People Share Unmistakable Signs Of People Who Grew Up With Sh*tty Parents

Michele Lang
bad parent
Shutterstock | 874096

The majority of people want to feel safe, wanted, and loved as children. Often, loving parents give children the tools they need to build a bright future and bring joy into their lives. However, some children aren’t raised in the best circumstances and are led into painful environments, where they don’t feel protected.

There are various signs that can tell us if someone is raised in a toxic home. Reddit user likes_applesauce asked “what are some common signs that someone grew up with sh*tty parents?” This seemingly simple question that tugged at users’ heartstrings got 47k answers in 3 days. People online shared their observations on what makes someone a victim of a harmful environment and what signs to look out for.

Do you think you can relate to some of the things mentioned in this list?

Surviving sh*tty parents😔

BriefDeep14 | BriefDeep14

The comment speaks of the unmistakable signs of people who grew up with sh*tty parents, including feeling like they cause problems and having difficulty being more sociable. Replies talk about the ever present feeling of being a burden and having done something wrong; they also discuss the difficulty of learning how to socialize at an older age, and wanting to be able to do normal things without having to hide or feel sad in secret.

😞Revealing heartbreaking 🗣️stories of growing up with sh*tty parents

fire_fairy_ | fire_fairy_

Commenter shares stories of their traumatized childhood, which others relate to with their own sad stories of child abuse and neglect. Somebody else shared a story from their childhood, and only then realized the not-normal extent of their upbringing.

Growing up with sh*tty parents 🤦‍♀️

Shopping_Acrobatic | Shopping_Acrobatic

The section comment speaks about how individuals with sh*tty parents constantly feel the need to apologize for their mistakes, even if they were only being a child. One of the replies further states that even though they were not bad people, they were still blamed for every little mistake.

Living with 🤦‍♀️👧👦: 🔒 control & 🆘 chaos 🤔

RaptureInRed | RaptureInRed

This section responds to the comment that people who grew up with bad parents tend to be control freaks, trying to avert some unseen disaster. Replies discuss the opposite - giving up control easily - and reflect on how a sense of family routine can provide safety and resilience.

💔 Seeking connection despite past experience.

Oddant1 | Oddant1

This comment reflects a common conundrum of how to show vulnerability and establish emotional connections in life that may have been difficult in the past, as seen in the comment replies that illustrate a shared experience of this issue. Censored language: sh*tty.

The harsh 🔥reality of kids who grow up with sh*tty parents 💔

[deleted] | [deleted]

The comment highlights how growing up with uncaring parents can lead to difficulty maintaining conversations and having a healthy sense of self. The replies detail how parents' lack of interest towards their child's interests can impact their social growth and make it harder to build healthy relationships with others. The commenters also find solace in understanding that they are not alone in this experience.

Understanding kindness 🤔

coffeecakesupernova | coffeecakesupernova

The comment talks about how difficult it was for the commenter's husband to understand simple gestures of kindness coming from their inlaws. The reply mentions the anxious feelings the commenter has due to money being used as a weapon in the past, and how it is a challenge for them to cope with it even now.

Cherry On Top: 👩‍⚖️👮💔

CaptainNapal545 | CaptainNapal545

A comment recounts a story of a boy who was regularly beaten by his older siblings, neglected and abused by his parents and was ultimately expelled from school. Through a reply, the sentiment of heartbreak is shown.

Growing up with terrible parents 🤦

ToilAndTummyTrouble | ToilAndTummyTrouble

The comment speaks of the sad trait of people trying too hard to please and be terrified to put themselves first, as a result of growing up with sh*tty parents. It goes on to clarify that putting yourself first in this context does not mean being selfish or narcissistic. One reply shares that they relate to this, having spent their entire childhood pleasing others, and now feeling like they have gone to the complete opposite direction of being too harsh and bitchy, unable to find the safe middle ground.

Growing up with sh*tty parents 👎

bozimthecalm | bozimthecalm

Commenter talks about the inability of children to form attachments to others due to their upbringing. Replies mention narcissistic parents, and how their words can shape relationships and feelings of isolation even years later.

