Listen to the warning signs. Warning signs and red flags are always there. And humans in love tend to ignore the red far too often. Now everyone enters a relationship with baggage and everyone deserves a chance to be partnered with, but knowing the whole truth can only help with acceptance. So embrace the red. You and your partner will only grow from it.

Redditor u/raventalks wanted to know what signs everyone needed to keep their eyes open for when they come across people whose pasts are dark by asking.... What are the "I had a toxic childhood" signs people show later in adulthood?


Here are some symptoms:

  1. Self-sabotage. Being afraid of being successful, getting intimate or showing vulnerability.
  2. More likely to submit to peer pressure or abusive relationships or more likely to isolate themselves because they think they aren't worthy of your attention.
  3. People that get angry very quickly or different ways in which the individual gets overwhelmed easily.
  4. Substance abuse. ME_Constructor


As one who grew up in one, it is serious self-doubt. Never thinking I can do anything right or even doing anything at all.

Growing up, my mom never thought anyone could do anything right except her and I mean anything in that sense. If she asked you to get her a cutlery and rinse it before bringing, she would go back and rinse it herself, with the excuse that you missed a spot. It was really that bad. Even as an adult, I still get told I didn't do something well even though others have praised my ability to do that thing.

I never used to do anything unless I absolutely have to cos I felt I wasn't good at anything or I won't do it well. Although I have started working on it, i still have my bad days.

One thing that has really helped is doing things without telling her. Imagine applying for a job and even before you go for the interview you are already being asked if you can cope with a job? I just do my things and tell her afterwards. This has really helped me in some weird way. Huge-Towel


Being afraid of other people finding out about your successes because you think they'll mock you for them. My dad always does, so why shouldn't everyone else? I got second place in a nationally ranked contest and he scoffed and said, "Show me who won first." And didn't even look at what I'd done.

And that's just recent. PitifulApples


Clinging to people because you know that they are going to leave at some point. Asak0pt3r

Or the opposite, keeping people at arms length or at least making them believe you don't mind either way. Wouldn't want your emotions being a burden to them now... 40PercentSarcasm


Completely unable to set proper boundaries. Extreme submissiveness. Severely low self esteem. Anxiety and depression. Hypervigilance. VERY sensitive to any sort of criticism. Mental illness in general. Very poor coping skills. Taking responsibility for other people's emotions and behavior. Being very sensitive to rejection and abandonment. Ivegotthatboomboom


I can't really speak for anyone else, only myself. But here are my definite signs that I've picked up, that normal people don't seem to have:

  • being terrified when people start actually arguing and yelling in front of you, even if it has nothing to do with you
  • inability to cry or react "normally" to sad or screwed up things
  • people-pleasing (even if you are internally about to lose your mind over how ridiculous the requests are, just compulsively people-pleasing)
  • obsessively giving 110% at work or when giving gifts because the attention feels like a drug
  • eating disorder related crap. For me, it's binge eating, doing body-checks in the mirror anytime I can, and comparing my body to everyone else's all the time.
  • making jokes at bad times. I have to laugh. If I'm not laughing I'm going to cry and crying is bad. GullibleBeautiful


Number 1 is definitely apologizing for everything all of the time. Other stuff includes inability to maintain eye contact, failing to voice a stance on something, even if they know they're right, social anxiety, Depression, self-isolation, etc. timetobeatthekids


A really odd one I noticed with one of my friends was giving everything away or not accepting things. They'd always say "oh I don't deserve this" or if I looked at something they had and went "Oh that's cool" they always offered it, saying "oh you'd probably get more use from it" no matter what.

He told me he never really cared what he got because it was always taken by his family so he didn't mind having nothing. Noticed the same behavior with a few friends and I, but couldn't understand if it the same reason or something else. lukepilgrim


Always being positive and happy. Now I know some people are naturally wired to be upbeat but some of us weren't allowed to express any negative emotions. If you're sad, you're ungrateful. If you're angry, you don't have the right to be. If you're depressed, you're making mommy feel bad. So we learned to turn off anything that might indicate there were a major problems at home. Gotta keep up appearances. Meanwhile, you lose the ability to feel anything at all. good_sandlapper


Feeling suspicious or obligated when someone does something nice.

When things are ok, or even more intensely good, there is a feeling of impending doom and waiting for the other shoe to drop. meowhahaha


Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or ":zipper_mouth_face:" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.

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