Jonice Webb, PH. D, has a profound understanding of childhood emotional neglect and how it impacts us in our adult lives. I would like to surmise her important findings. Emotional Integrity means to know what you feel and why and being able and willing to face it and share it, even if it is painful. Your actions and demeanor on the outside will match what your true feelings are on the inside.
Below are the 6 signs to watch for:
- Claim you are not angry or hurt when you actually are, often saying nothing is wrong when something clearly is.
- Try to hide your mistakes or weaknesses from each other.
- Find the other unpredictable.
- Avoid sharing things that could be hurtful to the other.
- Are often unaware of your feelings in general.
- Find yourself hiding your true feelings about something from your partner.
Surprisingly, many people of high personal integrity struggle in this regard. It is possible to be a supporter of honesty in general, yet not be fully able to face and own your own feelings.
Childhood emotional neglect means growing up in a family that under-responds to the emotions and emotional needs of the children. As a child, your emotions may be ignored, treated as unimportant, or actively discouraged. The result is that you learn to discount your own feelings, and may not learn how to identify, name, or express your feelings-all skills that are needed to be a person or consistent emotional integrity.
Painful feelings are temporary. They only go away when they are faced and dealt with. Avoiding your emotional truth gives it more power over you and your partner. If you grow up with emotional neglect, learn all you can about how it has affected you. Learn the emotional skills you missed. Becoming more aware of your own feelings and learning how and when to share them will build emotional integrity of your relationship. None of us are perfect, give yourself some grace in your growth and development. Jonice is reminding us that looking within ourselves is important for our growth and development.