If You Grew Up with Overly Strict Parents, You Probably Have These 17 Personality Traits

A little bit of discipline plays an important role in raising any responsible and well-adjusted child. However, unfortunately, many parents end up going overboard on the punishment and strictness, leaving their children with mental and emotional difficulties that last into adulthood. If this sounds like you, you’ll probably recognize some of these 17 personality traits.

High Levels of Anxiety

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Kids raised by overly strict parents commonly learn that making even a small mistake can have severe consequences. Because of this, they often grow up worrying excessively about failing or making mistakes in adulthood. This can also result in generalized or social anxiety.


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Overly strict parents tend to signal to their children that they must live up to very high standards to be worthy of praise. So it should come as no surprise that people raised in this way tend to set the same high standards for themselves. As noted by the National Institute of Health, this often causes them to become somewhat perfectionistic.

Difficulty with Decision-Making

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Because of the high standards and strict consequences set by overly disciplinary parents, adults who were raised in this way often struggle with a fear of making the wrong decision. They often end up feeling paralyzed and unable to choose between options, afraid of the consequences that may come from making the wrong choice.

Strong Sense of Responsibility

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One possible benefit of being brought up in a strict household is that it instills in its members a strong sense of responsibility. However, this can turn out to be more negative when individuals brought up this way take on too much responsibility and end up feeling overburdened.

High Levels of Self-Discipline

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Another positive trait common among those with strict parents is a high level of self-discipline. This aids them in controlling themselves and adopting organizational skills that help in their day-to-day lives. However, this can sometimes come at the cost of spontaneity and fun new experiences.

Emotional Restraint

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Unfortunately, kids raised by overly strict parents often find difficulty opening up and showing their vulnerable side. This is frequently because their caregivers implicitly teach them to suppress their emotions to get things done and avoid punishment. According to the National Library of Medicine, this parenting style can also harm emotional regulation.

Deep Need for Approval

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Adults who grew up around strict parents sadly often learned that they must live up to extremely high standards to gain any love or approval. Because of this, they often develop a deep-seated need for approval from others, which can cause them to become people-pleasers in adulthood.

Conflict Avoidance

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Strict caregivers tend to create an atmosphere in which conflicts or disagreements are met with disapproval and punishment. Because of this, those raised in this way learn to avoid conflict at all costs. When conflict does arise, they may become deeply uncomfortable or anxious.

Strong Adherence to Rules

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Strict parents usually enforce very strict rules and regulations for their household members to live by. Sometimes, failing to obey these rules results in severe consequences. Children who grew up around these kinds of rules often develop a fear of not following other rules when they’re older, making them more likely to respect and obey figures of authority.

Reliance on Structure and Routine

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One positive of strict parenting is that it commonly comes with a strong sense of structure and routine. However, on the flip side, this sense of structure can be taken too far, leaving kids feeling overly controlled and unable to try new experiences.

Intense Fear of Failure

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Because strict parents have a habit of overly disciplining their kids for relatively minor mistakes, those raised in this way often develop an intense fear of failing. They may see failure as a sign of weakness or fear that they will face dire consequences as a result.

Overthinking and Second-Guessing

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Often stemming from this fear of failure is a tendency to overthink and second guess their decisions. People raised by overly strict parents worry more than most about the consequences of their actions and decisions, causing them more anxiety and stress.

Desire for Control

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Adults who were raised in a very strict environment frequently develop an intense need to control certain aspects of their lives to avoid feeling powerless and out of control. This can cause them to struggle with unpredictable situations and may manifest as overly controlling behaviors.

Difficulty in Relaxed Social Settings

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Social settings without defined rules or structure can feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable to people who were brought up by strict parents. Instead, they tend to prefer structured situations in which they know what to expect.

Skepticism Toward Authority

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While some people raised by strict parents tend to respect authority in the same way they were taught to follow the rules of their parents, others develop a more rebellious streak. Negative experiences with those in positions of authority and leadership can cause them to become more skeptical and disobey authority figures.

High Achieving but Inwardly Unfulfilled

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Those raised by overly strict caregivers often go on to excel in their academic and career pursuits, driven by a strong need to succeed and achieve. Sadly, this often comes at the cost of their own happiness, as they commonly feel as though their worth is dependent on what they can do rather than who they are.

Extreme Self-Reliance

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Oftentimes, kids brought up by strict parents are forced to grow up faster than they should. Because of this, they learn to depend on themselves from an early age, and this tendency sometimes turns into extreme self-reliance when they’re older.

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