People Who Grew Up With Selfish Parents Often Display These 14 Behaviours Later In Life

People Who Grew Up With Selfish Parents Often Display These 14 Behaviours Later In Life

Growing up with selfish parents can leave a lasting impact on a person’s behavior and how they see the world.

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While it’s important to remember that everyone is different, there are certain common traits that tend to emerge in people who experienced a childhood marked by parental selfishness. These traits often stem from a lack of emotional support, neglect, or a constant focus on the parents’ needs over their child’s.

1. They don’t know how to set healthy boundaries.

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Growing up with selfish parents often means having your own needs and boundaries constantly disregarded. This can make it difficult to learn how to assert yourself and set healthy boundaries in relationships. These people may find themselves constantly giving in to people’s demands or feeling guilty for saying “no.” Learning to prioritize their own well-being and communicate their needs clearly can be a challenging but necessary step towards healthier relationships.

2. They don’t trust anyone.

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When parents are consistently selfish and prioritize their own needs, it can erode a child’s trust in them and in relationships in general. This lack of trust can carry over into adulthood, making it difficult to form deep and meaningful connections with other people. They may struggle to believe that anyone has their best interests at heart, or fear being taken advantage of. Building trust and learning to open up to people can be a gradual process, but it’s a must for healthy relationships, Verywell Mind notes.

3. They tend to be people pleasers.

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Children of selfish parents often learn to put everyone else’s needs before their own in order to avoid conflict or gain approval. This can lead to a pattern of people-pleasing behavior in adulthood, where they continue to self-neglect in order to make everyone else happy. This can be exhausting and lead to resentment over time. Learning to prioritize their own needs and recognizing that it’s okay to say “no” can be empowering and liberating.

4. They struggle with self-worth and self-esteem.

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Growing up in an environment where your needs are constantly overshadowed by those of your parents can negatively impact your sense of self-worth and self-esteem. These people may feel unworthy of love, attention, or success. They may struggle to recognize their own value and accomplishments. Building self-esteem and practicing self-compassion are crucial for healing from the wounds of childhood and cultivating a positive self-image.

5. They often experience anxiety and insecurity.

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The unpredictable and emotionally unstable environment created by selfish parents can lead to anxiety and insecurity in children. They may constantly worry about being abandoned, neglected, or not good enough. These feelings can persist into adulthood and manifest as generalized anxiety, social anxiety, or a constant need for reassurance. Therapy and self-care practices can help manage anxiety and build a sense of inner security.

6. They often have codependent tendencies.

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Children of selfish parents may develop codependent tendencies, where they become overly reliant on other people for their emotional well-being and happiness. They may feel responsible for fixing other people’s problems or believe that their worth is tied to their ability to please people. Recognizing and addressing codependent patterns is crucial for establishing healthy and independent relationships.

7. They can struggle with expressing their emotions.

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In households where parental selfishness prevails, children may learn to suppress their emotions to avoid upsetting their parents or causing conflict. This can lead to difficulty expressing emotions in adulthood, whether it’s anger, sadness, or joy. They may bottle up their feelings or resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Learning to identify, express, and process emotions in a healthy way is essential for emotional well-being.

8. They might have difficulty forming and maintaining healthy relationships.

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Due to the lack of healthy relationship models growing up, people raised by selfish parents may struggle to form and maintain healthy relationships as adults. They may have unrealistic expectations, difficulty trusting people, or repeat unhealthy patterns learned from their parents. Seeking therapy or counselling can help them develop healthier relationship skills and break free from negative cycles.

9. They struggle with perfectionism.

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Growing up with selfish parents can create an environment where children feel they need to be perfect to gain love and approval. This can lead to a lifelong struggle with perfectionism, where they set impossibly high standards for themselves and experience intense self-criticism when they fall short. Learning to accept imperfections, embrace mistakes as opportunities for growth, and practice self-compassion can be crucial for overcoming perfectionistic tendencies.

10. They don’t know how to accept compliments or praise.

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Due to a lack of positive reinforcement and validation during childhood, people raised by selfish parents may struggle to accept compliments or praise. They may feel uncomfortable or even undeserving of positive feedback. Learning to internalize positive affirmations, recognize their accomplishments, and allow themselves to receive praise can help build self-esteem and counteract the negative messages they internalized during childhood.

11. They feel a constant need to prove themselves.

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The feeling of never being good enough, instilled by selfish parents, can lead to a relentless need to prove themselves in adulthood. According to Psychology Today, they may overwork, overachieve, or constantly seek validation from other people. This can be exhausting and lead to burnout. Recognizing that their worth is inherent and not dependent on external achievements can be a liberating realization.

12. They find it hard to set goals or make decisions.

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Growing up with selfish parents who didn’t prioritize their child’s needs or opinions can lead to a lack of confidence in decision-making and goal-setting. They may second-guess themselves, fear making the wrong choice, or struggle to identify what they truly want in life. Developing self-trust, seeking guidance from trusted mentors, and learning to make decisions based on their own values can empower them to take charge of their lives.

13. They often have a fear of intimacy or vulnerability.

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Children of selfish parents may learn to protect themselves by keeping people at a distance and avoiding emotional intimacy. This can lead to difficulty forming deep and meaningful connections in adulthood. They may fear being hurt, rejected, or abandoned. Gradually opening up to trusted people, seeking therapy, and practicing vulnerability can help them build healthier and more fulfilling relationships.

14. They may struggle with self-care and prioritizing their own needs.

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Growing up in an environment where their needs were neglected can make it difficult for people to prioritize self-care and their own well-being. They may feel guilty for taking time for themselves or prioritize other people’s needs over their own. Learning to recognize the importance of self-care, setting boundaries, and practicing self-compassion are essential steps towards a healthier and more balanced life.

Phoebe Mertens is a writer, speaker, and strategist who has helped dozens of female-founded and led companies reach success in areas such a finance, tech, science, and fashion. Her keen eye for detail and her innovative approach to modern womanhood makes her one of the most sought-out in her industry, and there's nothing she loves more than to see these companies shine.

With an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business and features in Forbes and Fast Company she Phoebe has proven she knows her stuff. While she doesn't use social media, she does have a private Instagram just to look at pictures of cats.