A child’s true personality is shaped by his/her parents. They tend to mirror their parents’ attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours. But if a child has toxic parents while growing up, it would seriously damage their self-identity and esteem. It would also make it challenging for them to recognise the red flags in future relationships. However, identifying toxicity is sometimes tricky. The forms of toxicity a person is subjected to vary from one relationship to another, whether it is romantic, between friends or siblings, or parent-child relationship.
Usually, no parent would want to hurt their children and make them feel scared and unloved. However, intentionally or unintentionally, parents can become toxic too. A toxic parent can be defined as one who usually ignores the boundaries of a child, withhold love and put too many conditions on the child. This unhealthy upbringing affects the child in one or the other way.
Here are a few indicators of a toxic and hostile environment:
- Your understanding of love: While growing up, the people you loved may have only focused on your faults and made you feel less important. This might have triggered confusion and manifested in the form of trust issues. Your tough childhood and your difficulty in trusting someone might be linked.
- Home was not your ‘go-to place’: If you dreaded coming back to your home after school or college, and instead it wanted to make you run in the other direction, it might be because of the toxic environment at home. The negative energy and constant arguments make you weary.
- You feel under-confident: The reason for your confidence issues might be because of the toxic environment at home. It could be because your parents always questioned you, never appreciated you, and called you names. You constantly underestimate your capabilities, while your peers take risks and try out new things.
- Seeking people’s validation: When you did not find validation as a child from your own parents while growing up, it is likely that you have sought it out from other people. You rely heavily on other people’s opinions and thoughts, instead of your own.
- Parents focused on themselves: If you find it difficult to talk freely about your needs and wants, it is because your parents always focused on themselves. They prioritized their needs and wants over yours. The conversation would most likely be about where they want to dine in, and where they want to go on a holiday trip. They always chose for you.