Reddit Reddit reviews Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect

We found 37 Reddit comments about Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect
Running on Empty Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect
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37 Reddit comments about Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect:

u/raskolnik · 23 pointsr/TrueReddit

This book deals with this concept really well, and is one I'd highly recommend to anyone who relates to the person in the article.

u/olusatrum · 18 pointsr/getdisciplined

1. What was the most effective thing you've ever done to improve your life?

went to therapy

2. How did you do it?

I used to find a therapist. You can search by insurance, what kinds of issues they have experience in, what types of treatment they do, their gender and religion if that's important to you, if they're open to LGBT folks, if they do video/online counseling. I chose a youngish guy who had a kind face, and that worked out.

3. How did you realize that it was the thing that needed changing?

My therapist connected all the dots for me. Before I went to therapy, I was trying to optimize a completely broken system. I couldn't see how procrastinating on doing the dishes was related to how much I drank every day, how that was related to my depression and lack of motivation, which was of course unrelated to my childhood and how I learned to think and behave growing up. Therapy was like making a map connecting all the dots and once I did that I could see multiple paths out. I made some small changes, which led to bigger changes, and now I'm 5 months sober, hitting the gym twice a week, asleep by 10pm every night, back to my hobbies and looking forward to the future

4. Why hadn't you changed it sooner?


5. What was the biggest obstacle?


6. How did you overcome it?

I got a promotion and raise at work and took the plunge. I wish I had a better answer and I wish quality mental health services were more available.

7. What would you advise someone who wants to do the same?

if money's a problem: look for younger folks still under supervision. They're often cheaper, and studies show age makes no appreciable difference in quality of care. The office may offer a sliding scale fee, and some are able to give you a lower price if you explain your situation to them. If you really can't afford it, books can really help too. This one on Childhood Emotional Neglect really opened my mind. The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook is also extremely helpful.

Obviously I don't think everyone in this sub has a mental illness and needs therapy. But if you're struggling with a consistent lack of motivation, inability to get going, general dissatisfaction, etc. I think it can be really helpful to examine the structures at work behind that. Are you trying to optimize a broken system?

u/purhitta · 13 pointsr/FundieSnark

Hey OP! This is a little off topic but I hope it helps you. I wasn't raised fundie, but I've recently been learning about Childhood Emotional Neglect and realized how prominent it was in my childhood. I think a LOT of fundie families unknowingly promote this sort of emotional suffocation. It can happen intentionally (narcissistic parents) or unintentionally (emotionally absent parents who just think their MO is the norm.)

My parents did their absolute best, but I still had complex emotional needs that they couldn't meet. I don't blame them, but it's helpful to recognize the patterns.

If you need resources, I've found Dr. Jonice Webb to be a leading voice on the topic. She has a book called Running on Empty which I'm reading right now. It explains so much.

u/asteria21 · 12 pointsr/indonesia

Habis baca buku ini dan ini terus mikir ternyata childhood gw mayan fucked up juga yha. Di satu sisi lega karena akhirnya pengalaman dan apa yang gw rasain selama ini tervalidasi, tapi sejujurnya di sisi lain kesel soalnya gw gak minta ada di dunia ini tapi kok ya gw juga yg kena emotional neglect. Kadang iri sama orang-orang yang keluarganya bisa jadi support system, sedangkan keluarga seringnya jadi trigger breakdown gw :(

u/ElricTA · 9 pointsr/TwoXChromosomes

It's probably a cultural thing which is more pronounced in asian families, It just isn't a good reason or a way of life and of course its hypocritical.

I can understand your apprehension to stand up to your parents. You know them your whole life and they brought you into the world - depending on how narcissistic they are they also have a way of holding it over you and guilt tripping you, by victimizing themself.

"how could you this to me" "I didn't raise you like that" yadda yadda.

however actions or lack thereof speak louder than words.
Parents are responsible for the upbringing and health of their Children this includes mental health. Neglect/ Emotional neglect has serious far reaching effects on People. Whats worse your Brother apparently has been recipient of the Support that you, too deserve. which makes the contrast all the more stark - You basically know that your Parents are capable of support and love, they just did not choose too in your case. for that matter I wouldn't be surprised If you are chronically Shy and have low self esteem.