Recognize the signs⁉️

yeetgodmcnechass | yeetgodmcnechass

Growing up with sh*tty parents can have long-lasting effects, as indicated by going out of one's way to please people, not taking compliments, and flinching when someone raises their voice.

😔What it's like growing up with sh*tty parents

[deleted] | [deleted]

The author describes a harsh experience of when his professor acknowledged his difficult upbringing. His comment gains sympathize from the replies, which resonate with many readers.

The pain of growing up with sh*tty parents 💔

EdwardAlphonse31011 | EdwardAlphonse31011

The lack of self esteem that many children with sh*tty parents experience manifests in different ways. For example, the comment author's significant other worries she's not good enough and feels she's not been good enough for her parents. The comment replies reveal that others have had similar experiences with their partners in relationships before.

Aftermath of a sh*tty childhood 👀

AJmermaid | AJmermaid

Commenter shares that not being able to remember childhood is a common sign of having grown up with sh*tty parents. Several replies discuss how they experienced gaps in memory and feelings of anxiety in school. These experiences are a testament to the mind's ability to protect itself from pain. 💔

People-pleasers 🤝 from sh*tty parents 💔

GeebusNZ | GeebusNZ

Someone who grew up with sh*tty parents is often a desperate people-pleaser, willing to sacrifice anything for others but loath to ask for help themselves.

Growing up with *sh*tty parents 👀

Batata-Sofi | Batata-Sofi

The commenter felt they got attached too quickly to anyone who showed them minimal empathy. They called themselves out with this statement and a reply shared a quote hoping to get over emotional hunger caused by childhood deprivation.

😱 People regret clicking this thread

[deleted] | [deleted]

A comment expresses shock at the thread's content. Another reply expresses similar feelings.

Kids of toxic parents👦😰

InfamouslyishFamous | InfamouslyishFamous

Going into random panic mode when something insignificant goes sideways has been said to be one of the unmistakable signs of people who grew up with sh*tty parents. One reply mentioned emotional deregulation as a big sign, with examples of crying over minor things or having explosive emotional outbursts due to a lack of healthy expression models during childhood.

Signs for people who grew up with sh*tty parents⚠️

idyllic-effervescent | idyllic-effervescent

Commenter highlights how people who grew up with sh*tty parents usually have unstable relationships, struggle in social situations, weren't taught basic household tasks, get nervous when someone raises their voice, don't know how to apologize and struggle with intimacy. One reply discusses how the trauma from past creates a feeling of needing to make the house perfectly clean and tidy.

A pizza delivery worker🍕 shares a heartbreaking encounter

redborn_gamer | redborn_gamer

The pizza delivery worker experienced the effects of sh*tty parenting first hand when they were greeted with more than twenty apologies from a 15 year old kid in under two minutes.

When bad things happen, 🤔

GargantuanCake | GargantuanCake

The comment discusses how people who grew up with sh*tty parents are emotionally numb and incapable of feeling anything when bad things happen. Replies discuss feeling numb when around their parents and remaining unfazed by the comment.

❌ Having no desire to see them 💔

probablyjimmylam | probablyjimmylam

A comment highlights the emotional impact of having sh*tty parents, noting that the indicator of a bad relationship with one's parents is having no desire to see them. One reply shares a heartbreaking story of being dropped off with no money or place to live, while another reply uses their anxiety as an indicator of their relationship with their parents.

🤔 Signs of growing up with toxic parents

colleenk69 | colleenk69

The commenter expressed that paranoia, lack of trust in others and obsessive overthinking are signs of having grown up with toxic parents. A reply confirmed that it can be difficult to tell who we are and what we believe, especially when our anxiety is at its worst.

Gettin' gaslighted 💡

hoooliet | hoooliet

The comment writer reflects on being neglected but labeled as 'spoiled.' One reply acknowledges the 'good ol' gaslighting' experience.

🔥Expressing & Coping🔥

SkoolieNomad | SkoolieNomad

The comment speaks about the two ways in which people express and cope when they have grown up with sh*tty parents. One is by apologizing for every small thing and other is by refusing to apologize at all. The commenter also reassures those who are feeling represented that things will get better with time.

