By Oliver JR Cooper

After many, many years of pain, one could find that they have the need to keep people at a distance. At this point, it will be clear that it is not other people; rather, it is the person they see whenever they look in the mirror.

But although they will now understand that they are the ones who need to change, they could struggle to understand why it has taken them so long to realise this. They could even criticise themselves for not having been able to see this sooner.

Here’s how to heal:


Before healing can take place, it will be essential for the person involved to go easy on themselves and to accept the fact that they have always done the best they could. Or to be more precise, they were doing the best that they could with what they knew.

The main thing is that they have been able to take a step back and to see that their life won’t change unless they change. From here, they will be able to slowly transform their life and to gradually let people in.

In The Past

Before they had this insight, the person involved might have spent a fair amount of time complaining about how their life was. Along with what they said to themselves, there would have been what they said to others.

There may have been moments when they felt like a victim, or they may have felt this way in general. What was going on in this area of their life, the area of human connection, may have also impacted every other area of their life.

Groundhog Day

The person involved may have just had surface-level relationships for as long as they can remember and they might not have ever had an intimate relationship. Or, they might have been in relationships that only went so far.

It would then have seemed as though the people who they were drawn to were the ones who had issues. According to this outlook, they would only have changed if the people ‘out there’ changed.

External Support

Whenever they spoke to others about what was going on, the person involved may have been told that they were just unlucky. Although these people probably wanted to be supportive, what they said wouldn’t have truly had an impact.

Most likely, what these people came out with would have been a reflection of how they perceived this area of their own life. Someone or something ‘out there’ would have been what defined what their relationships were like.

The Catalyst

What may have allowed them to see that they are the ones who need to change could have been a recent relationship that they had. They could also currently be with someone who has played a part in them being able to perceive that need for change.

If it relates to someone they were with, the person involved may have found that they simply couldn’t let their partner in. Thus, they would have had what they wanted but they wouldn’t have been able to take the next step.


Physically and mentally the person involved might have been fine, yet their emotional self wouldn’t have been on board. As a result of this, they wouldn’t have been able to fully show up within the relationship and embrace the other person.

On the one hand, they may have wondered why they couldn’t form a deep emotional connection with this person, and on the other, they may have felt comfortable keeping them at an emotional distance.

A Closer Look

After having this experience, they may have also come to see that they are this way with people in general. The reason it might not have stood out before could be because less would have been expected from them in those other relationships.

The big question is: why would they have such a strong need to keep people at bay? One way of looking at this would be to say they are carrying a deeply wounded inner child, and this part of them doesn’t feel safe enough to let anyone in.

Two Levels

This part of the person involved, their emotional self, won’t be in good health, and this could show that the early years of their life were very traumatic. Perhaps this was a time when they were mistreated on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

Many years will have passed since this stage of their life, but the child that they once were will now live inside them. And even though their conscious mind may not remember much, their unconscious mind—the part of them where their inner child will be found—will remember everything that happened.

Running the Show

For many years, the person involved may have believed that someone or something ‘out there’ was in control of their life, yet it will have been a part of them that they were unaware of. Their inner child was defining what they could, or couldn’t, allow into their life.

To this part of them, opening up to another person and letting them into their life could be seen as something that would cause them to be annihilated. What happened to them as a child will have defined what closeness and intimacy mean to them.


During their early years, the only way for the person involved to handle what was taking place would have been to disconnect from their feelings. To do this, they would have had to lose touch with their body.

To keep this pain at bay, their body may have developed in a certain way, with this being a way for them to prevent their emotional pain and unmet needs from entering their conscious mind. The defences that were put in place when they were a child may be so effective that the person involved might rarely come into contact with the deep pain and unmet childhood needs that are inside them.


The first step to healing is awareness. If one can relate to this problem, they may wish to speak to a qualified therapist to help them overcome the wounded inner child that is holding them back. The quality of your life and ability to construct and maintain meaningful relationships may significantly improve as a result.

About the author: 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, and inner awareness.

Learn more at or