Loving a person who has been emotionally wounded is a less than easy task, it really does take someone special to see through their patterns and help them to trust others again. Wounded people are mostly sensitive, gentle souls who feel and love wholeheartedly, yet currently are feeling unsafe to do so again. Their wounds are carried deeply in their heart and they are typically expecting to be wounded again.
Noting, if you are being treated in an unacceptable and disrespectful manner (physically, emotionally &/or mentally), no matter how much you can see that they are intrinsically a good person, their wounds are not an excuse for you accepting bad behaviour. Unless the wounded person is remorseful for their behaviour and actively seeking support to resolve this, it is unlikely that they will change.
Mammals, including humans, are naturally wired to be somewhat on guard. Yet in order to allow intimacy this inner protection system needs to be disarmed by the brain. When social interactions are at a superficial level the wounded person will feel safe. So once the wounded person’s intimate relationship starts getting deeper they activate their alert system.
Emotional wounds are experienced both in the mind and the heart, increasing stress both mentally and physically. It can change the way a person thinks and feels. Emotional and physical pain are processed by the same areas of the brain, which is why heartbreak can feel like it is literally hurting. The medical name for the stress of a heartbreaking situation is Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy The symptoms are similar to that of a heart attack, yet unlike a heart attack there is no permanent damage.
Your heart emanates more energy than your brain, producing an electromagnetic field approximately one metre around your body. It is suggested that this field is a carrier of information.
Research shows at your emotional state will create a pattern of energy reflective of what that emotion is, which is then carried in the field emanating around you. In turn this pattern of energy influences your energy levels, the clarity of your thinking, boosts your immune system and orders your nervous system.
The emotionally wounded person has usually built walls around themselves and this emanates in their field. So they may not let you in, yet if they do they may not be letting you completely in. In order to become wholehearted it is ideal their healing incorporates all layers – physical, mental, emotional and energetic – which by the way kinesiology does!
At some stage the person who has been emotionally wounded loved unconditionally, they gave themselves entirely over to love and trusted in it. Only for that trust to be taken advantage of.
Their wounds will often be displayed by certain behaviours, actions and mindsets such as sarcasm, insecurity, fear, and a lack of trust – blaming, questioning, etc. Their own sense of self may be lost to them resulting in low self esteem. They won’t be able to see the reason you love them, because they can’t see it for themselves.
Techniques to support
At times it may feel like you are walking on eggshells around them, endeavouring not to trigger them by what you say or do. This is not healthy for you or for your partner. Its understanding the reason behind their trigger and having techniques or tools that support you, and them, in managing the situation.
It is not your job the heal the wounded person, however there are certainly things you can do to support them becoming and loving wholly again.
Always be honest and tell the truth, even if you think the truth will hurt them. Also be up front about things, again even if you think it won’t go down so well. A lie is a lie, and hiding information is considered a lie. No matter how small a lie is, it holds the same energy as a major one. The wounded person is on a more heightened alert and will typically pick up on the energy of the lie or you hiding something. Yet they will misread the energy and think it is something more, heightening their insecurity.
Most lies are often uncovered and such deception creates instability. It suggests to the wounded person that you cannot be trusted and that you will hurt them. Trust me, it is not worth it. It will also put them on “alert” to continually ask questions to make sure nothing more is being hidden.
When you are honest and upfront, this shows the wounded person that they can rely on you. That you are dependable and honourable. Which means for them that it is safe to be with you.
Most of all the wounded person needs reassurance. Reassurance that assists them to eliminate their doubts and fears. Unconsciously the wounded person may be seeking evidence that they are going to be wounded again. Also “creating” evidence in their minds to make their fears real.
Reassurance gives the wounded person a reference that what they fear or believe is not true. The more references they are the less that fear will come into play. Reassurance gives the wounded person confirmation that they are loveable. That you have their back. That you are not going anywhere and that they are safe.
Create a wholeheartedly safe space
To live wholeheartedly means living life from a place of worthiness. Wholeheartedly means that despite imperfections a person is worthy of love and belonging. That they are safe to be in the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure of a relationship.
When you can contribute to creating a space where the broken person is taught that despite their shortcomings you still love them, they will begin to love themselves. You can also remind them what is lovable about them.
That whilst there is uncertainty and risk to focus on what is certain. Because what you focus on today will create more of tomorrow. Reinforce that you want the same things from the relationship. This helps create more certainty for them and gets them to change their focus.
