Are you interested in someone who has been severely hurt in the past? These characteristics of a broken person will help you understand them better.
Getting to know a person can be hard sometimes, and it’s even harder when that person is emotionally damaged. They’re the type who puts walls around themselves – walls so high that it seems like you’ll never get to truly know what hides behind them.
They have lost their trust in people as well as their self-esteem.
It goes without saying that loving someone with these characteristics can be very difficult, although even a broken person deserves love. Can you be the person who gives them that love?
Don’t expect it to be smooth sailing if you decide to be with them, and no one will judge you if you decide not to. Even though every broken person deserves love, loving one is not for everyone.
As they say, two broken hearts can’t make a whole one… Or can they?
When two people love each other, nothing is impossible, so you might make it work. Be aware that it will take a lot of effort to help a broken person become themselves again.
Are you up for the challenge? Read these characteristics of a broken person and decide whether you want to keep pursuing them.
13 characteristics of a broken person
1. They are not confident
Lack of confidence is one of the main characteristics of a broken person.
They sometimes even think that they don’t deserve love. As a matter of fact, they often actually doubt that someone could be interested in them.
Don’t be surprised if this person doubts that you truly like them. Even when you shower them with love and affection, they won’t be convinced.
They don’t understand how anyone could love them because they don’t love themselves.
Broken people are often unaware of their positive qualities. So, they don’t get what you see in them.
When they look at themselves, they only see the parts of them that are faulty and inferior. They are focused only on the things they don’t like about themselves and think everyone else does too.
You will constantly need to reassure them of your feelings and prove your love for them.
People in their past hurt them and walked away. They expect you to do the same, and it’s one of the reasons they lack confidence.
2. They can’t handle rejection
Some people actually look at rejection as an opportunity. It gives them a chance to improve themselves, make better decisions, and sharpen their skills. Rejection even motivates them to work harder and be better.
Broken people aren’t anything like this though. They see rejection as just one more anchor to drag them down and hinder their progress.
It doesn’t take much for them to give up on what they were doing, especially when faced with rejection. It actually just makes them think that they are right to believe that they aren’t good enough.
When it comes to dating, they don’t like making the first move because of this fear of getting rejected. They somehow even expect to be rejected even if there is no sign that they will be.
You can show them that you are interested, but they still won’t approach you. Instead of recognizing what you see in them, they just assume that you’ll laugh at them and walk away.
They don’t want you to confirm the doubts they have, so they simply don’t risk it.
If you want to date a broken person, you will have to make the first move, maybe even repeatedly.
3. They push people away
Those who have been hurt in the past assume that they’re going to get hurt again. They don’t trust people, and even expect them to cause them pain at any given moment.
This is especially true when it comes to romantic interests. A broken person has had their heart broken before, and they don’t want it to happen again.
They tend to sabotage their relationships because of their fear of getting hurt.
If you are involved with a broken person, don’t be surprised if they try to push you away as soon as things get serious. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t like you anymore.
In fact, when they push you away it’s mostly because they like you more than they want to. They’ve developed feelings for you, which means that you could break their heart and they anticipate it to happen.
It’s very hard for them to trust people, so they back out of the relationship to protect their heart.
If they pushed you away, it’s because you got too close, and it has nothing to do with you. You did nothing wrong – pushing people away is just one of the unfortunate characteristics of a broken person.
4. They are very insecure
As I already mentioned, broken people see only their negative traits. Instead of focusing on the positive traits that could lift them up, they feed their insecurities.
These insecurities eat them up and make them too scared to go out there and meet new people. They’re too scared of what new people will think of them.
People who don’t think positively about themselves are incapable of believing that anyone else could either. They assume that everyone else sees only their bad qualities just like they do.
Being that insecure makes it hard for them to have a healthy relationship. They simply can’t understand that you see the beauty in them because they can’t see it themselves.
Instead, they might even think that you’re lying to them or trying to trick them. Even if you’re entirely genuine when you pay them compliments, they might assume that you’re mocking them.
A broken person’s insecurities sometimes make them that paranoid and scared of rejection. Even if you try to reassure them of your feelings, it’s very unlikely that they’ll ever entirely believe you.
5. They rarely open up
A person who has been badly hurt before will constantly try to protect themselves from getting hurt again. Most times, they don’t even realize that they’re keeping their guard up.
