10 habits that reveal you were spoiled as a child, according to psychology

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Do you throw a tantrum when you don’t get your way?

Does the word ‘no’ just not sit well with you?

These could be tell-tale signs that you were spoiled as a child.

Psychologists say being spoiled as a kid isn’t simply being given the latest toys or being allowed to eat dessert before dinner.

It’s a lot more serious than that.

It’s not being taught the proper expectations and boundaries in life, resulting in a lack of them.

In this article, we’ll unpack these patterns and more to help you discover if you were spoiled as a child, according to psychology.

1) You can’t take ‘no’ for an answer

Growing up spoiled means you didn’t hear the word ‘no’ often enough. Now, as an adult, you have a tough time accepting rejection or criticism.

Psychology tells us that children who are spoiled often become adults who are unable to tolerate denial or disagreement.

They never learned to accept or address conflict, and as adults, they still struggle with it.

If this is you, take a step back and examine your reactions in situations where things don’t go your way.

Do you tend to get overly upset?

If so, that could be a sign that you’re used to getting your own way and can’t take no for an answer.

2) You have difficulty with patience and waiting

In a world of instant gratification, waiting can be challenging for anyone.

But if you find yourself particularly frustrated when things don’t happen right away, this could be a reflection of your childhood.

Being given what you want immediately as a child may result in growing into an adult who expects the same instant fulfillment in any situation.

This can manifest in simple situations like getting impatient in a line at the grocery store or in more complex scenarios like expecting rapid progress in personal or professional growth.

This is a pattern that stems from how immediately your needs were met as a child.

Understanding this can be crucial in developing patience, which is key to managing stress and maintaining healthy relationships.

3) You struggle with empathy and understanding others

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, a crucial skill in maintaining healthy relationships and connecting with people on a deeper level.

Finding it difficult to step into someone else’s shoes or view situations from a perspective other than your own could be a sign of being spoiled as a child.

Children who are given everything they want often grow up with a self-centered worldview. They struggle to understand why others don’t have the same privileges or why they can’t just get what they want.

4) You’re uncomfortable with independence

One might assume that being spoiled leads to a sense of entitlement and a demand for autonomy.

Surprisingly, the opposite is often true.

If you were given everything you wanted without effort, you might have grown up relying heavily on others for your needs and wants.

In adults, this manifests as discomfort with independence.

Learning to be self-reliant is an important part of personal growth and maturity.

Take small steps towards doing things on your own, whether it’s cooking a meal or making a decision about your career.

Independence isn’t something to be feared, but something that can be empowering.

5) You struggle with maintaining long-term relationships

Spoiled children can grow into adults who struggle to compromise, as they’re used to having their own way.

This can lead to difficulties in relationships where compromise and understanding are key.

Improving communication skills and learning to compromise can greatly enhance your ability to maintain healthy, long-term relationships.

It’s not an easy thing to accept about yourself, but it’s crucial if you want to make positive changes in your life.

6) You find it hard to appreciate what you have

Do you often find yourself focusing on what you don’t have rather than appreciating what you do?

This could be another sign that you were spoiled as a child.

When you were given everything as a child, you may struggle to value what you have, as you’re used to always getting more.

What this results in is an adult with a constant longing for more without truly appreciating the present.

Practicing gratitude can help shift your perspective and increase your appreciation for the present.

Start small, like appreciating a warm cup of coffee or a conversation with a friend. This habit can make you feel happier and more satisfied with life.

7) You struggle with managing finances

Let’s face it: we’ve all had moments where we splurge on something we don’t necessarily need.

But if this is a constant behavior, even when you’re struggling to stay within a budget or save money, this could be another sign of being spoiled as a child.

You grow up without understanding the value of money, which is why you might struggle to manage your finances effectively.

This results in impulsive purchases or failing to save for the future.

While we all have our financial ups and downs, the good news is that it’s never too late to learn.

Try to set a budget and stick to it. That way, you’ll gain more control over your finances and the peace of mind that comes with it.

8) You’re surprised when you don’t always win

If you’re genuinely surprised or disappointed when you don’t win at games or contests, it could be another sign of being spoiled as a child.

Always getting your way can make you grow up expecting to always come out on top, meaning that as an adult, you’re genuinely surprised when you don’t always win.

You need to learn that life is not always about winning or losing. You have to loosen up and have fun, too!

9) You struggle with self-discipline

Giving up on tasks when they get tough, or struggling to stick to routines or habits, are both signs that you were spoiled as a child.

You were given everything without having to work for it, resulting in a lack of self-discipline. You struggle to persevere through challenges or maintain consistency in your habits.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but self-discipline is a key component of success and personal growth.

Set small, achievable goals for yourself and work towards them consistently. Soon, you’ll be more resilient and disciplined. 

10) You have yet to learn that change is possible

If you’ve identified with one or more of these signs, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to these behaviors for life.

Recognizing these patterns is the first and most crucial step toward change.

Being spoiled as a child might have shaped your habits and behaviors, but it doesn’t define who you are. You have the power to understand your past and shape your future.

It’s never too late to start making positive changes. So be kind to yourself, take one step at a time, and remember that change is always possible.

So, you were spoiled as a child—what now?

Being spoiled as a child might have shaped your habits and behaviors, but it doesn’t define who you are.

As the renowned psychologist Carl Rogers said, “The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.”

You cannot change your past or how you were raised, but you can change how you respond to it. You have the power to understand your past and shape your future.

No matter how hard the past is, you can always begin again.

Change is possible. Growth is possible. It may not be easy, and it may not happen overnight, but with awareness, patience, and kindness towards oneself, lasting change can happen.

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

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