You have heard the saying that the apple never falls far from the tree. Many times this adage is quoted when commenting on how similar a parent and child are in appearance and mannerisms. Whether you’ll admit it or not, your parents have had a huge influence on your life that goes way beyond your looks.
A big part of the way you treat people or respond to challenges was shaped by your upbringing. The things you heard and observed from the people who raised you to tend to manifest themselves later on in life in one way or another. This can either be a good thing or a bad thing. Here are some of the signs of a toxic upbringing affecting a person negatively in adulthood.
If you have a hard time making decisions or trying new things, it could be because you were brought up by controlling parents. Children who grow up being told “no” every time they ask a question or do something other than what their parents want are likely to become timid adults.
Most of the time parents mean well when they impose their will on their children. They feel they know what is best and may be driven by the fear of their children making the same mistakes they did in the past. But in the process, they end up robbing their children of their natural curiosity and the strength of character required to become leaders.
When children don’t meet the expectations of some parents, they resort to verbal or physical abuse. If a child doesn’t perform to the parent’s satisfaction in school, his or her parent may feel frustrated. This may be because they are comparing their daughter or son to their neighbor’s better-performing offspring. Or the fact that they feel they deserve better for all the tuition fees they pay.
Abusive people are, more often than not, simply channeling their insecurities and frustrations on the wrong people, and in the wrong way. Unfortunately, their inability to deal with their own shortcomings or situations beyond their control can have lasting effects on how their children perceive themselves.
Negative tags like ‘stupid’ and ‘good-for-nothing’ can damage a child’s self-confidence for life. Many of the children who grow into abusive partners and parents were physically abused.
It is natural for parents to want the best for their children. This at times leads them to criticize some of their children’s choices. Parents will question everything from their kids’ choice of friends to the dress they want to wear for a house party. Such criticism is at times constructive.
However, parents who constantly poke holes into their children’s decisions end up damaging their kids’ confidence. If you have a tendency to procrastinate or pass on decision-making to others, it could be the by-product of growing up with an overly critical parent.
There are parents who go beyond criticizing their children’s choices to questioning their character even into adulthood. They will make statements like “why are you so lazy?” or “you’re so naïve” which can haunt you and make you believe you’re incapable of achieving certain goals. Worse still, you may find yourself similarly critical of other people around you- your co-workers, friends or even your own kids.
While some find healthy ways to cope with their folks’ criticism, others don’t, resorting to drugs and alcohol to quiet the accusatory voices in their heads. If you’re in this kind of downward spiral, there is hope for you. A top drug rehab center in Connecticut, or whichever location you are in, can help you regain control of your life and build your confidence.
Do you find it difficult to trust your colleagues, friends or your spouse? Do you make contingency plans whenever you make arrangements with someone, expecting them to bail on you at the last minute? These could be signs of toxic upbringing by people who repeatedly lied to you or let you down.
Did your mom or dad never show up for important events in your life and always had an excuse handy? Or did they promise to reward you if you did well in school or were diligent in your chores only to give a flimsy reason for why they couldn’t hold their end of the bargain? This could explain your hesitance to take anyone at his or her word.
It’s Never Too Late
If you have noticed some of the signs of toxic upbringing rearing their ugly head in your life, don’t despair. It’s never too late to arrest those negative traits and purposefully live on your own terms. And don’t be afraid to reach out for help from trusted loved ones or qualified professionals as you embark on your journey to a better you.