolation have a funny way of causing feelings of rejection and also being a result of feeling rejection. It actually works both ways. One root of feeling unwanted, however, does come from isolation as a child.

The inability of parents being able to love their child correctly will definitely make that child feel unwanted. Sometimes just the lack of ample love can cause the same effect.

Childhood isolation teaches the child to become accustomed to solitude. It also teaches the adult to feel unwanted just as they felt in childhood. In adulthood, the feelings of rejection are stronger because of the predisposition of childhood feelings.

It’s a trap of emotions that are somewhat hard to escape.

2. Gaslighting

Children endure gaslighting all the time. To some, this behavior is seen as normal, to be honest. Children are told that they are too sensitive, and this leads to feelings of adult beliefs.

After being told certain things in childhood such as, “You’re too sensitive”, “You’re not trying hard enough” and “You should be more like others”, a child will start to believe these things as facts.

They will carry these beliefs into adulthood where others will say things such as, “You’re crazy”, and they will believe that too. Adults will begin to feel unwanted in the same way.

They will believe negative words from abusive people and this will structure how they feel about themselves.



3. Lack of boundaries

In childhood, few people respect a child’s boundaries. Unfortunately, many parents see their children as “property”. I know, that sounds horrendous, but think about it.

It’s good to remember that children also need a certain amount of privacy and freedom at times, not overstepping the boundaries of the discipline, of course.

So, this lack of boundaries makes adults who have survived childhood abuse, think that loved ones needing space means rejection. Adults suffering from feeling unwanted will see personal space as a negative thing and will struggle with accepting this for a long time.

4. Attachments

As a child, you will develop one of three attachment styles: healthy, anxious and avoidant. The only normal attachment type is the healthy one, of course. Anxious attachments come from living in a dysfunctional family and growing to think this type of life is normal.

Avoidant attachments come from isolation and rejection as a child which turns into similar feelings as an adult.

Both the anxious and avoidant personality can cause you to feel unwanted in adulthood. If you were avoided as a child, you will probably feel that way as an adult most of the time and you will react either by trying to get closer or pulling further away.



If you had a dysfunctional family atmosphere, it’s a tossup on how you will react as an adult. Either way, you will struggle with correctly feeling love.

5. Fears

Were you a frightened child most of the time? If so, you will feel that way quite a bit as an adult. Most of the time these childhood fears stemmed from being afraid of failing, especially if your parents placed high expectations on your performances. As an adult, these fears will translate to present situations.

If you’re in a relationship, you will have high expectations and a lingering paranoia that something negative will most always happen. This will leave an emptiness and feelings of being unwanted.

In your mind, you will never be good enough, and if your mate is showing the tiniest signs of being unhappy, you will be convinced that you are unwanted.

6. Emotional immaturity

Did you know that teaching emotional stability is one of the most important roles of the parent? If for any reason, the parent does not or cannot teach these things, emotions will be all over the place.

Basically, someone has to teach children about their emotional intellect in order for them to use it correctly in adulthood.

When they are emotionally immature, adults cannot rationalize feelings correctly. Sometimes they feel unloved when they are loved perfectly. It’s easy to misconstrue their partner’s or friend’s feelings and make assumptions.

Many adults start feeling unwanted because they have no idea what they are actually feeling. In fact, they are still reacting as a child would.

7. Lack of trust

I was abused as a child, as I have mentioned numerous times in my writing. From the age of 4 until the age of 10 I was secretly molested by an adult cousin. No one came to save me and they all acted as if they had no idea the ordeal was happening.

Whether or not this is true, it damaged me in ways I couldn’t begin to list. One thing it did, was to damage my trust. I trust no one.

The reason why I trust no one is that no one stopped what was happening to me. I suffer now because of this lack of trust and often have feelings of being unwanted or unloved.

In truth, I am loved, and I have healed enough to know my distrust is not healthy at all. When something snatches away your sense of safety and security, it can damage your trust as an adult, and it can surely make you feel rejected.

Don’t despair when feeling unwanted

Don’t despair when feeling unwanted

Yes, when you feel unwanted, you feel like crawling into a dark hole and having a good cry, right? I have felt that way many times and it made me strong enough to build my own self-image.

Building up my self-image helped me to understand that if no one else wanted me, I was okay with that. In turn, that confidence helped me to see who really wanted me in their lives. The truth became easy to view when my focus was on improving myself.

So, I challenge you, the ones who feel unwanted, to work on yourself for yourself. When you do this, you will start to relearn all those lessons you learned as a child, but in a nondysfunctional way.

Remember, it’s never too late to grow up and become a better person.

Let’s do this together, shall we…

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By Sherrie H.



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