5 Signs You're Dealing with an Emotionally Damaged Person
Updated: Oct 28
Are you afraid of people expressing their emotions and needs? Do you keep a lid on your feelings and act the hero's part? You may be dealing with a lot more than just emotional safety issues. If fear, apathy, anger, or other emotions are lurking underneath your facade or are manifesting through impulsive behaviors, you may likely be dealing with an emotionally damaged individual. Here are five signs that might indicate this.
1. They have a hard time feeling concern for others' needs
One thing that emotionally damaged people tend to struggle with is being able to feel compassion for others in need. They don't want to get drawn into other people's dramas, and they hate it when people pull them into drama. But there is a difference between having healthy boundaries and being emotionally damaged.
You may be dealing with such a person if they cannot feel concerned for someone in need or have difficulty caring about others' feelings. Even if you are going through something stressful, an emotionally damaged person will likely not be able to empathize with you. During tough times, their natural inclination may be to withdraw from you instead of being there for you. This can be extremely difficult to work through on your own while experiencing it first hand. Envision being in an argument. It takes practice and a lot of self-control to step back and to realize things have escalated. How much more difficult is it for all parties involved to step back at the same time to analyze the situation - that's nearly impossible. Counseling helps by having an expert root cause the underlying issues using proven approaches to help everyone involved self-regulate before escalating into a blowout.
2. They put their own needs first
If they always put their own needs first and don't seem to care if you are frustrated or upset with them, you may be dealing with someone emotionally damaged. They are probably more concerned about not appearing needy or guilty than about fulfilling your emotional needs in a relationship. Many emotionally damaged people will also try to avoid situations where they may feel that they have to be vulnerable or depend on others.
3. They use guilt as a control mechanism
Guilt can be a very damaging emotion, especially when used as a control tool. They often try to guilt others into staying in a relationship with them or being more supportive by offering gifts and apologies. If someone is in an emotionally damaged relationship, they may try to constantly make themselves at fault for things that are not their fault—blaming other people, the world, or fate.
4. They act like martyrs
An emotionally damaged person may be very sweet and nice to their friends and family members but be quick to criticize you if you do something out of line. They might go out of their way to express their dissatisfaction with your behavior, even when it isn't warranted.
They seem to have a hard time accepting that you are not perfect and do things that don't please them. Their criticisms or passive-aggressive comments can often sound like martyrdom, and martyrdom is often a sign of emotional damage.
5. They have trouble controlling their anger
Emotionally damaged people are often angry, and they can be quite prone to violent outbursts. They become frustrated easily and find it difficult to control their anger.
If you notice that your partner has episodes of intense rage towards themselves or others without provocation, then this may be a sign that they may be dealing with emotional damage.
This list is not exhaustive, and it is possible that you may be dealing with an emotionally damaged person, even if they don't exhibit all of the symptoms listed above. Emotional damage can be very subtle, and it is often a matter of degree. It's important to remember that while some things can cause emotional damage, it's not a permanent state of being. Healing from emotional damage is possible but it takes work.
Many online resources are available to help you get started on the road to recovery and you can book an appointment now at Thera-fi which provides counseling as well as tools for you, your partners, and loved ones to navigate these challenges. Check out other articles in our Thera-fi blogs page.