No human enters this crazy wide world with a formed personality springing forth from their genes. Of course, there’s part of that plays a role in how we go about our lives, but much of the other half is directly linked with the upbringing we had.
And although it’s hard to determine what “good” and “bad” parenting styles are like, some of us indeed lacked attention and affection and didn’t develop a close relationship with our parents.
So when someone asked “What screams 'You weren't loved by your parents as a child' without saying it” on r/AskReddit, it was destined to stir a thread of thoughtful responses. Below we selected some of the most interesting ones, so scroll down and share if you agree with them or not in the comment section.
I was going to say this. I had to apologize to my stepmom for breathing loud, for standing somewhere she'd just decided she wanted to stand, for not being in a room when she suddenly decided she wanted to tell me something, for needing to eat and sleep and use the bathroom.
People would laugh about how they could yell 'hey, come here!' and the moment I got there I'd apologize first thing. But it was an absolute survival mechanism.
One thing that I know I did a lot is have an extremely exaggerated personality because of how bad your social anxiety is. You constantly think everyone is judging you, so you have this carefully calculated sort of facade. You seem funny and spontaneous and extroverted, easy to talk to and friendly, basically you become that quirky weird kid. You try so hard to be funny and likable, be just weird enough but in a sort of funny way, so that people will like you. Then you get home and are absolutely drained because you really have no social battery but force yourself to have one because that's what your carefully crafted personality calls for. You seem spontaneous and funny but really every move is carefully calculated.
To find out just how exactly our upbringing affects us later in life, Bored Panda reached out to Susan Petang, a certified life coach from “The Quiet Zone Coaching,” teaching women how to stop feeling overwhelmed and start waking up happy in the morning again.
“The relationship we have with our parents is super important,” Susan stated and continued: “When we're children, the adults in our lives are our role models. They show us what it's like to be mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, and how to handle problems, stress, and difficulty.” According to her, we emulate their behavior, whether we realize it or not.
I've had two girlfriends who were able to cry completely silently. Not just a few tears, but full ugly, balling your eyes out crying, with absolutely zero noise.
The first one I knew about her past, but the second I was completely blindsided. She didn't speak about her past, but had said that other than 'occasionally arguing' with her father she's has a good enough childhood. When I saw it, it absolutely sent chills down my spine, and I immediately knew. When I later asked her about it, and mentioned that people only learn that out for quite narrow reasons, the flood gates opened I learned more about her childhood than I was ready to.
Not liking or loving yourself.
Being able to identify people by their foot steps, the sound of their car outside, how they move around the house, etc.
Moreover, Susan warned that lack of attention and affection can cause all kinds of emotional dysfunction later in life. “Lack of self-esteem and the inability to communicate, resolve problems, and manage stress are just some of the problems that can result.”It’s important to understand that what “we observe as children guides our behavior later in life,” Susan said.
“If our parents didn't get along with others, we probably won't, either; if the adults in our lives were distant, remote, critical, or negative, the chances are high that we'll do the same.”
Not being able to self validate. No one taught you how to be confident and sure of yourself.
Poor decision making/indecisive.
Being shocked when a “kid” says how much they love their parent and they mean everything to them and the parent is loving and affectionate
“It's also possible that we'll become the extreme opposite of our parents. For example, a girl who has an emotionally unavailable mom might decide that she's not going to be like her mother—and might end up being used and taken advantage of emotionally, instead.”
If you’re wondering, Susan assured us that it doesn't mean that you're doomed to a miserable life if your parents weren't warm and fuzzy. “Even if your childhood role models were poor, it's still possible to learn how to have healthy relationships and positive behavior,” the life coach concluded.
My special talent is breaking into full-on hysterics in total silence *with my bedroom open* and then less than 2 minutes later, walk out of my room and nobody has a clue I just had a total breakdown.
I cried myself to sleep most my 26 years so you just get used to it and forget it's not normal.
Constant need of approval by an authority figure. For example, trying to constant please your history teacher that kind reminds of your dad, so everytime he grades you well you feel like you accomplished something, even though he's just your teacher, not your dad, he won't listen to your problems or be present. He's just grading the tests.
Having a huge void in your life where no matter how much love you receive, it’s never enough and you never feel like enough.
… or so I’ve heard.