So yeah, all your subjective reasons that lead you to make this thread are completely reasonable circumstances to reject the responsibility that your Parents have chosen for you, not you.

the fact that you want to become a nurse speaks for itself, I have no doubt that are driven by compassion - so don't let your Parents hold your "moral" hostage that they themselves did not abide by. You don't have an obligation to make excuses on their behalf, relationships between people are two way streets.

that is something that i would make clear. If they feel neglected by her daughter, you'd do well to point out how you felt in your times of need. This is the kind acknowledgement, that I'd insist they make If they want build trust - which they obviously never even started to build.

In this kind of parenting you also are not alone, and have no reason to feel uncertainties about. If you want to gain some additional perspective / Insight; I'd recommend Running on Empty from Jonnice Webb

u/insenceofporpoises · 8 pointsr/AvPD

40 here. Same place as you. feel exhausted by life. I'm considering going back to therapy. I recently read Running on Empty, a book about childhood emotional neglect which has reeeaallly connected a lot of dots for me. I highly recommend it. My hope is that armed with this information I can make more headway into positive changes, but I feel likeI need a therapist to direct me. At this point I've nothing left to lose by trying even if it is a lot of effort.

u/super_nice_shark · 8 pointsr/AsOneAfterInfidelity

(I'm almost 8 months post d day) Focus on you. I spent an ungodly amount of money to do something to my hair that I always wanted to do but never had the guts. I went to the beach with my mom for Memorial Day weekend - just the two of us (it was lovely!). I joined a meetup group in my city for "nerdy girls" and we meet twice a month to do crafts. I'm spending more time with my gal pals. I'm reading more - both for fun and for help. A few I recommend are: Sue Johnson's Hold Me Tight, Jonice Webb's Running on Empty (if childhood neglect applies to you), pretty much anything by Brene Brown, any of Esther Perel's videos on Youtube, and the Affair Recovery website (sign up for their emails - it can be really helpful to be feeling some kind of way and boom there's an email in your inbox about just that thing - kind of uncanny really).

u/aknalid · 5 pointsr/Entrepreneur

Hey dude.

I can relate quite a bit.

I have the attention span of a gnat on cocaine, so I can definitely relate to the overall tone of your post.

I am going to give you a different perspective than all the other commenters...

Here are my initial impressions:

1.) I am guessing your job is not 100% predictable and there's a decent amount of unpredictability in the day to day activities? That's probably why you are doing fine in that role. Also, since you also run the risk of losing your paycheck (i.e: loss aversion) if you don't perform provides you with a decent incentive to keep showing up and producing results.

2.) Regarding your difficulty of learning and motivation: This provides more evidence about your ADD tendencies. It's not that you are not motivated or don't want to learn, it's just that your brain is wired to chase shiny objects. If you are not stimulated in conversation, work, or any other task at hand - no matter how important others deem it to be, you simply TUNE OUT.

3.) Based on everything you've said thus far, I am going to put forth the following theory:

You grew up in a very dysfunctional / precarious family environment and your relationship with your parents aren't the best. If anything, this was certainly the case in the first few years after you were born. ADD/ADHD is not a disorder, rather, it is a phenotype.

Actually, it's more accurate to say attunement deficit disorder than attention deficit disorder because one of the biggest factors of it is from your mother not giving you proper attention as a baby.

I am also going to guess that you have underdeveloped emotional circuitry as a result of emotional neglect as a child.

This is all related to ADD/ADHD. The area of your brain (pre-frontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex) that deals with emotional regulation is heavily underdeveloped.

How do I know all of this shit? Because I've spent a decent amount of time trying to understand my own characteristics and it sounds quite similar to yours.

To confirm these theories, I highly recommend that you read or listen to the audiobook version(s) of these books:

  • Scattered by Gabor Mate
  • Driven to Distraction by Edward Hallowell
  • Running on Empty by Jonice Webb

    ..Especially Running on Empty by Jonice Webb.

