You might be overly attached to your past, and you might not even be aware of it.
Have you ever had that feeling that there’s something going consistently wrong with your life and that you just can’t seem to get it right?
1. You keep making the same mistakes.
Do you ever get a Déjà vu feeling about your experiences in life? If you feel that you are caught up in patterns of failure in life and relationships that seem to repeat themselves, or if you keep getting into the same kinds of conflicts with people, you might find that you are still reacting to a past wound that you can’t resolve.
2. You’re oversensitive to criticism.
If you feel like the world is ending or explode with rage when people criticize you; or if you get the feeling that people are afraid to tell you what they really think of you for fear of upsetting you, you may find that there is some unconscious reason for your excessive reaction. You may investigate your past to find out what makes you feel so frightened of being judged negatively by others.
3. You can’t let go of past hurts.
Seeing an enemy in every partner and never being able to trust anyone enough to have a happy and intimate relationship with them is a sign you might still be overly attached to a past wound that scarred you. It’s normal for painful events in our lives to inform our future behavior, by making us wiser and more discriminating in our choices, but it’s not right that a painful event should prevent you from ever experiencing happiness in a relationship.
4. You don’t want any connection with the place where you grew up.
If you never want to see anyone you went to school with again, you’re probably still overly attached to negative experiences at school and the negative attitude you had to yourself as a child. That’s fine and nothing should force you to keep in contact with people you would prefer not to. Nevertheless, it might indicate that you’re still a prisoner of negative emotions formed then.
5. You can’t be yourself with your family of origin.
When you’re with your family, you find yourself playing a familiar role, but it’s one that neither truly defines you, nor makes you feel good. The family dynamic of your childhood still has a strong enough power of you to keep you in a childlike state even though you’re now an adult with your own life. You feel you won’t be accepted by your family members if you are yourself, and yet it is emotionally isolating not being able to be yourself.
6. You’re overly anxious to placate others (even strangers).
Do you find that when you are out and about, on your own or in a company, that you’re made uncomfortable by your anxiety that you shouldn’t be conspicuous to strangers? Do you find that when you’re with people you don’t know intimately you will bend over backwards not to offend or upset them, but then when you’re with those you really care about, you’re often mean to them? If this is you, something in your past could be causing you to be so hyper-aware and anxious around strangers.
7. You’re unhappy in the same way as a parent was.
Many people have the experience of feeling like they are ‘turning into’ their mother or father in certain respects. However, when you feel like you are living out the negative aspects of a parent’s life, or are somehow making the same complaints as they did despite having a completely different lifestyle, you might have to examine the behavioral patterns you’re lapsing into against your will.
8. You have a bad temper.
If you experience bouts of uncontrollable rage over minor things, it’s possibly a sign that you’re holding onto feelings that were formed from conflicts in the past that haven’t been resolved. You might not be aware of what’s affecting you so much. Maybe you’ve buried the memory, but any situation that reminds you of the original event can trigger an excessively angry response from you.
9. You’re limiting yourself.
When you’re overly attached to the past, it goes without saying that you limit yourself as a matter of course. Focusing on the past consciously means you don’t look forward. When the past still has a hold over you but you’re not conscious of it, you keep tripping yourself up over and over again, without knowing why.
10. You feel like your own worst enemy
If there are things about yourself that make you unhappy and you really want to improve, but you keep failing, it might be worth looking into the past. Sometimes we fail at things because the negative emotions or anxiety we feel about those things paralyzes us. It becomes a vicious cycle because the more you fail, the more this feeds the negative emotions, and the more you feel the negative emotions the more you fail.
It’s really important to acknowledge the impact that the past has had on you and become conscious of negative patterns in your behavior that arise from it. If you do this with the help of a psychoanalyst, psychotherapist, or psychologist, there are methods to help you to get out of bad habits formed in the past and of helping you form new healthier behavioral patterns today.
By Carolina J.
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