In this post, we’ll unpack how the person whose love we craved most as a child shapes our identity and drives our behaviour and then how we can leverage this knowledge to make the changes necessary to experience more fulfilling relationships and live a more successful life.
Whose Love Did You Crave The Most As A Child?
Everyone single one of us has developed our own unique Model Of The World in order to meet our basic fundamental needs. This blueprint begins in childhood and significantly shapes our beliefs, values and identity.
Being as we’re around them the most when we’re growing up, the biggest influences on our Model Of The World are our parents or caregivers, but more specifically, the person we craved the most love from as a child. Not who we loved more, but, whose love we craved more.
Why? Because rejection breeds obsession.
When we feel rejected or when we don’t get the level of love or attention that we want by someone, we crave it more. This happens because we feel like we’re not good enough. We believe we lack worth and so the only way to prove our worth is to receive love from that person.
We then subconsciously shape ourselves into what we believe we need to think, be or do in order to gain the person’s love and attention. Even if the beliefs lead to behaviours that still create pain, the pain is not as severe as not getting any love and attention at all. Through continual reinforcement, these behaviours become automatic conditioned responses that direct the rest of our lives and determine our destinies.
“You become who you crave love from the most.” ― Tony Robbins
Ask Yourself 3 Questions
To understand how your identity has been shaped, you can ask yourself 3 questions:
- Whose love did you crave the most as a child?
- What did you have to think, be or do to gain love and attention from that person?
- What could you never think, be or do to gain love and attention from that person?
By understanding what shapes our Model Of The World and why we do the things we do, we can uncover our behaviours and determine whether they are empowering us or disempowering us. If they empower us, we can continue using them. If they disempower us, we can change them.
For example, you may have been raised in a way that in order to get love and attention you had to be perfect and so you now find yourself constantly striving for perfection in everything you do. As there is no such thing as perfection, you will always feel like you are not enough.
We all develop our own unique Model Of The World based on the source of love we craved most growing up. This influences everything we think and everything we do. It impacts the way we filter information and how we experience life.
Craving love and attention is not a bad thing ― in fact, it is a natural biological trait in all human beings. However, by examining your childhood and identifying whose love and attention you craved most, you can gain a clearer explanation of your behaviours and if necessary, modify them. You can also use this understanding to assess your relationships and why they’ve either failed or succeeded.