    Here's why: Unlike physical or sexual abuse, it is extremely difficult and subtle to know if you've been emotionally neglected as a child. The reason is that the former is an event that happened (i.e: my dad spanked me) and the latter is an event that didn't happen.

    Since you have no reference or experience of what emotional assurance feels like, you don't know if you've been neglected emotionally as a child AFTER you are an adult.

    Rather, the symptoms show up as being distracted, ADD, depression, alienation, loneliness etc..

    Take this test and if any of the above books confirm my theories, look into the work of Alice Miller and listen to everything she says.


    Because, in the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal. Not only that, when you read /r/Entrepreneur and see a 23-year-old making half a million dollars from a business he started 6-months ago, you are going to feel even shittier if you are so attached to being an entrepreneur.


  • Frank Llloyd wright didn't make Falling Water until he was 68

  • Colonel Sanders (who wasn't even a real colonel) didn't start KFC until he was 62

  • Sidney Frank didn't start Grey Goose Vodka until he was 77

  • Ray Kroc didn't even get the ball rolling with McDonalds till he was 60

    On and on....

    Take care of your mental health first.

    And remember, ADD or being distracted is NOT a disorder, it's a phenotype. (or as I like to call it: Multifocus) -- What you need to do is figure out how to use your tendencies to your benefit and design your life around it.

    We have sensationalized the idea of being an Entrepreneur so much so that, all we hear about are successes (i.e: Survivorship bias).

    What no one talks about is the psychological toll and the number of suicides that happen as a result of the unrealistic (self-imposed) pressure of wanting to succeed as an Entrepreneur. For example, Austen Heinz was running an incredibly successful startup and abruptly killed himself.

    Your happiness and sense of self should be 100% derived from within.

    The moment you start basing that on external factors, you are likely going to go down the wrong road.


    You got plenty of time.

    This ain't a sprint.
u/islander85 · 5 pointsr/AskMenOver30

I highly recommend reading [this book] ( and giving it to her to read as well. Another redditer recomended it to me and now my life makes sense for the first time. How we learn or don't learn emotional intelligence is something that's not talked about, but it's a very real issue for a lot of people.

u/BloodyUterus · 5 pointsr/offmychest

My parents weren't good parents either. I know what it's like to not have a roll model in a parent. I've been reading this book, and I've learned a LOT from it. I wish I'd had it when I was your age. I'll buy it for you if you like, if you make an amazon wishlist and put it on there I can buy it for you as a gift and they'll send it to you. You have your whole life ahead of you, truly, soon you'll be able to put this in your past and make up for what you didn't get growing up.

u/jdog2050 · 3 pointsr/INTP

@op: I highly, highly recommend this book:

It's a life changer and all these posts from young INTPs always reminds me of the subject matter.

u/foxdale · 3 pointsr/hsp

Sorry to hear about what you went through. Things will only get better. Glad that you're reaching out to other HSPs.

Yesterday, I was watching a podcast with Brene Brown and Russell Brand where they discussed their own kids' behavior and compliance. I hope you relate to the segment as she mentions choice theory.

I also recommend reading the book [Running on Empty] ( by Dr. Jonice Webb

Best of luck! ♥

u/acfox13 · 3 pointsr/CPTSD

I’m in the middle of reading Running on Empty, which is all about childhood emotional neglect (CEN). It really resonates with my life experience, my struggles, my pain, etc. Especially since I’ve only recently become aware of my trauma. And here’s an article on CEN as well:
Neglect, the long lasting impact of what wasn’t there (this is part one, part two is linked at the bottom of the article)

u/pixe1jugg1er · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

I highly recommend the book 'Running on Empty' by Jonice Webb. It's helped me fill the void... And understand the void.

Sorry for the sloppy link... On mobile.

u/TimeToExhale · 2 pointsr/intj

I can relate to what you are writing. I've been asking myself "Is this all there is?" over and over again. After years of meticulously trying to bring various areas of life under control, I finally reached a state where things felt unexpectedly stable and secure - and suddenly I found myself dearly longing for some mystery in my life.

