People who grew up in healthy and loving families tend to develop these 8 unique qualities as adults

Our upbringing shapes us in more ways than one. 

Hurt from the past does not always heal as cleanly as we would like, some leave emotional scars. And in reverse, happiness from that time plants itself and waits to bloom into further generations.

Who we were as children and how we were treated remains evident as we reach adulthood. 

We develop our attachment styles during this period. For today, we’re focusing on people who grew up in healthy and loving families which would more likely develop a Secure Attachment.

In this article, though, we’ll focus on the 8 unique qualities they develop as adults. 

Let’s go. 

1) They are empathetic

“Secure attachment leads to healthy psychosocial development and is a protective factor guarding against the development of antisocial behavior. It is also associated with fostering important prosocial values, attitudes, and behavior: empathy, caring, compassion, kindness, and morality.”

How Secure Attachment Fosters Empathy and Caring in Children | Evergreen Psychotherapy Center 

People who grew up in healthy and loving families grow up to be empathetic adults. They grow up to be the kind of people who show compassion, they understand other people’s sadness. They do not add to it.

They share the woes and joys of the world, they see the beauty but are not ignorant of its miseries. They actively help to be the better part of it. 

2) They have strong communication skills

People who grew up in healthy and loving families have strong communication skills. Growing up they were listened to, they were made to feel like their opinions were important and taken into consideration.

They were taught how to speak up for themselves. They were taught how to effectively communicate. They were taught how to resolve conflicts. 

They were heard. 

3) They deeply respect others

“A securely attached person is comfortable with both closeness and independence in relationships. They communicate openly, respect others’ boundaries, manage emotions well, and are reliable and trustworthy. This balance enables them to build strong, supportive relationships while maintaining their own sense of self.”

– Andrea Lein, Ph.D. | Secure Attachment Style: Why It Matters & How to Nurture It

People who grew up in healthy and loving families understand respect. And they understand respect the way it was meant to be understood, that it is a two-way street and that it is earned, not imposed.

While they remain courteous to everyone, they do not blindly respect just anyone.  

4) They have healthy boundaries

Positive Psychology gives some examples of these healthy boundaries:

  • Declining anything you don’t want to do
  • Expressing your feelings responsibly
  • Talking about your experiences honestly
  • Addressing problems directly with the person involved, rather than with a third party

People who grew up in healthy and loving families have healthy boundaries. After all, they understand respect. 

They understand that love, trust, and respect are things that need to exist together, and breaking boundaries defy that. 

These people set boundaries for themselves as well as respect others’ boundaries. Consent is very important. 

5) They are optimistic

People who grew up in healthy and loving families become optimistic adults

“Securely attached adults have constructive and optimistic beliefs and attitudes. They appraise problems as manageable, view stressful events as opportunities for leaning and have a more positive view of human nature.

“They also see their partner’s intentions in a positive light and therefore, react less negatively to a partner’s hurtful behavior. Secure adults score higher on measures of trust, intimacy, open communication, prosocial behavior, self-disclosure, support seeking, marital satisfaction and self-esteem,” says Evergreen Psychotherapy Center in the article How Adult Relationships Benefit from Secure Attachment. 

They grew up seeing the good in people and in turn, are able to see the good in people as adults. There’s more positivity in their disposition compared to those who grew up in not-as-healthy or loving families. 

6) They understand the feeling of safety and security

“Feeling safe is a fundamental human need, essential for both mental and physical well-being. It is the sense of security and freedom from fear or anxiety, allowing individuals to thrive and function optimally in their environment. The significance of feeling safe cannot be overstated, as it directly impacts stress responses, influencing overall health and happiness.”

– Bob Livingstone, LCSW | The Importance of Feeling Safe

People who grew up in healthy and loving families understand the feeling of security. They understand safety. They understand what it means to be surrounded by people who have your best interests at heart.

As adults, it’s easier for them to distinguish people who give them this same feeling. They do not run from it either. Safety just feels like safety. Security just feels like security. 

They know it, they understand it, and they know they deserve it. 

7) They find it easier to share intimacy

“Secure people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving.” says an article on the Gottman Institute.

Intimacy can be daunting, most of us are aware of this. And those who grew up in healthy and loving families will have an easier time navigating it compared to those who did not. 

They won’t mistake attention for affection. They won’t look for intimacy in the wrong places or the wrong people. 

8) They have a positive self-image

“Secure attachment provides a solid emotional foundation for the development of resilience and positive self-esteem, which, in turn, can influence individuals’ self-perception and the construction of their self-concept throughout life.”

–  Quintana, J., Ramos, P. & Almeida, P. | The Influence of Perceived Security in Childhood on Adult Self-Concept: The Mediating Role of Resilience and Self-Esteem

People who grew up in healthy, loving families have a positive self-image as adults. They grow up to be confident individuals.  

They were encouraged as children to develop their own personalities, and they were supported to make their own decisions. They were exposed to various forms of enrichment and were allowed to choose their path.

They were supported by these decisions. They have a strong support system throughout the years and it may seem like a safety net to some but it’s more like having their own cheerleaders. 

Before you go

If this list resonated with you, then great! I hope the future remains as brilliant.

If this list didn’t, I wish for the years after that and years that have yet to happen to be filled with happiness. May better days arrive for you, or if they already have, I hope it stays far longer. 

And lastly, if this list applies to you, I hope you bring that love around.

I hope you carry on the tradition of a happy home. May you be the love fondly remembered by future generations.

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

8 ways to show you’re intelligent without saying a word

10 phrases only real introverts use, according to psychology