People who didn’t receive much affection growing up develop these 7 powerful traits as adults

Have you ever pondered over the saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”?

It’s an adage that might hold more truth than we give it credit for. Particularly when it comes to individuals who, for one reason or another, didn’t receive a lot of affection during their formative years.

Now, let’s get one thing straight.

This isn’t about glorifying hardship or dismissing the importance of love and care in childhood. But it’s about recognizing the resilience and strength that can bloom even from rocky soil.

You see, those who grew up with little affection often develop unique traits as they mature. Traits that can be rather powerful and incredibly beneficial in adulthood.

So for those of you who’ve had a similar past, or even if you’re just curious as to what these traits might be, join me as I delve into the seven powerful attributes often developed by adults who didn’t receive much affection growing up.

Let’s get ready to challenge some preconceived notions, shall we?

1) Independence

Let’s kick things off with a trait that’s often a hallmark of those who didn’t receive much affection growing up: independence.

Take a moment to think about it.

When you’re young and the affection or support you crave isn’t readily available, you quickly learn to rely on yourself. It’s a survival mechanism, really. But what starts as a necessity can evolve into an asset.

As an adult, this independence can turn into self-reliance, the ability to stand on your own two feet without requiring constant reassurance or validation from others. It’s about acknowledging that, while companionship and community are important, you are enough in your own right.

It’s a strength that isn’t easily shaken and a trait that can take you far in life.

2) Resilience

Resilience is another trait that frequently emerges in those who didn’t receive much affection growing up.

Allow me to share a personal anecdote.

Growing up, I didn’t always receive the affection I craved. There were many times when I felt alone, even in a room full of people. But over time, I realized this experience was shaping me in ways I hadn’t understood.

I found myself bouncing back from setbacks quicker than my peers. I learned to weather emotional storms and come out the other side stronger, albeit a bit weather-beaten. It was as if my past had equipped me with an emotional armor of sorts.

This resilience has been my ally throughout adulthood. Whether it’s dealing with daily stressors or navigating life’s occasional hurricanes, it’s a trait that has often come to my aid. It’s refined by my past, yet fuels my future.

That’s the power of resilience, and it’s a trait that many who grew up like me share.

3) Empathy

Perhaps it’s a paradox of life, or some sort of cosmic balancing act, but often those who have felt the sting of neglect develop an acute sense of empathy.

Let me tell you, it’s not always pretty.

Being hyper-aware of others’ feelings can feel like a burden. You sense the weight of the world on your shoulders, feeling others’ pain as if it were your own.

Yet, this heightened empathy can also be a gift. It can make you a beacon for those who are hurting, a source of comfort in their storm. You understand their pain because you’ve lived it. And through that understanding, you can offer a kind of solace that’s rare and precious.

In my experience, this deep-seated empathy has been both a cross and a crown. But every time I’ve been able to offer genuine comfort to someone in need, every time I’ve been able to say “I get it” and truly mean it—that crown has shone just a little bit brighter.

So yes, growing up without much affection can lead to a heightened sense of empathy. And yes, it’s raw and sometimes painful. But oh, how it can shine.

4) Self-awareness

Growing up without much affection can serve as a harsh mirror. It forces you to look inward, to understand yourself better because, quite frankly, there wasn’t anyone else trying to.

This self-reflection often cultivates a powerful sense of self-awareness.

You learn to recognize your strengths and weaknesses, your triggers and comfort zones. You understand your emotions and reactions better, and you become adept at managing them.

This self-awareness is like a compass in the chaos of life. It helps you navigate through the highs and lows, making informed decisions based on a deep understanding of your own self.

Sure, it’s not an easy journey. But the destination? That’s a place of confidence and clarity that many strive to reach.

5) Resourcefulness

Resourceful People who didn’t receive much affection growing up develop these 7 powerful traits as adults

Here’s something you may not have considered before.

In the absence of consistent affection or support, many individuals learn to become resourceful. They learn to find solutions in unlikely places, to make the most of what they have.

Psychologists call this ‘lateral thinking’, and it’s a valuable skill that can be a game-changer in both personal and professional spheres of life.

Resourcefulness is about being able to adapt, to innovate, and to overcome challenges, often with limited resources. It’s about being able to look at a situation from different angles and find a way through.

So while growing up without much affection can be tough, it can also foster a resourcefulness that serves as a powerful tool in adulthood.

6) Understanding

Growing up without much affection isn’t something I’d wish on anyone. But if you’ve lived through this, know that it’s shaped you in ways you might not even realize.

One of these ways is the capacity for deep understanding.

You’ve felt the cold shadow of neglect, the ache of loneliness. And these experiences can cultivate a profound understanding not only of your own feelings but also of others.

It’s an understanding that can make you more forgiving and compassionate. It can help you see beyond surface-level actions to the deeper emotions that drive them.

This understanding can make you a kind and patient friend, a supportive partner, a nurturing parent. It’s a trait that can ripple out, touching and enriching the lives of those around you.

So, remember this: In your journey, you’ve gained an understanding that is both rare and powerful. And that is something truly special.

7) Strength

The most significant trait that those who grew up without much affection often develop is strength.

It’s not the kind of strength that comes from lifting weights or running marathons. It’s an inner strength. A strength of character that’s forged in the fires of adversity.

This strength can carry you through life’s most challenging moments. It can help you stand tall when others crumble, to keep going when others give up.

Growing up without much affection can be a trial by fire. But from that fire, this remarkable strength is often born.

A strength that not only helps you survive but also thrive.

A strength that defines you, empowers you, and makes you uniquely you.

In conclusion

If you see yourself in these traits, know that your past has shaped you into a remarkable individual.

Growing up without much affection isn’t easy, but the resilience, empathy, and strength born from this adversity are traits to be proud of. They’re assets that can serve you well in all walks of life.

Look at these traits not as scars from a difficult past, but as badges of honor. They represent your journey, your struggle, and your triumph.

Remember, it’s not about glorifying hardship. It’s about recognizing the unique strengths that emerged from it.

So take a moment to acknowledge how far you’ve come. Reflect on the powerful traits you’ve developed and how they’ve shaped you into the person you are today.

Celebrate your independence, resilience, empathy, self-awareness, resourcefulness, understanding, and strength.

You are more than a product of your past. You are a testament to human endurance and potential.

So here’s to you – the survivor, the thriver, the one who rose from adversity with grace and strength.

Picture of Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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