Most parents give their best to provide their kids with a healthy and positive upbringing, but even they can sometimes make mistakes that can result in future trips to the psychiatrist.
Sadly, some parents go beyond making natural mistakes and veer into the realm of toxicity.
No matter if they are being toxic on purpose, there are a number of behaviors that can cause so much mental harm to a child that it ends up affecting them even after they’ve become adults.
If you have gone through the following things as a child, it is highly likely that one or both of your parents were at least to some degree toxic.
1. Lack of empathy
Toxic parents are unable to empathize with others, even with their own children. In their mind, everything is about them and their own needs, and they fail to see how their actions could be seen by others as harmful, disruptive, hurtful, and damaging.
2. No boundaries
They unapologetically intrude on your personal space and are deaf to the fact that you are a fully grown independent adult. They want to know everything about your private life, open your mail, come to your house unannounced, offer unwanted advice, undermine your parenting, and even try to tell you who you should date.
3. Highly critical
Toxic parents refuse to recognize the achievements of their kids, no matter how many things they’ve accomplished in life. They are always putting their loved ones down while making themselves out to be an extraordinary example everyone should look up to.
Apart from always having to be right, toxic parents also act as if they’re competing against you. So, instead of celebrating your accomplishments and happiness, they are trying to diminish you, ignore your success, or put you down in order to appear larger than you.
5. Blaming others for their misfortunes
All the fights, negativity, hostility, disagreements, and family crises caused by the toxic parent are always someone else’s fault. These parents are always in denial about their wrongdoings, but never hesitate to blame the rest of the family and twist the truth to come out looking innocent.
The toxic parent does and says things that are mean and disrespectful. They laugh at your shortcomings, call you names, and intentionally talk about things they know you’re sensitive about at the worst possible time.
7. Talking to, spending time with, and thinking about them makes you suffer inside
You feel as if every encounter with your parents is pulling you down mentally. You dread the thought of talking to them and even their mere presence causes your stomach to turn upside down. Hurtful memories may reappear. Their toxic energy paints everything they come in contact with black. If you have such parents, you probably never felt encouraged to have your own opinions and feelings, so you might not be used to noticing them. If that is the case, make sure you pay attention to your feelings and pinpoint whether your parents ignite feelings of sadness, anger, shame, guilt, or anything negative.
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