6 Signs You Have Profound Emotional Trauma (And You’re Unaware Of It)

Sign #4: You always need people around. Solitude terrifies you.

sad woman sitting in dark room nikkimeel / Shutterstock

Emotional trauma occurs when a negative event(s) occurs that overwhelms our coping abilities.

And hence, for most of us, it’s fairly obvious that we have emotional trauma.

When we were children, our coping abilities were insignificant. And hence, even small negative events that wouldn't shake our structure as an adult could have left some profound emotional scars on our psyche.

In this article, I want to discuss a few signs that show that you might have some profound and hidden emotional trauma that you haven’t realized and accepted. Let’s dive in.


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Here are 6 signs you have profound emotional trauma, and you’re unaware of it:

1. You’re “done” with relationships

Many people claim to be done with the love BS, but it’s just not true.


Can you be ‘done’ with food? No, you’d physically starve yourself. Just like that, you simply can’t be ‘done’ with relationships. You’d emotionally starve yourself.

  • Loving
  • and feeling loved

…are basic human needs. You cannot just be ‘done’ with them.

It’s simply your subconscious taking extravagant measures in order to avoid the slightest possibility of emotional pain.


Simple. Because you’ve been emotionally traumatized in your past relationships.

The wise thing here would be to stop being ‘done’ with relationships, and introspect, understand, and cure your emotional trauma.

2. You build a series of short-lasting relationships

You get into a relationship that’s more than just casual — but it doesn’t last too long. Soon, you break things up. And then you find yourself on a dating app looking for a new love thing.


And this cycle repeats itself several times.

You might give yourself reasons for this sort of behavior:

  • “I’m just not feeling it.”
  • “He/she did this/that.”
  • “The chemistry is there, but the timing is not right.”

However, it’s possible that this behavior is a sign of avoiding emotional trauma. You get into relationships to feel the high, but then end things soon enough because you don’t want to allow yourself to get in a position to get hurt.

Hence, instead of allowing the possibility of getting hurt by the other, your subconscious self chooses to hurt them instead. And you do that by (subconsciously) looking for even mildly plausible reasons to end things.


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3. You always move way past the due point of a breakup

In any relationship (but one) there comes a time when you know deep down that it’s time. It’s time to break up. However, you move past these points. Your subconscious mind ignores the feeling. Your conscious mind reinforces that ignorance.

It might seem like a normal human reaction to wanting to not give up on love. However, it’s entirely possible that it’s a sign of emotional trauma

But this type of emotional trauma is more difficult to notice. That’s because it’s the kind that’s rendered inactive or latent by the presence of the tag of your current relationship.


It’s as if your body has deep physical pain, and the pain is relieved with pressure. The deep physical pain is your emotional trauma. And your current relationship provides that pressure that relieves that pain.

And hence, your subconscious mind doesn’t want you to break up — because it knows that all your past emotional trauma will reactivate.

4. You always need people around

All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

— Blaise Pascal

People — and the accompanying chitchat can be a powerful distraction from your emotional pain. That’s why some people just can’t be alone. They constantly need people around them.


You’ll see that such people hang out with many different people. They’ll hang out with just about anyone — because they’d rather not be alone. In many cases, I’ve observed such people hang out even with people whose guts they claim to hate behind their backs.

Imagine their pain — and the consequent quest to avoid solitude — that they prefer hanging out with people they dislike — over facing their own thoughts and demons.

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5. You’re happy when you see your ex suffer

This one’s obvious.

You can tell a lot about a person's emotional status — specifically regarding their past relationships — depending on how they react when they hear about their ex’s life.


I’ve at times observed that certain people get lowkey happy when they hear that their ex is suffering in some way or another. It’s not rocket science. They’re happy because their ex must have hurt them in a profound way. And they still carry the trauma.

6. You seek validation from a specific person — or a group of people

When I was in school, there was a group of people who traumatized me in many ways. They disrespected me. They didn’t think I was good enough to be their friend. And they even bullied me at times.

However, more recently, some of them indicated to me — via direct messages or comments on my posts — that they’re impressed by my (mild) success as a writer.


And that felt great. Because validation always feels great.

However, here’s the thing.

I’ve received validation in other forms as well. Several comments on my posts. Being published on Business Insider. Going viral.

But their validation still seemed to have moved me more than these other events. Even though objectively, these other sources of validation should actually mean more — because they’re bigger.

On introspection, I realized that I was carrying trauma from my school days. And because of that trauma of not being approved, I always sought their validation — at least subconsciously. And when I got it, it meant more than I would have expected.


When you seek validation from a specific person or a group of people, it’s possible that they have traumatized you emotionally.

A quick recap: 6 Signs of profound emotional trauma

  • You claim that you’re done with love.
  • You’re building a chain of short-lasting relationships.
  • You move past the point of breakups — significantly and often.
  • You’re afraid of solitude, and hence, you always need people around.
  • You’re happy to see your ex suffer.
  • You seek validation from specific people in your past.

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Akshad Singi, M.D. has been published in Better Humans, Mind Cafe, and more.