I don't have a solution yet, but I feel like I'm on my way to find one, finally. The piece of information that got the ball rolling for me was to learn about 'emotional neglect' and its effects and the skills you need to learn to make up for what you have been missing early on in your life. Like in this book, for example. I've started to get better in touch with my emotions and my inner life since and this had an enormous impact on all areas of my life. I felt the need to reevaluate and examine nearly everything (career choices, relationship, friends, hobbies...) and many parts of my life have been in the process of turning upside down since.

For me the solution is all about changing the paradigm from avoiding stress, pain and discomfort to pursuing passion and excitement (and first of all, finding something that makes me passionate and excited about it). Moving towards something instead of running away from something. I suspect unfortunately it won't work without letting go of a good amount of the previously installed safety measures (at least this is my experience so far), which I find really scary and this outlook prevented me from taking any action for a long time and still paralyzes me frequently. But whenever I manage to take my feelings seriously and act on them, I denfinitely can't complain anymore that life would be dull.

u/SelfConstruct · 2 pointsr/raisedbynarcissists

Here's a book about emotional neglect that I found very helpful. My therapist likes it too. The last third (solutions) is a little weak, but it helped me understand why emotional neglect was so debilitating for me.

u/rawr4me · 2 pointsr/INTP

I used to have low self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, and self-respect. This book helped me go from knowing something wasn't quite right about how I felt about myself, to truly understanding and believing that I'm fundamentally acceptable as a human being even if there are many ways in which I should try to improve. Since then, I turned my life around in a relatively short space of time (months). It's all just a start, of course, but a start in the right direction.

That said, if the denotation of self-doubt is "lack of confidence in oneself and one's abilities", then I still have doubt in my abilities. But I don't think that is a terribly bad thing.

u/iliikepie · 2 pointsr/infertility

For me personally, a lot of the reason infertility was and has been so difficult, is because of the emotional neglect I experienced as a child. While I had come a long, long way emotionally since I've been an adult, I still hadn't yet mastered how to process and deal with my emotions. In a way that sounds simple, but for me it wasn't at all obvious or easy to figure out, even though I had spent years trying to resolve various past traumas, thinking patterns, behaviors, etc.

Infertility, compounded with other issues, pushed me to the brink, and along with learning about new (to me) therapies and actually find a good therapist who I respect and trust, I was able to come to a turning point in how infertility was affecting me. For me it wasn't "just" the infertility, it was related to many areas and previous past traumas in my life. It was related to feeling completely alone and isolated as a child and teen, when I had zero emotional support or connection with my family. Deep down I feel as if I have no family. Based on my beliefs about what a parent should be, I have no parents.

It's amazing and wonderful to think that you can just create your own family, and give your children the things you were never given (emotional connection), but when that chance is taken away from you, you no longer have that opportunity to heal the past in the present, you no longer have the opportunity to have what you always wanted deep down: emotional intimacy, a (real) family, etc.

I don't know if any of that will resonate with you, but if you're interested, the way I made the most progress was by reading the books:

u/failfastfailoften · 2 pointsr/AskMen

I wish you all the best, and thanks again for introducing me to the term. I've been reading online about recovery tips and such, and it's very helpful. I really appreciate your post. Good luck! : )

Edit: Oh, and I wanted to share a book I noticed about it during my googling. I don't know if it's good, but I wanted to tell you it exists. Good luck!

u/pjpancake · 2 pointsr/MomForAMinute

OP, this book was helpful for me. It might be good for you too.

Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect

u/Nemo_Junior · 2 pointsr/CPTSD

Hi Rachel - check out the work of Dr. Jonice Webb on "Childhood Emotional Neglect," which seems to have a lot of crossover with C-PTSD. Her books are "Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect" and "Running on Empty No More: "

u/bktolife · 2 pointsr/SuicideWatch

I got the impression that she understands why I contacted him and doesn't hold it against me, but I think the damage is done - she knows now that if I think she's going to go through with it I'm not afraid to try and intervene from afar, and as I said, she would not agree to contact me before taking any drastic steps.

