Psychologists say that most of the traits an individual express is connected to childhood. They further articulate that childhood forms the foundation for traits and characters. Adults usually show signs that expose how their childhood might have been, and sometimes these signs are not obvious.
In this article, I will discuss 11 of the not-too-obvious signs that indicate a rough childhood. Although these signs are not to be taken as accurate, as some of them may develop in adulthood, I consider them as obscure and shrewd ways to show an adult who has had a rough childhood.
The 11 signs are:
1. Insanely independent: An adult with a rough childhood tends to be independent way too excessively. They tend to feel obligated to deal with their issues all on their own, and not bother anyone else. This is usually because they have learned not to trust anyone to help them, so they do everything themselves. Because of this, they always appear to have it all together and definitely don’t need help from anyone.
2. Self-isolation: An adult with a rough childhood tends to self-isolate. Despite making only a couple of friends, they sometimes tend to stop contacting friends for seemingly no reason or a minute reason. This is sometimes due to the fact that they tend to get easily heightened emotionally.
3. Trust Issues: An adult with a rough childhood tend to have severe trust issues. As a result of this, they tend to have no or very few friends as adults and self-isolate.
4. Low self-esteem: An adult with a rough childhood, most of the time if not all the time, tends to have low self-esteem. They tend to develop people-pleasing behaviours such as apologising habitually, compulsively, and for everything, even for things that are clearly not their fault. They also tend to allow themselves to be bullied by others. They also tend to develop feelings of inferiority or worthlessness. Low self-esteem is almost always the root of every other toxic behaviour they build up into adulthood.
5. Poor Sense of Judgement/Decision making: An adult with a rough childhood tend to become uncertain when it comes to making decisions. They tend to make poor choices with friends and lead unhealthy romantic relationships. Although they have a keen sense to read people very well, they still have poor judgement when it comes to choosing close relationships. And this can be attributed to their low self-esteem where they either pour out all their love on someone undeserving and don’t know when to stop or don’t give a shoot at all.
6. Poor emotion check: An adult with a rough childhood tend to have very poor emotion checks. They tend to self-regulate their emotions in a very poor manner. They often depend on others for validation or use substances as a way to check their emotions. Sometimes, this tends to lead to bad behaviours like addiction or frequent overdose of harmful substances.
7. Self-sabotage/Negative self-criticism: An adult with a rough childhood tend to self-sabotage a lot. They criticize themselves negatively and have a hard time believing in themselves, therefore they tend to set no goals or lower than they could achieve. As a result, they usually have no motivation to make anything of themselves, because they tend to believe they would only fail anyway).
8. Inconsistent hobby: An adult with a rough childhood tend to have inconsistent hobbies. For example, drawing. They would draw rarely and then, dismiss what they drew as not good enough. They usually do not practice their hobbies because of low self-esteem and negative self-criticism.
9. Feeling insecure: An adult with a rough childhood tends to feel insecure. This is mostly because they lacked security as a child. Most of the time, while growing up, parental was conditional, mood-dependent, and not guaranteed, so they learned to always earn it. And because of that, they grow up to always feel insecure which tends to affect their close relationships.
10. Using jokes as a coping mechanism: An adult with a rough childhood tends to use jokes to cope excessively. When something serious happens, they usually make a joke to hide their emotions and insecurity. They also tend to overcompensate with laughter during conversations.
11. Defensiveness: An adult with a rough childhood tends to get super defensive, even about the slightest error. This is primarily due to the fact that they grew up in environments where it was not okay to make mistakes.
Other signs include:
- They tend to become hyper-aware of everything that is happening and everyone else’s actions when situations get tense and uneasy.
- They come off as mature, even at a young age.
- They tend to have haphephobia, the fear of being touched.
- They tend to flinch at loud noises or quick movements.
- They always want to work or do something. They cannot stand being idle at any moment.
- They want to do good all the time.
- They are good conspiracy theorists. They can’t live without a sense of impending doom, and so, will always unconsciously find one.
- They are extremely nervous when they are doing things in front of others.
- They find it hard to accept compliments.
- They have barely any memory of childhood, and when they do, they have little or no happy stories of childhood.
Do you show off any of these signs? What other signs do you know of?