17 RELOAD Emotional Wounds, Cravings and Crutches

17 RELOAD Emotional Wounds, Cravings and Crutches

Emotional Wounds, Emotional Cravings, and Emotional Crutches – Vilia Y Reynolds 

When people are emotionally wounded, they may experience emotional cravings, which are intense desires for specific emotional states. For example, someone feeling lonely or rejected may crave being loved and accepted. Similarly, someone feeling anxious or overwhelmed may crave a sense of safety and calm. 

Emotional cravings can be powerful and drive people to engage in behaviours that provide temporary relief but may ultimately be harmful or maladaptive. For example, someone who craves love and acceptance may engage in codependent relationships or seek validation from others in unhealthy ways. 

To address emotional cravings, it is essential to first recognise them and understand the underlying emotions and needs driving them. From there, individuals can work to develop healthier coping strategies and build resilience to manage their feelings better and meet their emotional needs in constructive ways. 

Emotional cravings can become an emotional crutch that hinders personal growth when people rely too heavily on certain emotions to feel good. For example, someone dependent on being loved and accepted to feel good may avoid challenging relationships or situations that could help them grow and develop. Over-indulging in short-term mood-boosting behaviours like eating junk food or binge-watching TV can prevent people from developing meaningful long-term habits that promote overall well-being. People can become stuck in patterns that prevent them from growing and reaching their full potential by relying too much on specific emotional states or behaviours to feel good. 

There are many different emotional crutches that people rely on to feel good at the moment. Some common examples include: 

1. Approval from others - some people rely heavily on validation and approval to feel good about themselves. 

2. Food or other substances - it is common for people to use food, drugs, alcohol, or other substances to numb their emotions and find temporary relief from stress. 

3. Avoidance - some people may avoid situations or relationships that trigger uncomfortable emotions, preventing them from growing or facing challenges. 

4. Procrastination - delaying tasks or responsibilities can temporarily relieve stress and anxiety but can also prevent individuals from achieving long-term goals. 

5. Control - some people may feel a sense of safety and security from controlling their environment or interactions with others, but this can lead to rigidity and lack of flexibility.   

6. Gossiping - many people find that sharing stories or gossiping about others can become an emotional crutch that helps them avoid dealing with their emotional wounds. They can temporarily distract themselves from their problems and emotions by focusing on others. 

While it's natural to want to share experiences and connect with others, constantly seeking validation or attention through talking about others can lead to a chronic need for external affirmation and prevent individuals from addressing their emotional needs. In doing so, they may also inadvertently hurt the feelings of those they talk about, damaging relationships or social dynamics. 

Several warning signs indicate that someone may use gossip or sharing stories as an emotional crutch. Some of these signs include: 

1. Frequent Need for Attention: If someone constantly seeks attention and validation from others by sharing stories or gossiping,  this could be a sign that they are using it to fulfil some emotional need. 

2. Inability to Keep Secrets: If someone tends to blabber about other people's details without caring about the potential consequences,  this could indicate a reliance on this behaviour as an emotional crutch. 

3. Feeling of Empowerment: If someone feels empowered by knowing sensitive information about others or having the ability to share stories about them, this could be a sign that they are using it to feel good about themselves. 

4. Lack of Empathy: If someone lacks empathy towards others or finds it difficult to understand how their words and actions can hurt others,  this could be a red flag for their use of gossip as an emotional crutch. 

5. Anxiety and Depression: If someone is experiencing anxiety or depression and is using gossip or sharing stories as a way to distract themselves from it, then this could be a clear warning sign that they are using it as an emotional crutch. 

It's important to remember that everyone is different, and no single set of behaviours or warning signs will apply to everyone who uses gossip or sharing stories as an emotional crutch.  

Gossiping or using stories as an emotional crutch is a behaviour anyone can engage in under certain circumstances. Still, some personality traits or situations may make a person more likely to do so.  

For example, people who have low self-esteem, lack assertiveness, or struggle with social anxiety may find gossiping or sharing stories about other people to be an easier way to connect with others or feel more important. People prone to negative thinking or rumination may also use gossip or stories to distract themselves from their problems. 

Additionally, people who have experienced trauma, abuse, or neglect may use gossip or stories to cope with their painful feelings and emotions by re-directing their focus on others. People who grew up in families where this behaviour was normalised may also learn to use gossip or stories to navigate relationships and social situations. 

