People who were raised by controlling parents often have these 9 personality traits

Being raised by controlling parents can have a profound effect on your personality, and it’s not always easy to recognize.

This parenting style can lead to distinct personality traits that become ingrained and manifest throughout adulthood.

As someone who’s experienced this firsthand, I can tell you it’s not all negative. However, there are certain characteristics that are common among those of us who grew up with controlling parents.

In this article, we’ll explore 9 personality traits often found in individuals raised under such circumstances. Though these traits aren’t definitive, they may resonate with you if you’ve had a similar upbringing.

Let’s dive into it.

1) Perfectionism

One common trait among individuals raised by controlling parents is perfectionism.

You see, when your parents are constantly monitoring your actions and decisions, you learn to navigate life with extreme caution. Every mistake or failure can seem like a major catastrophe, as you’re conditioned to strive for nothing less than perfect.

This can lead to an ingrained habit of perfectionism in adulthood. You might find yourself striving to meet impossibly high standards in all areas of life – work, relationships, personal goals.

Despite the fact that perfectionism can sometimes drive success, it often leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety. It’s important to remember that mistakes are a natural part of life and growth.

If you identify with this trait, take a step back and consider how your upbringing may have influenced your tendency towards perfectionism.

2) Difficulty with decision-making

Growing up, my parents made the majority of decisions for me. From the clothes I wore to the friends I hung out with, every aspect of my life was under their control.

This lack of freedom in my early years has resulted in a real struggle with decision-making in my adulthood. I often find myself second-guessing or over-analyzing even the simplest decisions.

This is a common trait among people raised by controlling parents. We didn’t get many chances to make choices independently, so we may lack confidence in our decision-making abilities as adults.

It’s something I’m still working on, but recognizing it is the first step towards change. If this sounds like you, know that you’re not alone and there are ways to improve your decision-making confidence.

3) High levels of self-criticism

Individuals raised by controlling parents often internalize the high expectations and controlling behavior of their parents, leading to a high level of self-criticism. This can manifest as a harsh internal voice that’s quick to point out flaws or mistakes.

Did you know that according to a study published in the Journal of Personality, individuals with controlling parents tend to have higher levels of self-criticism? This trait can be detrimental to mental health and overall well-being.

However, understanding this link between your upbringing and your self-critical nature can be a powerful tool for personal growth and development.

4) Difficulty expressing emotions

A common trait amongst those raised by controlling parents is difficulty expressing emotions.

When you grow up in a household where your feelings are often dismissed or belittled, it can be challenging to express those feelings as an adult. You may find yourself suppressing emotions, struggling to identify them, or even fearing their expression.

This emotional repression can have a significant impact on personal relationships and mental health. It’s essential to understand that emotions are a natural part of the human experience and it’s healthy to express them. If this resonates with you, consider seeking support to help navigate these challenges.

5) Overly responsible

Many of us who were raised by controlling parents often feel overly responsible. This is because we were frequently held accountable for things that were out of our control growing up.

This sense of inflated responsibility can carry over into our adult lives, leading us to take on more than we can handle. We might find ourselves feeling responsible for other people’s happiness or constantly feeling guilty for things that are beyond our purview.

It’s important to understand that while being responsible is a positive trait, carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders is not. Learning to set boundaries and understanding what we can and cannot control is a crucial step towards a healthier mindset.

6) Craving for approval

Growing up with controlling parents often means growing up with a constant need for approval. You yearn for that pat on the back, that nod of satisfaction, because in your world, parental approval was hard to come by.

This desire for approval can follow you into adulthood, morphing into a constant need for validation from others. It can influence your relationships, your career choices, and even how you view yourself.

It’s a tough trait to grapple with, but it’s important to remember that your worth is not defined by others’ approval. You are valuable simply because you exist. Learning to self-validate is a journey, but it’s one worth taking.

7) Fear of confrontation

Confrontation was something I always tried to avoid growing up. My parents were controlling, and disagreeing with them often led to harsh consequences.

Fast forward to adulthood, and I often find myself going to great lengths to avoid confrontations. I would rather keep quiet than voice my disagreement or dissatisfaction, even when it’s warranted.

This fear of confrontation is common among those raised by controlling parents. It might feel safer to suppress our feelings than risk upsetting others. But remember, it’s essential for our well-being to express ourselves honestly and stand up for our rights.

8) Struggles with self-esteem

Children of controlling parents often grow into adults who struggle with self-esteem. This stems from the constant scrutiny and criticism they faced during their formative years.

These individuals often have a hard time recognizing their own worth and constantly question their abilities. They might downplay their achievements and find it difficult to accept compliments.

If you identify with this trait, it’s important to remember that everyone has inherent value. And while rebuilding self-esteem isn’t an overnight process, it’s certainly achievable with patience and self-compassion.

9) Resilience

Regardless of the challenges faced, one of the most notable traits among individuals raised by controlling parents is resilience. We’ve had to adapt, to persevere, to navigate through situations that were difficult and often unfair.

This resilience is a testament to our strength. It’s a reminder that even though we’ve been shaped by our past, we are not defined by it. We have the ability to grow, change and forge our own paths in life.

Final thoughts: The power of understanding

We’ve delved into the often challenging ramifications of growing up with controlling parents, highlighting the various personality traits that can emerge as a result.

However, it’s important to remember that understanding is a potent tool for change. Recognizing these traits is the first step towards healing and growth.

According to Carl Jung, acclaimed Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

By bringing these patterns to light, we can begin to reclaim our autonomy, rewrite our narratives, and shape our own fate.

Remember, your past might have shaped you, but it doesn’t define you. As you move forward, embrace this self-awareness as a catalyst for change and an opportunity for self-improvement.

Because ultimately, understanding ourselves better allows us to navigate life with more compassion, resilience, and authenticity.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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