What Happens When We Don’t Feel Heard and Understood?

One of our basic emotional instincts is the need to feel heard, understood and validated by the people around us. We crave safe community within which to be supported and accepted. When we don’t have this, it can greatly impact our mental and emotional health in limiting and destructive ways.

Our fears can be really hard to process on our own, and we can need help to work through them. Our fears can be extremely destructive when we don’t have a handle on them, when we haven’t learned how to live with them and keep moving forward despite them. They can stall us, hold us back and deter us. Left unchecked, they can destroy us.

When we don’t have the safe space to voice our fears and receive the help we need to work through them, we often become unable to process our fears in healthy ways. We can become overly anxious, panicked, paranoid, even delusional. We can develop toxic thought patterns and neuroses that reflect our unresolved, unhealed fears.

When our basic need to feel heard is not met, we can lose faith in people, in the concept of family and community, in the world. We can start to believe that there aren’t any well-intentioned people who want us to be happy. We believe the world is a cold, dark, unloving place. We can feel totally alone and isolated. This can be a very lonely, scary place to be.

Just as we can lose faith in other people, we can lose faith in ourselves. We can stop believing in ourselves and in our ability to move forward and heal, because we never received the support we needed to make us feel nurtured, validated, accepted, loved and supported. Our emotional growth can be stunted, and we can miss out on opportunities for growth, learning and personal development.

Losing faith in other people and in ourselves can cause us to want to totally disconnect from our families and communities, and from society in general. We don’t feel we have a place anywhere. Not only do we feel unable to be our true selves, we can feel displaced, rejected, shunned and ostracized. We can become extremely depressed and turn to addictive behaviors and substances. When we aren’t embraced with inclusivity and openheartedness, there can be devastating effects on our mental and emotional health.

At Riverside, we can provide the supportive community you’ve been looking for. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.