They rarely open up to the new people they meet, which creates a problem when they’re dating. Instead of sharing personal details with you, they will be evasive.
This happens because they don’t trust you, since trusting people overall is a problem for them.
Getting them to trust you is not going to be easy, and you must be aware that they might never fully believe you. It’s incredibly hard for them to open their heart to you, so if they ever do, don’t betray their trust.
When a broken person opens up to you, the worst thing that you can do is to tell their secrets to others. If they find out about it, they will shut themselves off from you and never tell you anything again.
You will just prove their theory that anyone they dare to trust is just going to hurt them in the end.
Instead, show them that you’re not like the others. Listen to their stories and try to understand their pain.
Don’t pressure them to open up early on in the relationship, and when they eventually do, don’t scare them away. Hear them out and try to get them to realize that they’re bringing their past into the relationship with you.
6. They are quiet during arguments
One of the characteristics of a broken person is that they don’t fight as other people do. Instead of screaming and yelling, they go quiet during arguments.
It doesn’t mean that they have surrendered and let you win. They’ve just had enough arguments in their life, and they know that it’s just a waste of their time and energy.
In addition, their many insecurities and lack of confidence make it hard to stand up for themselves. Instead of defending themselves when attacked, they’d rather withdraw or just walk away from the fight.
This can be a problem in a relationship because it’s healthy to fight from time to time. As long as both partners are fighting to solve a problem, not make it bigger, fights help the relationship move forward.
Since broken people can’t handle arguments, many problems stay unresolved. They would rather pretend that everything is fine than engage in conflict.
Talking to them during a fight feels like talking to a wall. And they do put walls around themselves, especially when things get tough.
They are simply trying to avoid pain since they experienced a lot of it in the past. It’s not an excuse for not tackling the problems in a relationship, but you have to understand their point of view.
7. They are sensitive
Another one of the characteristics of a broken person is over-sensitivity.
If you happen to say something negative about them, even in a joking manner, they get upset.
Something that might seem funny to you could seriously insult a broken person. This is especially true if it’s something regarding their past, them, or relationship problems.
Any of these things could be a trigger to a broken person. It makes them remember things that happened to them, and they see nothing funny about it.
Even if you apologize and try to explain yourself, they’ll interpret it as you intentionally trying to hurt them. They may also think less of you for thinking something that they take very seriously is funny.
The truth is that they are just too sensitive – but don’t ever tell them that. That would just be a major insult again because they don’t perceive themselves as overly sensitive.
To them, their reaction is perfectly normal considering what they’ve been through.
Don’t accuse them of overreacting, especially if you don’t know what happened to them.
If they haven’t opened up to you yet and you unintentionally insulted them, they probably won’t ever open up. The need to protect themselves will overpower them and they’ll avoid talking to you.
8. They have drastic mood swings
A broken person can go from being genuinely happy to entirely depressed in a matter of minutes.
Most of the time, they are in their sensitive mood. This means that you can’t say things that could trigger emotional distress.
Since they are so emotionally fragile, you must show them extra care and affection. Constantly having to walk on thin ice around them can be exhausting though.
You keep trying to get the right mix of excitement and fun to avoid things taking the wrong turn. Just one wrong word from you could get a broken person to go from happy to sad or even mad.
This is one of the biggest reasons why dating a broken person isn’t easy.
You will have your own mood changes, and it will be exhausting to adjust to theirs. Fearing that you might say something that will upset them could make you feel constantly on edge around them.
They might occasionally forget about their traumas and have a great time with you.
But things will get dark as soon as something reminds them of their past – and it could be anything from what you say to what they notice in their surroundings.
9. They constantly need compliments
Most broken people have been subject to constant criticism in their past. This leaves them yearning for compliments.
Since the criticism they’ve experienced has caused them to focus on their bad traits, they need you to remind them of the good ones – and often.
If they dare to give you the benefit of the doubt and trust that you love them, they will need proof. You’ll have to tell them why exactly you like them and what’s so amazing about them, and you will need to repeat it on a regular basis.
They need you to convince them that they deserve to be loved and to open their eyes to what’s good about them.
That constant need for reassurance is yet another one of the characteristics of a broken person that will leave you exhausted though.
It’s hard to give compliments to someone who is always trying to catch you in a lie and prove you wrong.
