People who had to grow up too quickly often develop these 9 specific traits as adults

If there’s one thing psychologists know for sure, it’s that our childhood has a clear effect on our adulthood. The things we experience at a young age can shape all kinds of things, from our personality and inner beliefs to our hobbies and relationships.

For sure, your childhood doesn’t have to define your adulthood. Your adulthood can define you just as much as your childhood can, depending on what you do with it!

But even so, if you grew up too fast because of something that happened when you were younger, you’ll almost certainly be different from those who didn’t.

You’ll have very specific traits that are unlike anyone else you know. Like the following 9.

Up first:

1) They’re overly responsible

First up, kids who grew up too quickly became responsible at a young age. They might’ve been responsible financially or in a caretaking role for a parent, sibling, or other family member.

It’s why, as adults, they can become overly responsible, always picking the sensible option and never daring to break the rules!

It’s like when they go on vacation with friends, they end up planning everything right down to a T – even worrying about whether their friend’s passports are in date or not!

2) They seek attention sometimes

Whichever circumstances required a kid to grow up too fast probably also meant that they didn’t get a lot of attention growing up. We all need a bit of attention, especially as kids. As adults, we call this validation.

Receiving validation from our peers is an important part of building relationships, promoting positive self-esteem, and developing a sense of overall belonging.

When adults grow up too fast, they miss out on vital validation that creates their self-esteem and sense of belonging from a young age.

This can sometimes mean they start “attention-seeking” as adults. Like they might do or say things for attention – especially in their romantic relationships. They might even lie sometimes just to get it.

3) They get overwhelmed occasionally

The older you get, the heavier life gets. Most adults can take the weight in their strides!

But for the people who grew up too fast, sometimes, things get a bit more difficult as the years roll on. They’ve been dealing with the hard times for a lot longer than most.

So, every now and then, it all gets a little bit too much. Sometimes, the smallest of things can tip them over the edge and bring them crashing to a halt.

Other people won’t always understand this behavior in them. They might think it’s dramatic or even “weak”. But in reality, it’s the opposite.

It’s because they’ve been dealing with so much more than most people know, and sometimes that really gets to them.

4) They’re caretakers of their loved ones

When I was fourteen, my mom got really sick. So, I had to take care of her as well as my younger siblings. It was a huge burden, but it also taught me a lot about how to care for others.

When you grow up too fast because of an ill or absent parent, caretaking is something you’re very used to. You learn what most people don’t learn way into their adulthood, sometimes not even until they have kids for themselves!

But not you. You learned the lessons early (and probably suffered a lot of consequences for your mistakes, too). It’s why in adulthood, you can’t help but look after the people you care about. Thinking about them and their safety is just what you’re used to and you do it with ease.

It’s why you’re probably known as the responsible one of the group. Like the person who looks out for everyone on a night out. You’re never the one who’s “looked after” yourself.

5) They’re careful with money

Not everyone who grew up too fast did so because their parents had money problems.

But it’s a likely reason for why you did. Like if you were a kid and had to sell your toys so your parents could pay rent that month.

Or if you were a teenager who had to get a job to help your mom with the bills.

Learning the value of money early in life can make you more than frugal with it in adulthood! Especially when you actually get some of your own.

You understand what it’s like to not have it, so keeping a hold of it and being sensible is very important to you.

So, you probably aren’t someone who splashes the cash all that often. You probably save more than you should and, even when you know you should treat yourself, you maybe don’t – just to be safe.

6) They’re overly appreciative

Small things can feel like very, very big things for someone who grew up with less.

It’s true that the more you grow up with, the less you truly appreciate what you have or had.

That’s not to say you’re selfish or ungrateful, it just means you aren’t AS grateful as someone who didn’t have those things!

Even things like attention from others, meals at a restaurant, or just some love and affection are big deals for you. When you’re given these things in adult life by your friends, partner, coworkers, or anyone really, you’re extremely grateful.

7) They act out unpredictably

There are many downsides to growing up too fast, one being that you have a tendency to act out at unpredictable moments.

When you weren’t given the chance to be foolish or just act like a kid, you might take those moments as an adult when most others wouldn’t.

Like you might go clubbing in your late thirties and drink way, way too much, ending up doing something really unsafe. Or your landlord might raise your rent one more time and you just snap – getting sillily angry and doing something you regret!

You might even have times when you intentionally decide to act like a kid again and do what you want. Like if you get a divorce or go through a bad breakup and you decide to do something extremely rash.

You might not do it all the time, but you might do it sometimes. And perhaps, the reason why you do it is because you couldn’t do it when you were a kid.

8) They’re very self-sufficient

Independence is the middle name of most adults who grew up too fast!

It’s something you absolutely needed, even if you didn’t want it. In fact, you probably had it before you even realized what it was!

When you grow up fast, you learn how to look after yourself from a very early age. These experiences make you incredibly independent and self-sufficient as an adult.

Rarely do you ever borrow money from others or even rely on them to help you with something. When someone offers to help you, it’s always a surprise.

Sometimes, you don’t actually feel like you need it, either.

For the most part, you can look after yourself and you know exactly how to do it. Sometimes, taking things from others feels totally alien to you. You don’t even like seeing others do it! You actually find it weird and a little rude, even though it isn’t (usually).

9) They’re emotionally strong

If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that people who grow up too fast are the most emotionally strong people known to humankind!

Chances are, some major life event, possibly even trauma, affected them as a kid. It’s why they had to grow up so quickly in the first place. They had to deal with a whole lot at a young age and it MADE them leave their childhood behind before they should have.

If this happened to you, these experiences led you to develop an inner strength that few others possess. It’s why, to friends and coworkers, you’re known as the strong friend who can handle anything.

Generally, you believe this fact about yourself, too. You believe that you’re strong and can handle a lot, even though you probably wouldn’t admit it often!

And you definitely feel validated when others say it.

Final thoughts

Growing up too quickly is a pretty sad thing. Kids are supposed to be kids when they’re kids!

When you didn’t get to enjoy childhood to its full potential, it’s probably led you to possess some unique traits as an adult.  Some might be hard to have, while others might be brilliant things that you’d never want to be without!

Either way, it’s important to remember that your past doesn’t have to define your present or your future. There are many things you can control in your adult life and you can always use your traits (the good, the bad, and the ugly) to your advantage.

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