Learning to face the 💣of our past 👶🏻

ChurchillsHat | ChurchillsHat

The section comment highlights the difficulty of having grown up with sh*tty parents, providing personal examples of lying and avoiding conflict. The comment further goes on to discuss the calming effect of telling the truth. One reply talks about the challenge of answering questions from the father without provoking his anger. Overall, this section speaks to the shared experience of feeling emotionally trapped from one's upbringing.

The footsteps 🤫 of sh*tty parents

FetishAnalyst | FetishAnalyst

The comment discusses the silent foot steps that are a telltale sign of people who grew up with sh*tty parents. They develop the ability to hide their presence and the replies speak about how this ability even follows people well into their adulthood.

Grown-ups apologize quickly 😳

gentlepettingzoo | gentlepettingzoo

People who grew up with sh*tty parents apologize hurriedly, as if they are trying to avoid being hit. This apology is often more than just 'sorry'.

💔 Signs of those who grew up with sh*tty parents

lindsaydemo | lindsaydemo

The comment reveals the many unmistakable signs of individuals who grew up with sh*tty parents, such as lacking self-confidence, not believing they are worthy of love, and storing up a lot of emotional pain. It also mentions potential romantic relationships that can be damaged due to not believing the other's intentions.

The 'startle reflex' 😱

manlikerealities | manlikerealities

The comment describes the 'startle reflex', a physical reaction observed in people who grew up with sh*tty parents due to fear. A reply elaborates on it, talking about the 'flinch game', a childhood game where the individual is not allowed to flinch otherwise they are hit in the shoulder. The reply also shares personal experiences of growing up with a manipulative father who would yell and throw objects at the individual.

💔 Signs of growing up with sh*tty parents


Growing up with sh*tty parents can manifest itself in subtle, but unmistakable ways - from feeling the need to please others, to insecurities in relationships, to poor social skills and more. Patience with those who have experienced growing up with sh*tty parents is essential as they are trying to make their way without an adequate foundation to understand life. Everyone deserves love, no matter their past experiences.

It's never too late to reflect ✨

king_of_hate2 | king_of_hate2

A comment reflects on the quality of parenting they may have received growing up. It's never too late to reflect on experiences that have helped shape us into who we are today.

😔 A childhood of😞

dangerrnoodle | dangerrnoodle

This comment expresses relief that the reader can take a break from reading about worrying world events and recall a less dread-inducing experience of growing up with sh*tty parents.

Growing up with sh*tty parents 🤦‍♂️

ecstaticadventure | ecstaticadventure

No privacy boundaries for people who grew up with sh*tty parents, or excessive privacy boundaries in some cases. People are sharing their stories online.

Are you sorry too much?

quirkycircles | quirkycircles

This comment suggests that people who grew up with sh*tty parents are inclined to apologize too much, even when they are not at fault or are asking for something they want.

Signs of those who experienced sh*tty parenting 😔

Zealousideal-Ad634 | Zealousideal-Ad634

People who flinch at close contact or fast hand movements close to them, such as a reflex from experiencing sh*tty parenting, are often shared online as a tell-tale sign. One comment replied to this symptom that their mother laughs at it, like she's not the reason for their reaction.

Children of sh*tty parents✋

OriginalJokeGoesHere | OriginalJokeGoesHere

The comment discusses the lasting impact of growing up with sh*tty parents - specifically their unwillingness to share things about themselves and ability to use anything said against you.

Guilt of spending 🤔

sidewalksInGroupVII | sidewalksInGroupVII

The comment mentions how some people grow up feeling guilty when it comes to spending on clothes and accessories as an adult due to their parents’ attitude. The reply confirms this, signaling that this experience is shared by many. 💔

🧐 Signs of People Who Grew Up With Challenging Parents 🧐

fastcat03 | fastcat03

Individuals may become extremely independent or avoid commitment in relationships due to experiences in childhood with challenging parents.

Admitting wrong-doing is hard 🤔

firato | firato

The comment suggests that people's difficulty in admitting they were wrong could be linked to the harsh consequences they experienced as children.

An emotional 💔 story of 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♀️sh*tty parents

Snipsnapboi | Snipsnapboi

The comment reflects on how growing up with sh*tty parents left an emotional and physical trauma that can't be undone. To not put anyone through such pain, the commenter is determined to not marry and have children, despite desiring companionship. They spent their childhood trying to undo the damage and still suffer from nightmares and anxiety today.