You are strong, and brave, enough to help them navigate their emotions. Ask them open questions about how they are feeling (never start with “why”) to get them to name their emotion and what is driving it. Have suggestions on what they can do to dissolve the emotion such as journaling, going for a walk or meditating. Assist them in determining what that part of them that is experiencing the emotion needs right now.
Let the wounded person know how beautiful their vulnerability is and how much you value it. Show them that you honour their vulnerability and respect it via your own behaviours.
Remember the wounded person does not believe in them self and may question your sincerity. By being consistent in your positive words, actions and deeds you will create a wholehearted space that gives them a create references to believe.
Understand her Love Language
People express their love in one of five ways, this is known as the “Five Love Languages”. Not only do we express our love in a certain way, we also expect to be loved in this same way. Our love language is how we will gauge whether we are loved. Whilst we may use a combination of the love languages we primarily have one more prominent love language.
In a relationship we will usually have a different love language from our partner which often resulting in miscommunications of love. It can be like we are literally talking a different language.
According to Gary Chapman, who introduced the concept, by a slight margin the most common prominent love language is words of affirmation. This is based on the responses of 10,000 people who took the online quiz in December 2010. The full breakdown is:
- Words of affirmation – 23%
- Quality time – 20%
- Acts of service – 20%
- Physical touch – 19%
- Receiving gifts – 18%
Here is the link to the official Love Languages website which has videos on the love languages as well as a quiz to determine your (and your partner’s love language). https://www.5lovelanguages.com/
6 Needs to feel Love
Men and women think, perceive, feel and appreciate differently. Which means they will respond differently in situations, especially in relationships and in being wounded.
When we understand the different needs our partner has, and by fulfilling those needs, we can help them to feel loved. When a person feels loved then they have the capacity and energy to love.
For men these needs are:
- Trust – That he is doing his best and wants the best for his partner
- Acceptance – By welcoming who he is (not trying to change him) and trust he will make his own improvements
- Appreciation – Acknowledging the benefit you receive by his efforts and behaviours and showing you value those efforts
- Admiration – Regard his with authentic awe and positive fascination (e.g. by asking his feedback and advice)
- Approval – Recognise and look for the positive reasons behind what he does
- Encouragement – Express confidence in his abilities and in who he is
For women they are:
- Caring – Show interest in her feelings and her concern for her wellbeing
- Understanding – Listen without judgement and allow her to be heard. Ask questions, don’t presume and don’t offer advice
- Respect – Take your partner’s needs, wishes and desires into consideration. Remember important dates and rituals
- Devotion – Remember to also make her a priority regularly. Make her feel adored and special
- Validation – Confirm how she is feeling and validate that she has a right to feel that way, noting you can validate whilst feeling a different way
- Reassurance – When you consistently care, understand, respect, devote and validate, you give reassurance that she is loved and will continue to be loved
Loving the wounded person will take time. They need to find that part of themselves that they lost in loving the “wrong” person. The wounded person needs need to build their self worth and realise they are enough. The need to feel secure and safe in order to trust in you.
The wounded person feels that they are too much to love and will unconsciously test this with you. At times you are likely to feel frustrated, which is understandable, yet find a way to dispel that frustration or do so gently with your partner.
To help you with having patience remember to take time for yourself so that you are “recharging your batteries”. Yet taking time also gives you space to have perspective on the behaviour/s. Remember people are NOT their behaviour/s.
The wounded person will unconsciously be projecting others behaviours onto you, unknowingly making you responsible for what others did. Gently remind them how you are different, and with the actions you take (and don’t take) that show them that they are safe and loved. As well as the actions you don’t take
If appropriate, mention what it is you want from the relationship and that you are here for the long haul. Prompt them to acknowledge the connection that you have with them.
Loving the wounded person at times can seem too challenging and too much. At times they may seem to be too much to handle which can be frustrating. Some times this will be a test to see if you are really up for the challenge of loving them.
Whilst wounded people require more time, energy and patience and it will seem you are having to give a lot, know that once they feel and accept they are safe and secure, you will receive much more in return.
Remember there was a time when they loved unconditionally and had a lot to give, helping them reconnect with that part of them self means they will love fully again.
If you are feeling challenged by loving a wounded person, you may also need your own support. Consider kinesiology as an option to do this. For more information visit: http://www.theinnersageaustralia.com