Can childhood neglect affect your sensitivity levels as an adult?


Can childhood neglect affect your sensitivity levels as an adult?


Answer: Childhood neglect can have a profound effect on your emotional energy. Often it makes you very sensitive and open to your environment, sometimes too much so. Then it might seem that you “over-react” but really your empathy has been finely tuned by the trauma. Use some of the shielding and grounding techniques I prescribe for empaths in The Empath’s Survival Guide. I find most sensitive people need to spend time in nature. I recommend that you regularly take time out from your routine. Visit the beach, a forest, a canyon, a river. Choose a spot that moves you. Aboriginals seek out windswept plains for purification. Native Americans go to fresh streams to clarify their inner vision. (Any water source, including a bath or shower, can cleanse and purify.) Tibetan monks pilgrimage to mountaintops. Allow yourself to draw on the earth’s primordial forces. Savor the beauty of a twilight, sunset, or dawn. Let them nourish and restore you. Also I’m a big believer in surrogate parenting. If you didn’t get the nurturing from your parents, find adults in your current life who can love and nurture you as parents would.

Best regards,


Judith Orloff, MD is a New York Times bestselling author with the upcoming book The Genius of Empathy: Practical Skills to Heal Yourself, Your Relationships and the World (Foreword by the Dalai Lama). She has also written The Empath’s Survival Guide and Thriving as an Empath, which offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people. She integrates the pearls of conventional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, empathy, energy medicine, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice and online internationally. Her work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine, the New York Times and USA Today. Dr. Orloff has spoken at Google-LA, TEDx U.S. and TEDx Asia. More information about Dr. Orloff’s Empathy Training Programs for businesses, The Empath Survival Guide Online Course and speaking schedule at

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