From where she stands, suicide is her ticket out of the pain. You getting her to stop it is like trying to take away her comfort. This is her perspective. So, that is the reason she lashed back. She probably would give anything to have someone to talk to. That is why it is important for you to gain the trust back. The damage is done, but not permanent. Try talking to her saying that you panicked and did whatever you did. I am pretty sure she will respond positively. Try to get her out of it till you get back. Once you are in town, you can personally talk it out. Until then just ask her not to do anything. Ask her to wait it out for the next few weeks.

I take it you don't think I should involve anyone else in this?

That is a tricky one. Getting people involved will be adding social and peer pressure on the girl. She might or might not like it. The effect of getting someone involved would entirely depend on the girl. If she did not like your room mate talking to her about it, she MIGHT prefer to be left alone. Again, I may be totally wrong here. But I know this is an important issue. So maybe with more inputs I can get a better picture.

The other roommate I mentioned has had a similarly troubled upbringing - an abusive mother and series of step-fathers, kicked out of his home at 16 before bouncing around until entering university where we met. He and A have known each other even longer than her and I have known each other, and I think he could be very helpful (I'm fairly sure that he has talked her through suicidal thoughts once in the past).

Having experience with this issue is definitely helpful. Is he comfortable with his past? If yes, he may be of great help. If he too is struggling then there are chances that he may be having trouble helping here.

I just don't know where the line is between keeping her confidence and trying to get her the help that she needs.

Right now it is very important to keep her confidence. You can always help her when you get back. As you are far away, it would be difficult to get the right kind of help. Not getting the right kind of help may do more harm than good.

This is the hardest part to puzzle out from my perspective. She has found her passion, cooking, and has been a chef for years (finishing her second year of culinary school right now). From the outside, she appears to have totally conquered all of the negative influences which she comes from... but this hasn't brought her peace of mind, and her past continues to haunt her. If there were obvious, solvable problems, I would have a much better idea of how to help, but she seems to have a handle on her problems yet gets nothing but anguish from her everyday life.

Her problems are caused by stuff that happened in her past. Trauma from her childhood is the reason she suffers today. It is the absence of a healthy childhood that needs to be addressed. This book may help!

The trouble with this is that we cannot go back in time and undo the hurt. That is why it seems so impossible to get over it. But it can be gotten over really well.

When a kid is growing up, the brain learns stuff and it sort of accepts to be universal truths. Once into adulthood, we subconsciously keep running off of those old threads. A happy healthy kid turns out into a happy healthy adult. A miserable kid turns out to be a miserable adult. The latter case might hold true for the girl. The way around this is to realize that you are not a product of your past, that each day is a new day.

Hope I helped. Please do PM me if you need to talk.

u/boombox2000 · 1 pointr/DoesAnybodyElse

Read this

u/princess_robot11 · 1 pointr/DecidingToBeBetter

Here are some books that I have read and have found to be helpful. Check to see if your library has them.

Toxic Parents

Emotional Blackmail

Running on Empty

u/WifeFriday · 1 pointr/BabyBumps

I’m sure that is super overwhelming for both of you right now. But at least he has acknowledged that he has some issues and wants to work on them which is pretty huge. So make sure you continue support him and encourage him to continue with therapy. Was there emotional abuse or possibly neglect in his family growing up? Not to diagnose him or anything, but I sometimes have issues with expressing my emotions and connecting with people. I always felt something was “wrong with me”. Turns out you can be raised in a perfectly normal loving family but still have your emotional needs neglected which can make it hard to process emotions yourself. I found this book to be spot on for me. Maybe have him read the description and see if it strikes a chord. Hang in there!

u/objectivistbrit · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

OP, you'd get a lot out of the book "Running on Empty" by Dr Jonice Webb.

One of the neglectful parent types in there is the "addicted parent", and she offers lots of thoughts that I believe will be useful to someone in your position.

