Harmful childhood experiences (even those not remembered consciously) can force us to close our hearts in an attempt at self-protection from further pain. We all have "baggage" from our pasts and we construct walls of emotional scar tissue to close over our unhealed wounds.
This protective barrier locks us in and others out and can inhibit our ability to develop close connections with others.
We then "internalize" their negative opinion and incorporate it into our view of ourselves.
If we were regularly criticized or demeaned we can easily develop a damaged sense of self-worth.
In the mid-20th century, anthropologists borrowed from the linguistic theory of .