4 signs you had a codependent upbringing that affects your adult relationships, according to a therapist
- If a parent raised you in a codependent manner, it could negatively affect your adult relationships.
- Signs a parent was codependent include using passive-aggressive behavior to discipline, making all decisions for a child, and refusing to admit to being wrong.
- An adult child who had a codependent upbringing may have anxiety over decision-making, use passive-aggressive behavior while upset, and make personal stressors a problem for parents to solve.
Children look to their parents for emotional support and how to act as they learn to navigate the world. But if that parent-child
This commonly occurs in codependent relationships, in which parents' words and actions teach children they need another person to validate their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, the therapist Kristie Overstreet told Insider.
If a parent never admits to being wrong, uses passive-aggressive behavior to discipline a child, or doesn't allow a child to make any decisions, that child may go on to seek a similar type of reliance in adult relationships, whether romantic or platonic, Insider previously reported.
If you use passive-aggressive behavior when you're upset, call on a parent to solve stressful situations for you, or have extreme anxiety over decision-making, it could mean you had a codependent relationship in childhood, Overstreet said.
You're overcome with anxiety when you have to make a decision
Decision-making isn't always easy, but if you find you're anxious or worried every time you're tasked with making a choice, it could mean you were raised to be codependent.
"I see it a lot when they have a ton of anxiety and need approval from others, whether it's a partner or a friend or the people at work," Overstreet told Insider of her patients with
She said they felt they're "not ever being good enough because they were always striving to get that from their parents," as children.
When you're upset, you storm away or use the silent treatment
Codependent parents often use passive-aggressive tactics, like eye-rolling, storming away, or giving the silent treatment to their children when they're upset.
If it's done repeatedly, children may employ those behaviors in their own adult relationships because they weren't taught how to communicate feelings of sadness or frustration, Overstreet said.
You ask your parent to save you from stressful situations
It's normal for parents to help their child with homework, cook them dinner, and take them to soccer practice. But if a parent provides unsolicited help with chores, it could stunt children's ability to evolve and do those things for themselves.
And if parents continue to enable this behavior when their child is an adult — running errands and doing laundry for them regularly without asking permission first — it can create toxicity, according to Overstreet.
She said she's seen this behavior pop up when a codependent adult child encounters a typical life stressor, such as moving to a new house or navigating
In these cases, the child asks the parent to figure out the solution instead of explaining the specific help that's required.
"They ask their parents for help, but not just like: 'Hey, I need help. Can you do this [specific task] for me?' It's: 'I can't do this on my own. I'm not able to function. I need you to step in.' And it'd be a frequent thing," Overstreet said.
You put needs of your family and friends above your own
Codependent adults might also overlook their own goals and desires because they can view themselves only through the lens of others, Overstreet said.
She gave the example of a codependent parent asking a codependent adult child when they'll have children of their own. Though the adult child may not feel ready to have kids, or doesn't want kids at all, they may feel pressured to start a family to please their parent.
Overstreet said the codependent adult child might think, "Oh, wait a minute. What is wrong with me? Maybe I do need to have kids and put pressure on myself," even before they're ready.
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