The emotional neglect suffered in childhood generates non-assertive adults

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Joe Dispenza
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Assertiveness is an essential skill for life. Not only will it avoid us numerous problems in the field of interpersonal relationships, but it will also allow us to lose patience less and live in a more balanced and relaxed way. Indeed, Anthony Robbins once said that "the way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our life."

Assertiveness is nothing more than the ability to assert our rights clearly and adequately without being too passive or too aggressive, while respecting the rights of others.



But even if it sounds very simple, putting it into practice is a little more complicated. In fact, most of the people around us aren't assertive, or are to a small extent. Because?

Most often the reason lies in their childhood. If we grew up in a home where emotional neglect was practiced, where emotions were ignored or even punished, we didn't have the opportunity to develop assertiveness.

Your 10 assertive rights

1. You have the right to judge your own behavior, thoughts and emotions, and take responsibility for them.

2. You have the right not to offer justifications or explanations for your decisions.

3. You have the right to decide whether to take responsibility for solving the problems of others.

4. You have the right to change your mind.

5. You have the right to be wrong, and to take the consequences.

6. You have the right to say "I don't know".

7. You have the right to act independently of the "good will" of others.

8. You have the right to make illogical decisions.

9. You have the right to say "I don't understand".


10. You have the right to say "I don't care".

However, people whose parents thought expressing emotions was bad are probably not aware of their rights. If your parents ignored or even punished your emotional expressions, you will have received the message that your feelings, emotions and needs do not matter.

So, maybe you often repeat phrases like "don't say negative things", "don't let others know how you feel or what you really think" or "you mustn't disturb". These phrases certainly come from your parents' speech, but they have taken root so deeply in your unconscious that they still continue to determine your behavior, even as an adult.

The results of emotional neglect in adulthood

Emotional neglect is the inability to adequately respond to children's emotional needs. Indeed, one of the fundamental tasks of parents is to validate their children's emotions and teach them to channel them in the most appropriate way. Parents are the emotional role model for their children, they are the people they mirror themselves in and seek support when they are disoriented.

If the parents are unable to recognize those emotions or, when they arise, they minimize them with phrases such as "there is no reason to cry" or "nothing happened", they will be telling the child that his reaction , completely normal and understandable, is inadequate. As a result, the little one will not know what to do, so he will turn into an adult who:

- He will not trust his emotions and instincts, as they have been taught to hide and ignore them.

- He will have difficulty recognizing emotions and feelings, as they have never been validated.

- He will have difficulty expressing his emotions in an assertive way, so he will take extreme positions: he will allow others to step on him or he will be very aggressive.


- He will develop low self-esteem because he will believe he is not worthy of being loved.

- He will feel guilty and believe he has no right to be himself.

The secret to developing assertiveness at any stage of life

- Learn to recognize and label your own emotions. Knowing exactly how you feel and why will help you manage those emotions better, more assertively.

- Be aware of your rights as a person, knowing that you deserve to be treated with respect. And be aware that others deserve the same thing.

- Valuing the opinions of others, knowing that you can disagree without judging or belittling the other. And demand the same from others.

- Develop a healthy self-esteem, understand that mistakes do not diminish your value, but are opportunities for growth. This way you will not feel threatened by others and you will not respond aggressively or allow yourself to be trampled on.

Of course, it is also helpful to learn some assertive techniques for dealing with more complicated situations.

In the case of children, it is essential to develop assertiveness that parents learn to respect their individuality and opinions, even if they may seem childish or foolish. These questions can work wonders for educating a more confident and assertive child:

- What do you think about it?

- How do you feel?


- What do you need?

- What do you have to say?

In this way, children will learn to:

- Find out what they feel and what they need.

- Knowing that their emotions and needs are important.

- Express their emotions and needs in a way that the other person respects them.

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