When we are growing up, we often accept the behaviors and traits of our parents, because they are our caregivers. However, once we reach adulthood and are exposed to different relationship dynamics, we are pushed to re-examine our upbringing.
For the most part, parents want the best for their children and try their personal best. There are some parents who don’t though, and unfortunately, that can impact us in a major way. Even if our parents try their best, sometimes they simply aren’t equipped, either because of their own upbringing or because of generational toxicity. Regardless, if you grew up with a toxic father, it’s going to impact you in one way or another.
With that being said, here are 10 signs you grew up with a toxic father.
1. He gives you the silent treatment.
There are many ways to handle conflict in a healthy manner, and silent treatment is not it. The silent treatment is a method of abusive control that is manipulative in nature. And since we often learn how to communicate through our relationship with our parents, this teaches us that manipulation is more important than communication.
2. He compares you to other children.
You are not your siblings, your friends, or family friends, and when your parent compares you to other children growing up and other adults as you get older, it can be extremely hurtful. Basically, when parents do this, they are sending the message that you aren’t good enough. And that leaves a mark.
3. He dismisses your emotions.
When you bring up your feelings, your father dismisses them or invalidates them. He may call you weak or act like emotions are problematic. This can be done by simply changing the subject when you are trying to communicate how you feel, or your father may even flat out tell you to stop acting so emotional.
4. He disrespects you.
When a parent, or really anyone for that matter, consistently makes you feel like you are not worthy and disrespects you, this is toxic behavior. Our parents are supposed to be our support system, not a source of additional pain.
5. You feel exhausted after being around him.
When you are around your father, you end up feeling drained or emotionally exhausted afterward. After interacting with a toxic person, because of their intense and dramatic tendencies, it’s likely you will feel completely zapped with your energy.
6. He is always the victim.
No matter what the circumstances are, your dad always acts like he is the victim. In many ways, you feel pressured or even guilt-tripped by him, even when you have done nothing wrong. When toxic parent doesn’t get their way, they are likely to act as though their child has done something wrong, when in reality they have not.
7. Everything is all about him.
Your father doesn’t care much to hear about your life or your problems, but instead, is only focused on himself. When it comes down to it, everything is all about him and has been throughout your entire life. When you make a bad choice, he doesn’t help to encourage you to do better because he wants to be the best for you, instead, he focuses on how you have disappointed him or even tries to make it sound like it was a personal attack on him.
8. He has substance abuse problems.
Does your father tend to drink himself into oblivion, turning into a completely different person as he drinks? Unfortunately, according to Dr. Kelly Campbell, this is a sign of a toxic parent. The reason for this is that excessive substance abuse can truly inhibit someone’s ability to be a good parent. I am not saying that if your dad has a drink every once in a while he’s a bad person, but if drinking becomes his life, that is something else entirely.
9. He refuses to allow you to grow up.
When you try to grow up and have your own responsibilities, your father has a hard time letting go. Instead, he wants to maintain control over you and tries to find ways to undermine your journey into adulthood. It’s almost as though he wants you to be a child forever, so he can continue to control you.
10. His love is conditional.
Parents are supposed to love their kids no matter what. No strings attached, and no conditions. Even when you mess up or do something they may not be thrilled about, parents are supposed to love you regardless. If your father’s love comes with conditions, he is toxic.