However, it's important to note that these factors do not necessarily mean that someone will develop a habit of gossiping or using stories as an emotional crutch. Other factors like personal values, social support, and mental resilience can also play a role in whether or not someone engages in this behaviour. 

Breaking the habit of using gossip or stories as a coping mechanism can be challenging, but it's certainly possible. Here are some steps that may help: 

1. Recognise the behaviour: The first step in breaking any habit is to become aware of it. Pay attention when you use gossip or stories to cope with your emotions. 

2. Identify triggers: Identify the situations or emotions that trigger your need to gossip or share stories. Is it when you feel anxious, bored, or stressed? Once you know your triggers, you can plan to avoid them or find alternative coping strategies. 

3. Take responsibility: Recognise that gossiping or sharing stories is not a healthy way to deal with your emotions. Acknowledge that you are responsible for your behaviour and commit to making positive changes. 

4. Practice self-reflection: Spend time reflecting on your thoughts and feelings rather than focusing on the actions of others. This can help you develop a deeper understanding of your own emotions and needs. 

5. Build positive relationships: Focus on building positive, supportive relationships with others. Cultivate friendships based on mutual trust, respect, and empathy rather than gossip or drama. 

6. Find healthy coping strategies: Explore other healthy coping strategies to help you manage your emotions. Some examples include exercise, meditation, journaling, therapy, or hobbies. 

7. Be patient and persistent: Breaking habits takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself, and don't give up if you slip up or fall back into old patterns. Keep practising new behaviours until they become second nature.  

Staying motivated to keep practising new behaviours can be challenging, especially when you slip up or fall back into old patterns. Here are some tips that may help: 

1. Be kind to yourself: Remember that changing a habit is problematic. Slipping occasionally is normal. Instead of beating yourself up, be kind and compassionate to yourself. 

2. Celebrate your progress: Celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. Acknowledge your progress so far and use it as motivation to keep going. 

3. Stay focused on your goals: Keep your long-term goals in mind and focus on the positive changes you want to make. Visualise yourself succeeding and imagine how good it will feel when you reach your goals. 

4. Surround yourself with positive influences: People who support your goals and encourage your progress. Seek mentors, coaches, or friends who can provide guidance and accountability. 

5. Keep track of your progress: Keep a record and celebrate the milestone. It will help you stay motivated and see how far you've come. 

6. Practice self-care: Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and take time to relax and recharge. 

7. Stay committed: Remember that changing a habit takes time and persistence. Stay committed to your goals and keep practising new behaviours, even if you slip up or fall back into old patterns. With time and practice, you can create lasting change in your life. 

Ultimately, it's important to recognise when this behaviour becomes problematic and seek help if needed. This may involve working with a therapist to understand the root causes of the behaviour better and develop healthier coping strategies that allow individuals to address their own emotional needs in more constructive ways. 

V.Y.R Behavioural Consulting

V.Y.R Behavioural Consulting

Hi, I am Vilia Y Reynolds, a Professional Learning Development Trauma Practitioner specialising in trauma coaching and commonly referred to as a Trauma Life Coach. I am a Certified Trauma Incident Reduction Facilitator (TIRF) and a registered member of the Professional Excellence Team of Trauma Practitioners of TIRA and TIRA-SA.

I have over 40 years of experience in learning and development. I have honed my expertise in guiding individuals towards healing and growth. My unique therapeutic approach, the Wardrobe of Love Life-Coaching Model® WoL™, blends multiple techniques from Applied Metapsychology to support individuals on their transformative journeys. My dedication to continuous learning and development ensures I remain at the forefront of trauma education and life coaching knowledge. Based on principles of compassion and proficiency, I provide a safe space for individuals to address trauma, reduce life stress, and unlock their true potential, empowering them to lead fulfilling lives.


Thank you for your interest in my Learning Development Specialist business. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about my Trauma Facilitating and Life Coaching programs, we are here to assist you. Please fill out the contact form below, and my dedicated team will respond to your inquiry promptly. Your privacy and confidentiality are of utmost importance to us. We are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for your personal growth and healing journey. We look forward to connecting with you and supporting you in achieving your goals.