Although someone will have their own life, it doesn’t mean that they will freely express themselves. In general, they could be in the background and even spend a lot of time vicariously living their life through others.

However, if this is just what is normal, they might not realise that they are not truly embracing the life that they have been given. This is not to say that there won’t suffer by living in this way, though.

A Bleak Existence

What could be common is for them to feel down and even deeply depressed. Yet, if they are often like a sports star that is on the sidelines watching others play, how else would they be?

It might not even occur to them that they can change their life and live a life where they are no longer on the sidelines. For them to consider this, something dramatic might need to take place.

A Closer Look

When it comes to what their life is like, then, most areas of it might be anything but fulfilling. So, they could have a job that is more or less soul-destroying and they might be desperate to find another one.

But, due to how they see themselves, they might not believe that they would find a better job. This can be seen as their only option and thus, something that they have to put up with.

Another Area

When it comes to their relationships, they could rarely express their needs, feelings or preferences. They are then going to act more like an extension of others than a separate human being.

Some of the people in their life could describe them as easy-going, selfless, and supportive. In reality, they will be hiding themselves around these people and this will prevent them from being able to feel connected to the people in their life.

One Option

Deep down, they could believe that if they were to reveal who they were, they would end up being rejected and abandoned. It is then going to be a case of them hiding themselves and having people around or revealing themselves and being alone.

If this is what is going on at a deeper level, it is not going to be a surprise that they will often act like a non-entity. The support that they do receive is going to depend on them playing a role; a role where they don’t expect much from others.

One More

By being this way, they may rarely have enough money or they could typically just have enough to get by. They will adapt to how their life is as earning more won’t be seen as an option.

At this point, it will be accurate to say that they will be living a half-life; it will be as if they are merely here to make up the numbers. Therefore, the sooner they are able to reflect on how they live their life, the sooner they will be able to change it.

Stepping Back

This is something that could take place if their life was to get even worse and they could no longer tolerate how their life is. At this stage, through feeling so fed up and angry, they could start to question what is going on.

What could end up standing out is that they have been this way for as long as they can remember. This may show that they don’t believe that they have the right to be here and are unworthy of having their needs met.

What’s going on?

What this may illustrate is that their early years were a time when they missed out on the love that they needed to grow and develop in the right way. Throughout this stage of their life, they may have been neglected and perhaps experienced other kinds of abuse.

Instead of being treated as though they were wanted, valuable and lovable; they would have been treated as though they were unwanted, worthless and unlovable. And, as they were egocentric, how they were treated would have been personalised.

The Outcome

Consequently, it was not that one or both of their parents was deeply wounded; it was that they had no right to exist or to receive. To handle this stage of their life, they would have had to lose touch with a number of their needs and feelings.

Developing a disconnected and fairly needless false self would have been something that automatically took place. Their developmental needs would then have been repressed and gone into hiding.

It’s over

What took place will be over but they won’t have truly moved on from what took place. Deep down, they are still going to be looking for their parent or parents to provide them with the love that they missed out on all those years ago.

As a result of this, they will have unconsciously looked towards others to provide them with a sense of belonging and being worthy and lovable. But, as this stage has passed, it is too late for another person to do this; these unmet developmental needs will need to be faced and grieved.


If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, inner child and inner awareness. With over three thousand, two hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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