🤔Signs of shady parenting?

jayteec | jayteec

People are discussing the unmistakable signs of those who grew up with terrible parents, such as having an unhealthy concept of love, bad communication skills and wanting to avoid talking about their family.

💔 Stories of💔 sh*tty parents💔

electric_red | electric_red

One comment talks about the unmistakable signs of people who grew up with sh*tty parents, and how heartbreaking it is when people assume that all parents love their children. The comment further states that not all parents are good people and people's individual experience is not universal.

Growing up with 💔 can change 🧒 in unexpected ways 🤔

taniastar | taniastar

The section comment describes children with difficult upbringings as those who are "old beyond their years," often displaying mature and self-sufficient behaviors in order to go unnoticed and cause no issues. A reply agrees and explains that these behaviors are typically related to survival instinct.

The 💬 of survival: 🤔

isaiahlanthony | isaiahlanthony

The comment reflects on the lessons learnt from growing up in an abusive household - to be extremely aware of everyone's emotions to maintain peace and safety. This has a deep impact on the mental health of the individual while providing safety in an unhealthy way.

Parents can affect us 🤯

Sparky77777 | Sparky77777

This comment mentions that someone who grew up with sh*tty parents gets scared or anxious at the sound of a garage door opening. It highlights the lasting impact of our home environment on our emotional wellbeing.

It's not easy growing up 👀

cooldangood | cooldangood

The comment expresses the feeling of never being good enough while growing up with sh*tty parents, highlighting a difficult experience many can relate to.

Recreating yourself due ✍️

CothersMunt | CothersMunt

The comment suggests how having sh*tty parents can lead someone to reinvent their persona and behavior to adapt to the real world.

The 💪 strongest & 📶 most loyal or 💔 self-abusive?

[deleted] | [deleted]

The comment paints a stark contrast of the people who grew up with sh*tty parents: They are strong and loyal versus those who have given up or are either dead or dying due to self-abuse and addiction.

🤔️ Signs reveling woes of growing up with difficult parents.

Fireguy3070 | Fireguy3070

The comment reflects on the familiarity of the article's topic, highlighting how it resonates with the commenter's own life experience of growing up with sh*tty parents.

The signs of 💔sh*tty parents

GamerGirl-07 | GamerGirl-07

The commenter talks about the unmistakable signs of people who grew up with sh*tty parents: when they become a different person when their parents are present.

Do compliments make you feel awkward? 🤔

[deleted] | [deleted]

A comment is shared expressing how they feel uncomfortable and even go out of their way to counter compliments they receive. The replies don't give a definite answer, but the comment resonates with many other people's experiences.

💗 Healing trauma one giggle at a time 💗

StarsofSobek | StarsofSobek

The section comment shares that laughter is often used unconsciously to cope with difficult emotions, including trauma. It also contains a link to a Psychology Today article to further explain and validate the phenomenon. The comment ends with the poster expressing their gratitude to the community for helping them feel less alone with the issue.

Expressing pain 🤕 from 💩 childhood days 🌧️

Chance-Pay1487 | Chance-Pay1487

This comment reveals how the commenter flinches when someone close to them moves their arm, reflecting the physical and emotional pain of growing up with sh*tty parents.

🙁 An honest 💔 truth 🤯

gave_soul_for_memes | gave_soul_for_memes

The comment reflects the sentiment of an individual who is angry and depressed due to the influence of an abusive father. It feels like a venom that the individual is unable to shake off their skin.

Understanding how to say no 👀

ctrlf_happiness | ctrlf_happiness

Growing up with sh*tty parents can often lead to difficulties in understanding how to say no.

Growing up with bad parents 💔

f1nallyfre3 | f1nallyfre3

The commenter shares their personal experience of growing up with their parents, including having dirty clothes, not enough clothes, bad hygiene, and being withdrawn. Teachers ridiculed them instead of recognizing the signs of abuse.

💜Parents: heroes or villains?

youretheweird1 | youretheweird1

This section comment expresses how children need both love and direction from their parents to prevent long-term suffering in adulthood. It also gives a special shoutout to the good parents for their hard work, recognizing them as valuable members of society.