They only do that because, as much as they want and need compliments, they don’t believe them. And the tough thing is, although they desperately need compliments, most broken people don’t know how to take them.
Even though they see themselves in a negative way, they want you to prove them wrong. They want to fight their insecurities and realize their worth, but they’ll instead fight you and try to prove that they’re right.
10. They are extremely reserved
If this person you like is extremely reserved and quiet, it might be because they are dealing with a lot in silence. You can’t tell what’s in their head, but trust me, there’s a lot going on in there.
Broken people don’t like to talk much, especially in loud places. In fact, they try to avoid crowds and prefer not to go anywhere where the music is blasting and the place is packed.
They lack the confidence to speak up and voice their opinions or concerns. So, they probably keep quiet even if you’ve said something that upset them.
Until you get to know them better (if they ever let you) you’re forced to guess what they’re thinking about. Most often, their thoughts are dark and influenced by their bad past experiences.
People who have experienced trauma prefer not to talk about it. And when they get used to not talking about their problems, they keep up with that behavior.
They don’t believe that you could understand them and they find it hard to put their thoughts into words.
When you are bothered by something you can’t explain to others, you don’t even try to. Instead, you just assume that they won’t understand you and withdraw even more.
This is one of the reasons why broken people don’t open up easily.
They retreat as a way of defending themselves. Their inner world might be chaos, and they don’t want to let that chaos out in the open.
Doing so would force them to face their demons, and they don’t have the strength to fight them. All broken people have troubles with demons from their past, and they try to hide it by keeping it to themselves.
11. They always think that they’ll somehow cause you to break up with them
Broken people are aware of their emotional demands and how much effort they require from you. This is why a broken person will always think that they will somehow be the cause of your relationship failing.
They are anxious and worry too much. They keep thinking about how they’ll ruin everything – including your relationship.
Broken people are actually convinced that everyone will leave them sooner or later. Especially when they love someone, they convince themselves that the person is going to give up on them eventually.
Loving a broken person can be very difficult, and they are aware of that, even if they don’t say anything. They just silently wait for you to walk away and constantly fear that that moment is around the corner.
Even if you try to convince them that you’re not going anywhere, they don’t believe you. And if by any chance they do start to believe you, they’ll become even more scared.
Getting involved with a person like that requires commitment and honesty. If you know that you really are going to leave them eventually, don’t get involved with them in the first place.
It’s better to leave them alone than prove them right and do the same thing people who hurt them did – leave.
12. They need you to constantly tell them you love them
Much like needing compliments, broken people always need reassurance. This person might end up questioning you every day and needing you to repeat that you care about them.
They’ll ask you whether you still love them, even though you showered them with affection the day before.
The truth is, they need to be convinced that they are lovable because they can’t get themselves to believe it. It’s one of the characteristics of a broken person that can be hard to handle.
They will overlook the things you do that prove your love. Instead, they’ll need you to constantly say it as a way of proving it.
They are always desperate for attention and will want to become the center of your world. When you dedicate your time and energy to other things such as hobbies, friends, or work, the broken person will feel anxious and insecure.
They don’t like being alone with their thoughts. It’s because they then overthink things and drive themselves crazy with worst-case scenarios.
A broken woman needs a real man to love her and a broken man needs a strong woman. This is because not everyone can handle such a need for reassurance from their partner.
13. They avoid problems and confrontations
This person will avoid talking about things related to the problem they had in the past. They’ll avoid problems in general too, though, mostly because they hate confrontation.
They can’t handle conflict and consider it to be draining and uncomfortable. Being in a confrontational situation just makes them feel that they can’t do anything right.
Instead of standing up for themselves, they withdraw. They’ve had enough conflicts in the past, so they can’t bear to go through them anymore.
This characteristic of a broken person is problematic because many things can’t get resolved without conflict. You will have to be really patient and gentle to get them to talk about problems and work on solving them.
Loving them is not going to be easy for you, but if you truly care about them, try to help them heal. Whether you’re loving a broken girl or a broken man, it will take all the strength you have to make the relationship work.
Instead of working things out through confrontation, they often self-sabotage a relationship. They believe that you’ll eventually leave anyway, so they want it to happen sooner rather than later.
The more they love you, the more they realize they’re giving you the power to hurt them. Through love and devotion, you will be able to help them have the healthy relationship you both deserve, but it will require a lot of effort.