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Psychologists have known for a long time, even before much research could be done, that our childhoods have a detrimental impact on who we become as an adult. Fast-forward to modern times, and now that we have a bit more research under our sleeve, we know that having a traumatic or painful childhood can profoundly shape us.

Now, that is not to say that if you had a bad childhood that you are doomed for life. Recognizing the impact your childhood had on you will only open doors for you to find healing. The first step is recognizing the behaviors and traits, so you know what the damage is. Below, I have gone over 6 personality traits that have been linked to a painful or traumatic childhood.

1. A lack of trust in people.

We learn how to trust at an early age, or we learn how to not trust. If we endure trauma or are raised by parents who are abusive or negligent, it can pave the way for trust issues.

2. Sensitive to rejection.

Sensitivity to rejection is strongly linked to early abuse or trauma. Part of this can be linked to abandonment trauma, but another level of this can be when you were raised by hypercritical parents. Either way, a painful childhood can make rejection feel very scary.

3. Lack of understanding of boundaries.

It can be hard to set boundaries when you weren’t taught any. If you had a parent who was always disrespecting your boundaries or who didn’t have any boundaries of their own, it can be hard to understand what boundaries are. In turn, you may struggle to set them in your own life.

4. Inhibition.

Inhibition is what happens when we have a hard time opening up to the world around us. You may feel reluctant to say what is on your mind or to lead the life you want because you are afraid. Oftentimes, people who experienced trauma early on mat end up having a hard time speaking up for themselves or leading their lives.

5. Apologizing constantly.

Sometimes, a painful childhood can be caused by parents who are always blaming everything on you. If everything you do is always ‘wrong’ in the eyes of your parents, you get used to apologizing. In turn, you are likely to end up with a feeling that something is wrong with you.

6. Emotional dysregulation.

Emotional dysregulation is typical among those who had difficult childhoods. Our entire development takes place during our crucial childhood years, and many traumas can attack our central nervous system and even our brain, making it hard to regulate emotions.