Misattunement is the experience of a child not being seen or heard.
For instance, if I child says “mom, my tummy hurts” and the parent responds with “you’re fine, don’t worry about it,” a child learns that when they speak up, they won’t be taken seriously or be believed. When this happens more frequently than not and is a pattern, a child stops expressing their needs and can even learn to shut down their own needs…because what’s the point of speaking up if there’s no hope that their needs will be met.
When misattunement is a chronic pattern in childhood, we see adults who:
• develop survival mechanisms like being extremely helpful to other and needing very little for themselves
• feel like their needs don’t matter
• feel small or empty
• feel like giving up easily if they don’t get a response that they desire
• feel overly independent
If you relate to any of the above, perhaps it’s time to seek some support with this. When we learn to turn inward and attune to our needs, change can occur. Healing is possible!