Does your mom or dad keep telling you that you’re raising your children the wrong way? Do your parents keep telling you to get a better job than the one you have now? If the answer to these rhetorical questions is yes, you may be dealing with critical parents. If your mom or dad never seems to have anything nice to say about you, you might need to keep reading this article. You’ll find out how to keep your parents’ unreasonable criticisms at bay. The study also emphasized that what people experience affects the way they react to information in the future. These experiences cause them to develop biases to different emotional stimuli.
Overly critical parents have mood swings
Parents who are overly critical seldom, if ever, have anything positive to say about their children. If you have such parents, you’d feel like nothing you say or do are ever good enough. Critical parents are not confident in their children’s abilities.
As a result, these children often develop self-esteem issues and suffer from a lack of self-confidence later on.
Such parents mock
These parents will criticize your looks, and your failures (these would be mountainous). They might mock you and deliberately raise issues that make you uncomfortable. Needless to say that such an attitude is a recipe for severe self-esteem issues in children.
Any choice of yours gets criticized. Whether it’s the people you hang out with, the clothes you wear, or the college course you pick. Your overly critical parents will always find a reason why your decisions are wrong.
These parents are dismissive
Harshly critical parents are almost always dismissive of their children’s feelings. They are disrespectful and don’t treat their kids with kindness. An example of such behavior is telling their kids that they are too sensitive to a person’s remarks when these are hurtful.
They chide their children for trying to get attention instead of offering comfort. A child of overly critical parents may often be wronged and blamed, which can lead to severe guilt issues later in life.
They are Controlling
Abusively critical parents need to feel in control all the time. They want to have the upper hand. They take you on guilt trips with their criticisms and make you feel less than worthy.
As you can imagine, remarks like this create unreasonable guilt and insecurities. Since your parents are overly critical, they don’t believe that you are capable of making good decisions on your own. Hence the need to control your every move.
Critical parents are passive-aggressive
Such parents are often aggressive or passive-aggressive. They’ll expect you to second-guess their intentions correctly. If your parents are outwardly pleasant but verbally harsh behind closed doors, it is a sign of emotional abuse.
This behavior is common among narcissists and people with other personality disorders.
Critical parents can be overly dramatic
Parents who have overly critical personality traits seldom react to their children calmly. Instead, it’s with the expectation that they’ll do something they shouldn’t. These overly dramatic reactions can lead to heightened levels of cortisol and related health problems.
Does your critical parent make a mountain out of a molehill? Do they dwell on problems and negativity, blaming you for the tiniest mistake? Do they create drama out of nothing and exaggerate their hurt feelings?
Toxic parents are emotionally absent
Are your parents good at providing but difficult to approach if you have problems? Are you afraid that they’d criticize you for mishandling your issues? If the answers to these questions are yes, you probably have hyper-critical parents. You will never get warmth, understanding, and approval from a critical parent. They will be cold and distant as if they don’t care about you at all.
Well, in some families, unfortunately, this is the case. Some other overly critical parents though have emotional issues of their own, which inevitably affects their behavior towards their children. But deep inside, these emotionally unavailable parents still love and care about them.
Your parents were over-involved
All children want their parents to be present in their lives in a positive, balanced way. Hyper-critical parents are too involved in their kids’ lives because they feel that their kids are incapable of making appropriate decisions. Thus, they have the need to constantly control them.
They genuinely believe that they know better what is right for their children, even if they are already adults. This can show in the most mundane everyday things, such as watching over your shoulder when you are cooking a meal. But it can also extend to big decisions, such as your career or relationship choices, when your critical mom or dad knows better who you should marry or what job is right for you.
Your parents have no boundaries
Hyper-critical parents have few boundaries when making unkind remarks. Put differently, they lack tact and will comment on anything and everything. You’ll find them commenting on everything in someone’s home.
They’d make suggestions about everything, saying, “You should add this,” “You should put this here,” or “You should decorate the hall this way.” The word “should” almost always appears in their statements.
You blame yourself for the awful behavior of others
Also, you would think that people misbehave because of your actions. You’d think that your parents mistreat you because it’s challenging to put up with you. And these dynamics transfer into other relationships.
It is sad that overly critical parents ruin their children’s psyche with the behaviors we discussed above. But when you are constantly mocked and criticized as a child, having guilt and self-esteem issues is inevitable as an adult. As a result of your parents’ toxic and unjustified treatment, you learn that everything is your fault. For example, if your partner gets abusive, it’s because you did something wrong. You always blame yourself for everything.