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Emotional Health Minute: The Deep Impact of Feeling Unlovable

Much of what blocks people emotionally and in their relationships is actually deeper than what it appears.  The ways it can look at a higher level includes a long list of self sabotaging behaviors which are essentially attempts to manage fears of abandonment, rejection and not being good enough, etc.  Pushing people away, people pleasing, codependence and anger are all examples of this.

Part of the work to untangle this involves understanding why these fears exist (often stemming from family of origin issues).  For some, “unlovability” lives at their deepest core.  Somewhere, somehow you have learned that your inherent value is questionable, so much so that you don’t even deserve love.

What can you do?

  • Understand why.  A therapist can help you look back.  Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the trees and a higher level perspective on your story without the same emotional attachment to it is what you need.
  • Understand how you have coped.  There are many ways people attempt to defend against the emotional implications and threat of feeling unlovable.  It’s possibly shown up in your sense of self and how you relate to others.  But the coping mechanisms can ultimately be self sabotaging which is why it’s so important to get clarity.
  • Consider the possibility you have it all wrong. Core beliefs are developed for good reasons early in life.  They can become stories we tell ourselves about who we are and how people will respond to us.  Imagine how your world could change if you were re-wrote your story.
  • Do things differently.  This is about developing a more positive sense of self and how you engage in relationships.

Read more about this topic in my more expanded piece on, Addressing the Problem of Feeling Unlovable.


If you would like some help addressing feeling unlovable or other problematic core beliefs causing issues for you, consider individual therapy. I offer in-office for Marin and local residents and online therapy for those in California.