We as humans want to feel loved. If we feel unloved by our partner, relationships or society and need more love than what we are presently getting, it may make us feel very lonely, empty and possibly even hurtful. Feeling of being unloved could surround anyone as it is not solely related to the behaviors of others but the way one may perceive it.

It’s not just the way you look, talk, walk, or behave that makes you feel unloved. Mostly, thinking you are not loved enough is a trick your mind plays on you. Your low self-esteem and negative self-image feed your misunderstandings as you may feel flawed, worthless or inadequate.

Feeling unloved is a painful experience. It forces individuals to seek validation from others. As a result, it may make you think that other people like you for what you do instead of who you are. The urge of feeling loved, appreciated and accepted could be so overpowering that it may make difficult to nurture yourself.

These emotions could affect any person from having bunch of friends, a good social recognition, and close relationships to someone extremely lonely because it is totally psychological and the way one perceives the behaviors of others. 

What causes the belief of feeling unloved?

There could be multiple reasons for someone to feel unloved. These reasons could vary for everyone depending on the past experiences of the person. Reasons for feeling unloved could be both psychological and societal in nature. This belief could nurture either due to how society treats you or how your mind triggers such emotions in you based on past experiences you might have had.

Some of the most common causes for the augment of this belief and feelings of I don’t feel loved within humans are as mentioned below.

1) Feeling worthless

People believing they have little or no value to give to others and the world, may often experience worthlessness or low self-esteem. Low esteem in general refers to having negative and degrading thoughts or attitudes about one-self.  People with low self-esteem and feeling of worthlessness are more likely to ignore their abilities and focus on their shortcomings. This makes it difficult to create and achieve goals, set boundaries and make relationships with others. Consequently, such people may experience the feeling of not being loved enough hence spending their life all alone.

2) Feeling of abandonment

Feeling of being abandoned may stem from past situations where you felt you couldn’t rely on people to care and be there for you. People with this feeling are often skeptical about their relationships, thinking they will be unloved, unappreciated, undervalued, and everyone will leave them at the end. Instead of focusing on their shortcoming in a relationship, they blame the other side for leaving them.

This feeling could arise from the past experiences where subject must have been abandoned by someone close at some point of life. Example, someone abandoned by their parents in youth. Such an experience could be dreadful for anyone leaving a lasting impact on one’s mind or psychology. This feeling, if overpowered, could result in the lasting depression or anxiety.

3) Feeling depressed

People with depression often have maladaptive representations of themselves, others, and the world. Depressed individuals are mostly victims of their mind as their beliefs and thoughts are far from the reality. If depressed, your mind may tell you are not lovable and you might perceive same but, the reality may be totally opposite to it.

4) Abusive experiences

People with the abusive past, where they have been tormented physically, sexually, mentally or emotionally are likely to adopt the feeling of being unloved. In such cases, victims are often made to believe by abusers that they do not deserve a good treatment, they are unworthy of love, or that no one would want them or treat them well. 

This belief within the victims grows so strong that they become doubtful and skeptical about everyone.  They start believing everyone would treat them the same way hence failing to form successful relationships.

5) Attention to negative experiences

People with this tendency are inclined to validate their underlying beliefs by paying attention to only negative aspects of the life. Those who believe they are flawed or undeserving of love may only pay attention to experiences that confirm those core beliefs.

For an instance, you spent a good day out with your friends. One of your friends cracked a sensitive joke while dinner about you eating too much and gaining weight making everyone laugh, instead of thinking how well the day was, you might start thinking your friends do not love your because you are overweight.

6) Keeping bad experiences in memories

Similar to giving attention to bad negative experiences, there are people who have tendency to hold onto bad memories to validate their beliefs. Imagine yourself walking down the street where you waved at the person crossing the path with you but he did not wave back at you. This memory might store in your brain forever thinking there is something majorly wrong with you due to which person did not wave back.

Holding onto bad memories and repeating those in mind is often done by people who experience low self esteem or worthlessness. They relate every bad memory even though it is not bad in a way that would make them doubtful about not getting enough love or attention either from any specific person or society in general.

7) Negative interpretations

There may be nothing wrong with you or the situation, but you will over generalize or misinterpret everything around you as negative to affirm your core belief. Since you interpret everything or situation in negative way, you might end up developing a feeling of being unloved. You may also face difficulty in making or relationships or keeping up with them.

How does feeling of “I don’t feel loved” affect life?

Feeling of being unloved can impact your overall existence, personality and turn you into skeptical or hopeless individual. People who feel unloved might over struggle to please the people around them, and may have difficulty recognizing that someone is manipulating or taking advantage of them. This is because they believe love must be earned.

People who feel unloved may struggle to set healthy boundaries. Because humans have an innate desire to be loved and accepted, those who feel unloved may feel unable to set boundaries because they sacrifice so much to make connections without realizing their worth and the level of love they deserve from others. Abusive people in return, try to take advantage of them. It is easy for abusers to manipulate such people in every way possible to their own benefit. It’s important to remember that no one deserves abuse and such behavior is never appropriate or acceptable.

How to overcome this feeling?

If you ever feel unloved, remember it is just a feeling and is not a fact. You may perceive being unloved but reality may totally be opposite. In order to avoid such feelings, you should first start loving yourself with all your flaws. You need to understand the shortcomings within you in contrast to the world and overcome them. Moreover, try to avoid people who trigger these thoughts in you. Go out, explore, talk to random people and you will start realizing there is nothing wrong with you.

If this is something serious, you can always try to seek a professional help you should be out of this feeling soon.