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Dating Romantic

To what extent does our childhood traumas affect our ability to show up in relationships?

The idea of showing up in everything that we do as the best versions of ourselves is not as perfect as we would like to believe. Unfortunately, this idea is subjected to several other external and internal factors, and living up to it is not as easy as picking a can of "best-version-of-me" from a shelf in a store. On the mere basis of being from different backgrounds, being raised by adults who they themselves hold different belief systems and ideologies, we are bound to have different ideas of what a good person is and how best to live up to this ideal. We not only show up in physical places, but showing up as a friend, a partner, or a daughter, forces us to decide every time which version are you going to show up as, it could even be responding to a text message after a long day, it requires you to present a version of yourself. You can talk to a person on two different days and might experience them differently because it is natural for our responses to be a result of how we were feeling that day, the events that occurred throughout the day, or a childhood trigger you might have experienced which brought up feelings of either joy or sadness.

When we hear the words childhood trauma, often our first instinct is to assume the source to have been physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. However, a childhood that might have consisted of supportive and loving parents who met all your needs could be a source of your feeling of being compelled to constantly make people around you proud, or to doubt yourself when love is not reciprocated in your relationships as an adult. Trauma is not always because of a sad and abusive childhood, and what remains is that regardless of how good or bad the childhood was, it does affect our relationships as adults. How present you are can be because of what you were taught presence to be, in other words, how your own parents or guardians showed up for you as a child, can either inspire you to show up for everyone in your life as your love language, or you could completely not see the importance of emotional nor physical presence. This is quite tricky, as two individuals could both be from families that never showed up for them as kids, and the one will grow up to be an adult that shows up in all their relationships to compensate for what they lacked in their childhood, whereas the other one might grow to believe that that is the way of life and therefore not see the importance of how they show up in relationships.

Being raised by parents who had their own parenting styles and own ways of showing their children that they love them, we grew up to be adults in romantic relationships and friendships holding different views of what showing up means and what a love language is. If not properly communicated, this can cause a misunderstanding and sometimes an end to a relationship because one might feel that the other person does not care for them if they are not showing up in ways that they want to be showed up for - majorly shaped by how they were cared for as kids. Normalising conversations around our good and bad memories from our past enables us to understand each other better and how we can express our love in a way that not only makes sense to the giver, but also to the recipient of the love. The best version of yourself is attainable once traumas have been addressed and toxic traits unlearnt, from which we are able to give the people that we love the version of ourselves that we believe they are worthy of.

Content created and supplied by: mangi_puleng (via Opera News )

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