12 Subtle Ways Having A Toxic Parent Affects You As An Adult

Growing up with a toxic parent can have long-lasting effects on our lives, even when we become adults. A “toxic” parent is someone who behaves in hurtful and harmful ways, making us feel bad about ourselves or causing us emotional pain.

In this discussion, we’ll explore how these early experiences can influence our adult lives in subtle but significant ways.

1. You Find Trusting Relationships Difficult

Growing up with a toxic parent can make it hard to trust others. You might always be on guard, fearing that people will hurt you like your parent did. This fear can keep you from forming deep, meaningful connections.

2. You Have Extreme Reactions That Confuse You

Toxic parents can trigger intense emotional reactions in you. You might overreact to small problems or shut down completely when faced with conflict, leaving you puzzled about your own responses.

3. You Tend To Put Your Own Emotional Needs Last

Toxic parents often prioritize their needs over yours. This can lead you to neglect your own emotions and focus solely on others, leaving you feeling unfulfilled.

4. You Take Rejection And Failure Very Hard

Toxic parents frequently say hurtful things and make you believe you’re not good at all. When you’re grown up, even small disappointments can hurt a lot because you’ve taken in that feeling of not being good enough.

5. You Keep Ending Up In Harmful Relationships

Bad parenting can make you think that unhealthy behaviors are normal, so you might pick partners who act the same way. You could end up with people who treat you badly over and over again.

6. You Feel Out Of Touch With Your “Real” Self

When you were a kid, you might have hidden who you really are to avoid problems with your bad parent. Now that you’re grown up, it can be hard to figure out your true self and connect with it.

7. Your Inner Voice Is Incredibly Critical

Toxic parents who always criticized you might have planted a harsh inner voice in your head. Now, you could be too hard on yourself, questioning your skills and value.

8. You’ve Often Felt Responsible For Your Parents’ Behavior

If you had toxic parents who often blamed you for their issues or feelings, you might carry a lifelong burden of feeling responsible for how others feel.

9. You Apologize All The Time

Toxic parents might have made you feel like you were always in the wrong. As a result, you may apologize excessively, even when it’s not your fault.

10. You Constantly Need Validation

Because your toxic parent may not have provided the validation you needed, you might spend your life seeking validation from others, relying on external approval for your self-worth.

11. You’re Extra Avoidant In Relationships

Growing up with toxic parents can make you afraid of being close to others and showing your true feelings. You might avoid getting too emotionally close to people to shield yourself from possible emotional pain.

12. You Avoid Your Parents

Surprisingly, as an adult, you may create some distance between yourself and your toxic parents, even if you still maintain some contact with them. This distancing is a way to protect your mental and emotional health.

Share Your Thoughts:

Have you experienced any of these subtle effects from having a toxic parent? We’d love to hear your stories and insights in the comments below.

1 comment
  1. I grew up mentally, emotionally, and physically abused. Ian attest that I continue to display all of these traits.

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