Many of us experience all kinds of love failures in our lives and wonder why we fail to build a happy relationship with another person. The cause of our failures can be found in the relationship to our feelings and emotions which developed in our childhood and can cause inflexibility and inadequate responses to the needs of others; problems showing our feelings to our partner, expressing our opinion, or marking our limits. Very often, people who constantly fall in love and fall out of love seek in relationships to satisfy their needs of infancy without being aware of it.
So what shaped our attitude towards our emotions and feelings?
1. The nutritional value and quality of the foods your Mother consumed during pregnancy
Yes, what your Mother ate during gestation can have an impact on your relationships in adulthood. A diet poor in nutrients stresses the foetus and can also effect the development of the nervous system. Further, alcohol, nicotine, and other stimulants that your Mother may have taken during her pregnancy – especially in the first few weeks – could have damaged your nervous system. This is also where some of our emotional problems may have begun.
2. Our first emotional and social experiences
Our nervous system is shaped from the moment of conception to around 2 years of age. Our contacts with parents and guardians during this time are therefore the patterns that shape who we are. By observing the behaviour of our parents with the help of mirror neurons, we learn what gestures and facial expressions of people around us affect our wellbeing. From the expressions of our caregivers, we can guess whether they will bring us pain or satisfaction. Eye contact with the caregiver and observation help us understand other people’s intentions and recreate their emotional responses.
However, the birth of a baby is not always an anticipated moment. Sometimes they are an unpleasant surprise, such as the result of random sex with a partner we don’t even remember. Sometimes it is even the result of rape associated with strong negative emotions and pain. Meanwhile, the foetus, from the earliest moments of its existence, records all the moods and emotions of the Mother. And the high level of cortisol in the Mother’s body affects the baby’s fearfulness and its future ability to cope with its own stress.
If our first moments were related to traumatic experiences, depression, stress, pain, and suffering, these were the emotions that shaped our first experiences.
3. Our parents’ ability to identify, define and name feelings
At around the age of two a child begins to develop their language skills, and they also begin to learn to convey their emotions verbally. Therefore, it is very important during this period to properly recognise the child’s emotional states. Helping your child develop the right vocabulary to express their feelings and emotional states is therefore very important.
However, if the parent has problems with naming their emotions or does not notice their feelings, they perpetuate the same model in their child. If they suppress their emotions and feelings, they teach the same inability to their child.
4. Early separation from the Mother
In the first weeks and even years of life, the child reacts very intensively to the external world with their senses. The caregiver’s smell, touch, the sound of their voice and physical closeness provides the child with a sense of security and helps them to develop empathy. The child also identifies with their guardian, treating them as an extension of themselves.
The Mother’s physical or emotional absence, absent-mindedness, incompetent juggling of family and professional life, and excessive use of babysitters may cause the child anxiety, fearfulness and sometimes even depression. It can also cause the child later problems with rejection in adulthood. As an adult, such a child is often not convinced of their partner’s feelings and thinks that they love themselves too much. Early separation can be the result of a deep belief that there is something wrong with them.
5. Parents’ help in relieving stress
If our parents stroked us, hugged us, satisfied our baby needs, showed us how to calm down and relieve our stress, they equipped us with the best skills for our further independent journey through life.
6. A strict upbringing, shaming or humiliating a child
This way of upbringing causes excessive suspicion and lack of empathy towards others. It also causes problems with defining boundaries with other people. Sometimes it can also lead to paranoia. Such a person wants intimacy but also avoids it. They overly criticise themselves and often feel they don’t deserve love.
7. Correct judgement on when a child needs independence
The ability to observe, the parent’s sensitivity, and timing, play a huge role in making a child independent. Letting the child become independent too quickly, or even believing that they shouldn’t pamper children for too long, may be the cause of the child’s emotional problems in the future. On the other hand, satisfying a child’s needs for too long shapes a dependent adult.
Raising children is a very responsible job because it is our early relationship with the guardian that influences how we see the world, ourselves in it and how our relationships with others develop.
There is, however, a way to stop repeating negative patterns in adulthood. If you try to recall your childhood with your memory, and analyse memories and facts, you can become aware of hidden patterns. Then the unconscious will become conscious, and you will be able to take responsibility for your reactions and behaviour. It is enough for you to forgive your parents in your head and take responsibility for your life.
If you want to open up to others and have deep and fulfilling relationships, joy and health, you must therefore first mend your relationship with your parents.