Wounded inner child. That little part of our mind that has locked some of the unexplained feelings we’ve experienced as kids. Buried emotions so deeply that we have built our adult selves over it. Beliefs built on suppressed trauma seen through a child’s eyes. A child’s eyes left wounded and forgotten deep inside ourselves.
You might wonder if your inner child is wounded. Here are some signs of a wounded inner child.
Signs of a wounded inner child:
- An excessive seeking of guidance (lack of self-trust) —We all need advice sometimes. But there are people who are never sure about their decisions and often need somebody to choose what’s best for them. This might be a sign they have some inner child work to do. It could be that you were never allowed to make your own decisions as a kid and take responsibility for their outcome. If parents chose school, profession, life for their kids thinking they are doing them a favor. Choosing for their kids might be led by parents’ own desires instead of letting the kid find her/himself in their choices. With that kind of wound in your inner child, you might find yourself always letting others chose for you and never trust your own choices. The only authority for your life choices is you. You should trust yourself enough to make choices. Deeply you know what the right ones you want to make are.
- Clinginess — Every person needs love and affection. Every person needs and deserves to get attention from their loved ones. But If you find yourself in the need of somebody to always be with you…You cling to people and you feel like you can never live without them…It’s your inner child that fears that she/he will be left alone. Those deep abandonment issues make people cling even to toxic relationships. If you are not self-sufficient to an extreme point. If you constantly need confirmation of love or attention. That’s a wound of your inner child. That wound could show up as a constant need for a relationship, jumping from one to another. It could be a pattern that you feel like none of your partners or people around have given you enough of themselves.
- A constant desire for approval — Seeking approval is a completely organic and natural feeling that every person has. Approval is a normal thing we seek and get, belonging to a tribe or community. But if you desperately need approval for what you do, of who you are. If you constantly need a confirmation that you are doing good, that you are accepted, that you belong. The constant need for external validation is a sign of a wounded inner child. People who have that inner child wound could have a strong desire to be liked by everybody.
- Overthinking instead of feeling — Trying to find logic in every single situation. Overthinking it and suppressing feelings with logical thoughts. We all have either more logical or more emotional personalities. Not allowing yourself to express or experience any feelings could be a sign that your inner child needs healing. When you are a child, everything is triggered mostly by feelings. Our brain is not developed to rely on logic yet. Those feelings could be suppressed by an event, situation, or person (who teaches us that we shouldn’t have them). Then our inner child might grow to put their feelings in a locked box strictly guarded by logic. The inner child is our feeling side, and sometimes as adults, we neglect it.
- Trying to always be perfect — nobody is perfect. People who have an excessive desire to excel at absolutely everything they do, a strong fear of failure is a sign of a wounded inner child. A child who was never allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. We all want to be perfect but not everybody is good at everything. Allowing ourselves to make mistakes and be okay with it, learn and take responsibility is a step to healing. The wounded inner child in that aspect would never forgive and constantly judge themselves for making a mistake. She/he was never allowed to make one.
- Loss of identity — Every single person in the world is unique. Not having a strong sense of identity is another sign of a wounded inner child. A child that was never allowed to find themself. This, as an adult, comes out like people who define themselves by the relationships they are in, by their significant other, by their job, by the place or family they are born in, by their friends. And of course, we are a complex of different things. But when your inner child has a loss of identity, that leads to completely unauthentic adults who just become the wife of…,the husband off.., the person who does…,just one of the residents… They absorb the hobbies, life, and the identity of somebody else. Of course, we become like the people in our community, friends, and family but we are all so different and have something that differs us from it. Something of our own that we do, love, is that makes us unique. An inner child with a wounded identity was triggered by a life event, surroundings, parents, or relationships to completely leave who they are behind. That who they are is not enough, is not good enough, is not normal or accepted. And to be accepted they need to lose it. The truth is that who we are as identity and authenticity is completely enough. If it feels like it’s not then you are not at the right place.
- Lack of self-confidence — Your inner child that has never been thought that is enough the way you are. It’s the child that was never told she/he is beautiful, smart, or worth it. The insecurities that we build as children grow reciprocally with our lack of self-confidence as we adult. So many women never see themselves as beautiful as they are because they were never thought to. So many people lose potential jobs because of them not feeling smart or capable enough. So many people are not getting the life they deserve because they are never thought they are worthy of it.
- Excessive feeling of responsibility. — Being responsible is a part of adulthood. But the feeling that you are responsible for everything around you and that you need to take care of everything and everybody in your own way is a sign of a too early grown inner child. The need to take care of others before taking care of ourselves. This wound can show up when we had to grow up too early. When situations and events made us take responsibility before we were completely ready for it. The feeling that it will be your fault if something in other people’s lives doesn’t go well. The feeling you need to fix everybody and everything.The feeling that people around you wouldn’t be able to do fine themselves. The feelings that situations won’t be able to unfold correctly if you don’t put your energy in it. Sometimes for situations that it’s not even needed. It only leads to exhaustion of your own energy. You could be taken advantage by people who use your help even when they can do things themself or you can build dependability in your children. Sometimes people who have that inner child wound can seem like people -pleasers or too controlling.
- “Everything is okay” wound — This is the person who is always okay, no matter what is happening, no matter what they are feeling. Trying to avoid conflict at all costs and keeps up with everything, until they don’t. This is an inner child that always puts a happy face, and deals with everything just because their need for discussion has been suppressed or because the discussions they once have been trying to start only have led to anger or no outlet from the other side. They might have felt insecure to start discussing their feelings not to create a conflict or they feel/know they will not be understood. The reflection of their own feelings triggers “out of nowhere” solutions. Moving out of your parent’s house one day without saying anything. Ending a relationship/marriage, when everything seemed perfect for the other side. This kind of inner child wound gently accepts everything as okay until the last drop falls and spills the glass.
Don’t worry if you found yourself in more than one sign of a wounded inner child. We all can have one or many wounds and it doesn’t mean that we will carry them through our whole life. Self-awareness is the first step of healing. Many habits, actions, and reactions you get from your childhood and are carefully stored deep in your subconscious mind. Getting to know and understand our minds is how we can build a healthier relationship with our own selves and be in harmony with our choices and decisions.