If you can't afford the book, there's some articles on her website here:

u/learnyouahaskell · 1 pointr/getdisciplined

Do you think you (have) suffer(ed) a bit from this? (Speaking as a commiserator, not a bystander):

u/zhezhijian · 1 pointr/socialskills

Yeah, try this book:

It's mostly aimed at people with sort of suboptimal childhoods, but a lot of the advice in it is geared towards helping you assert your emotional needs without trampling on other people's boundaries, so it should apply to you too.

u/Dearon · 1 pointr/OneY

Hey, you might find value in this book: Running on Empty, the author also did a podcast episode recently so you can get an idea of what the book is about by listening to it. I also highly recommend therapy so you have a safe place to explore these things without having to worry about the other person.

u/rogue-seven · 1 pointr/AvPD

Cried of course but no mirror. Try this book for answers to your question.

u/dtictacnerdb · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

A book that helped me a fair bit.

u/1ClassyMotherfucker · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

I have recently read Running on Empty: Overcome your Childhood Emotional Neglect and the end section has worksheets and tips. A very helpful and insightful book about working on being able to express and attend to your own needs, something I also struggle with. I think marriage counseling would also be a good idea, if you have the means.

And, since you are asking our opinions (you can take this or leave it, of course) maybe the house doesn't really need to be 'presentable' -- just clean 'enough.' And maybe you don't need to breastfeed your two-year-old anymore, or least not as often... your needs are important, even when we are talking about a relationship between you and your child. If breastfeed a two-year-old is too much for you, maybe you can start weaning him now. Again, just an idea, putting it out there for your consideration. And, maybe you don't need to teach bible study when you are feeling so overwhelmed and stressed. You can start reevaluating the commitments you've made and there might be some you can drop, at least for now, until you feel more in control.

u/always_tired_hsp · 1 pointr/hsp

I was just about to post something to this effect! As long as I can remember I've felt unable to make connections with people, I've only ever had one serious romantic relationship (in my 20s) and I'm 41 now. I started reflecting on my childhood (authoritarian parenting, probably not much attention paid to my emotional needs) and I started doing some research. I'm currently reading this book and trying to work out if I was emotionally neglected growing up. A lot of the symptoms of that in adulthood are just as you, and many of us, describe and experience.

EDIT: I know you were talking specifically about siblings, weren't you, but I thought this book might help someone anyway!

u/goodthankyou · 1 pointr/infj

‘Running on Empty’ is a good book to read for CEN.

Jonice Webb book

Check with a psychologist to see if you have BPD. The usual treatment is DBT.

u/shinebrightlike · 1 pointr/BPD

>The hard part to distinguish though is I feel like that fear would be coming from the fact that my father abandoned me and wanted my mom to get an abortion.

BPD can come from a lot of things. If mom wanted an abortion, she may have had some resentment toward you, and she may have sent thousands of covert messages toward you in infancy, toddlerhood, childhood, and beyond. Such as not getting you from the crib when crying in an appropriate time, or not making loving eye contact with you at nine months. We take this in like food as babies, and when we don't get it, we run on a deficit and it can spawn these personality disorder traits. A great book to read about this which can put into perspective is Running on Empty which is written in a straightforward and easy to comprehend way.

>Like even if my boyfriend has to be gone for a night, visiting family or anything, I feel completely alone and like I don't belong anymore. It's totally illogical

This is an example of a trigger. Your boyfriend leaves, you may not have developed object permanence. Like, when mom leaves the living room and we are babies, we cry because she is gone and we don't know she is coming back. Eventually we learn emotionally she is coming back. For some of us with neglectful moms and absent dads, we never developed this emotional skill, so when boyfriend goes away, emotional mind says, "He is gone forever!" and this stokes the emotions we didn't process at nine months old, or 6 years old when mom pushed us away or rolled her eyes, and we felt frustrated but went right back in for a hug.

It's actually logical the more you know about this, the more you are able to retrace your steps. It's ok to not show this to him, or to tell him about it, but still rely on yourself because the internal battle is learning how to regulate your emotions. If you can attach with a therapist for a year or two or three, you can overcome this feeling. I was one of the worst cases of bpd and I do not have that issue anymore with my partner.

Sorry for the book! If you have any questions let me know.