Spending every moment of your waking life, all 20 hours a day of it, overanalyzing everything and everyone for that exact moment they are going to snap and lash out at you.
They can't mention any achievement without "balancing" it with a mistake.
Your whole family sees you as nothing but a punchline.
The only reason you fear them outliving you is that they'd use your funeral as an excuse to humiliate you even further in front of people who actually cared.
Seeing your phone ringing with your parents name and having an anxiety attack about answering.
Flinching up and closing everything out when someone yells or gets mad at me or something I did.
Constantly feeling like everyone has a problem with you even if you have no reason to believe such thing. I have great roommates and they're some of my best friends, but at times I feel that they hate me. I know they don't, I have no reason to believe such things, but when I wake up I sometimes believe that my friends absolutely hate me. In response to these emotions I tend fo work very hard to try and get them to "like me", I'll buy them food, or surprise them with things I know they'll like. It eats away at me but even more I tend to believe everyone I meet for the first time hates me. Constantly I need people to tell me they're not mad at me, I need to be reassured, it's a dreadful feeling.
- Not knowing how to take a compliment, because you're waiting for the other shoe to drop like, "you're so smart. So, why aren't you doing better in school?" It's better to deny the compliment.
- Feeling a constant need to placate, mediate, intervene, and concede to avoid arguments. You don't like to see other people fighting or for them to be angry at you, so you do your best to make other people happy, to reduce your anxiety.
- Learning to walk silently, avoid interrupting people, talking softly, and just generally avoid sticking out because you fear that confrontation is the first step to abuse.
- Doing kind things to people, but being unable to say kind things. Love means providing things like food and shelter and clothes, but not gentle words, because you didn't learn them.
- Surrounding yourself with toxic friends, because that's "normal". Your loved ones are supposed to take advantage of you and be mean, if they follow it up with something equally nice after.
- Having an abusive or neglectful significant other because you've learned to associate love with being hurt or neglected. You don't deserve constant love all the time from your partner. People hurt you sometimes, but you still love them. Being uncared for when you need to be comforted isn't the worst thing, when negative attention means feeling worse than being alone.
I seek the empathy I didn't have, I try not to overshare but it's hard when you're starving, but I do have good boundaries otherwise.
They said” I have to love you, but I don’t have to like you” I was 7
I work in schools and I find often kids will purposely get themselves into trouble to get attention from the staff because they're starved for attention at home
Insecure attachment (both avoidant and anxious). Love and/or sex addiction.
Overly defensive about everything. Always trying to defend yourself for things you know are in the right. I.e (My room is already clean why are you even yelling, or stop telling me to do things I already do) I only know this because I’m always put in situations like this and allow other people’s words to have power over me
Please, for the love of God, laugh at my [lame] jokes and listen to me talk in circles for way too long while I try to kid myself I’m making an interesting point
feeling the need to create a false, altered version of events to tell to people, and then realizing that the actual version of events was A) perfectly acceptable and B) makes more sense than the fabricated version of events. so f***ed up
Having a parental unit tell you multiple times that they "never wanted kids"
having them yell at you for not understanding how to do math problems when you're just learning them.
Having them talk more to the father of your child than they do to you.
Praising themselves for your accomplishments that have nothing to do with them and any hobby or activity is because "you take after me".
When you marry into a family and you completely shut down at family gatherings because you don’t know how to insert yourself into conversations because this family actually loves each other. And all you know is that you were told that no one wants to hear about you and they only want to talk about themselves so you have to be the giving person but then feeling sad that no one took the time to ask you about yourself. Feeling bad for feeling sad or lonely but thinking you also deserve it because you must be selfish if you feel negatively about people just not asking about you even though you put so much effort into talking about them that you know good and well they likely never had the opportunity. Censoring your own art because you had to do that where you grew up, but if someone stumbles upon your art and praises you for it you freeze up because you have no idea what to do about it.
Working extra hard to get your parents attention (getting good grades, making their favorite food, etc) just to get acknowledge that you too are part of the family and you are also important as well.
Compulsively apologizing for minor/non-existent transgressions, just so people don't lash out at you. Perceiving every compliment as back handed. Eating as quickly as possible because you know someone is gonna throw your plate on the floor and force you to finish eating it.
Stealing - my sister was always told she was 'too expensive' to take care of now she literally will steal even if she has money in her pocket.
All my childhood memories are with the cleaner and her husband