15 Signs You Have A “Toxic” Parent

15 Signs You Have A “Toxic” Parent

Don’t have a good relationship with your parents? Are they demanding, manipulative, and critical to understanding? In that case, your parents have “toxic” behaviors. 

Unfortunately, many people don’t have a perfect relationship with their parents or in-laws. Regardless of trying hard, you may feel you can’t grow a perfect relationship with parents who aren’t mentally stable.

What Is Referred To The Term “Toxic” Parent?

Everyone has different definitions of what means a “toxic” parent because the term is so ambiguous. This term mostly refers to parents who are emotionally unstable, abusive, possess narcissistic traits, are addicted, or struggling with other mental or personal illnesses. Everyone who has abusive parents tend to believe that they have typical parents. They also assume that all families adhere to the same dysfunction, and that all parents are unreachable, cruel, or controlling because they have no alternatives to compare.

However, they eventually come to understand that emotionally stable parents genuinely care about their children’s feelings, support them in pursuing their aspirations, say they’re sorry when they make a mistake, and respectfully discuss any issues. Also, they slowly realize that their parents are completely different than other parents.

To be specific, children with toxic parents experience great suffering and long-lasting psychological issues as well. Luckily, there are options to overcome the challenging side effects of toxic parents. The primary step is to understand what “toxic” parents actually mean and identify several ways to validate the emotional and mental immaturity of your parents.  

What Are The Signs To Confirm That You Have “Toxic” Parents?

The following are some major indications of having toxic parents who are:

Self-Centered And Don’t Have Empathy 

Those parents who never accounts for the need or sentiment of others (children) and always prioritize their own needs are commonly referred to as toxic parents. They face difficulties to understand how other people feel and don’t consider how their actions can affect others or their children. 

Emotionally Reactive

Parents who are toxic frequently struggle to manage their emotions, so they overreact, are unpredictable, and have dramatic behavior.


They don’t even show a minimal amount of politeness, respect, or kindness toward their kids.


Every time, they want to dictate to you about what to do, when to do it, and how to do it, which is controlling behavior. Therefore, toxic parents constantly seek to be in control. They frequently exercise power and control through guilt and money.


For toxic parents, whatever you perform is not sufficient to make them happy. They’ll try to criticize you for everything.  


When they are angry, they are excessively rude and hostile. They may also be purposely forgetting, giving quiet treatment, or making nasty remarks while speaking.


They embellish the truth to support their own positions. To achieve their goals, toxic parents will use guilt, rejection, and trivializing as well. 


They want you to put all other priorities on hold to attend to their demands. They are just interested in what you can do to help them. Also, they don’t care about you, your plans, or your wants.


They will point all blame on you and refuse to take accountability for their actions or contribution to the dysfunction in the family (or another scapegoat).


They behave so terribly that you feel humiliated to be connected with them (such as – by making racial comments, getting into violent fights, making overtures towards your spouse, and others).

Lacks Boundaries

They will violate your privacy and refuse to acknowledge that you are an adult who is entirely independent of them. Toxic parents will even intrusively enter your personal space, check your mail, give unsolicited advice, and come over uninvited, criticize your parenting in an effort to enter into your private life.


They will act and say in an incredibly cruel way. Toxic parents will mock you, always point out your mistakes, call you names, and purposely exchange sensitive conversations. 


They don’t have healthy dependencies on you. They rely on you as their main emotional supporter and disclose too much personal information to you, including marital secrets or details of their extramarital affairs.


They don’t just insist on being correct all the time, but also consider you as their competitor. They strive to surpass you, downplay your achievements, or ignore you instead of supporting you and celebrating your victories.

And the last sign of having toxic parents is about how you feel rather than what they do. 

Exhausted While Spending Time, Talking, And Thinking About Your Parents

After a conversation with your parents, you aren’t satisfied and feel terrible. And so, you often ignore speaking to them about anything. While thinking about your toxic parents, your uneasiness and painful memories come to mind. Everything they touch is negatively contaminated.

If your parents are toxic, it’s likely that they didn’t encourage you to develop your own emotions, so you may not be accustomed to recognizing them. Be mindful of your emotions and pay attention to whether your parents cause you to feel angry, guilty, sad, shameful, or cultivate any other negative emotions.

If your parents are abusive, keep in mind that that nothing you did made them “toxic”.

Final Thoughts

Recognizing that your toxic parents have various problems, and are unwilling to change, shows the way to acceptance. And when we accept them for who they are, we release ourselves from the need to change them. We further have the right to lament the absence of the ideal parent-child bond.

In every situation, acceptance is extremely useful to gain peace of mind. Although having toxic parents is incredibly stressful, you need individual strategies to adjust to their dysfunction.

To understand all of your mental problems and get an exact solution to manage quickly, you can give us a Schedule An Appointment with us!  

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