People who were babied as children usually develop these 7 traits as adults

Having been coddled and over-protected during childhood can often result in unique adult personality traits.

These are often the result of a lack of exposure to challenges and problems during formative years, leading to a distinct set of characteristics in adulthood.

In my years of studying human behavior and psychology, I’ve identified seven common traits that are typically found in adults who were overly babied as children.

These traits, while not inherently negative, can often present certain challenges and impact the individual’s interpersonal relationships and overall life satisfaction. 

1) Difficulty making decisions

One of the most common traits observed in adults who were babied as children is a noticeable difficulty in making decisions.

This can range from minor everyday choices like what to wear or what to eat, to more significant decisions such as career moves or relationship issues.

The root cause of this trait often lies in the overly protected environment they were brought up in.

As children, their parents or caregivers likely made all decisions for them, shielding them from the potential stress and consequences of making a wrong choice.

This can lead to an underdeveloped decision-making muscle, creating difficulties when they’re faced with choices in their adult life.

This can result in behaviors such as:

  • Procrastination or avoidance when faced with a choice
  • Constantly seeking advice or validation from others before making a decision
  • Feeling overwhelmed or anxious when having to make a decision

2) Struggle with setting boundaries

Another common trait seen in adults who were babied as children is a struggle with setting and maintaining personal boundaries.

Boundaries are crucial for emotional health and well-being, as they help us define our personal space and protect our emotional energy.

In a childhood environment where their needs and wants were instantly catered to, these individuals might not have had the opportunity to learn about the importance of setting boundaries.

As a result, they often find it challenging to assert their own needs or say no to others, even if it’s at the cost of their own comfort or well-being.

This struggle can manifest in various ways such as:

  • Inability to say no to requests or demands, even when they’re unreasonable or inconvenient
  • Feeling guilty or anxious about asserting their own needs
  • Lack of clear understanding of what constitutes a healthy boundary

3) Overreliance on others for emotional support

Adults who were babied as children commonly display an overreliance on others for emotional support.

This dependence stems from their upbringing, where parents or caregivers were always readily available to soothe and comfort them in times of distress.

As adults, this can translate into a difficulty managing emotions independently.

They may frequently seek reassurance, validation, or comfort from others during challenging situations.

This overreliance can put a strain on relationships and can also hinder personal growth and self-reliance.

Symptoms of this dependency might include:

  • Constant need for validation or approval from others
  • Difficulty facing challenging situations without seeking comfort from others
  • A tendency to form co-dependent relationships

4) Difficulty handling criticism

A fourth trait that is often seen in adults who were babied as children is a difficulty in handling criticism.

When parents or caregivers constantly shield a child from any form of criticism or negative feedback, it can lead to an inability to handle such feedback in adulthood.

Criticism, when constructive, is an essential part of personal and professional growth.

However, for those who were overly protected as children, criticism can feel threatening and can trigger strong emotional responses such as anger or anxiety.

This can result in:

  • A tendency to become defensive or argumentative when faced with criticism
  • Avoidance of situations or people who may provide negative feedback
  • An overreaction to even minor critiques

5) Fear of failure

A significant trait often observed in adults who were babied as children is a heightened fear of failure.

This fear can be paralyzing, preventing individuals from taking risks or stepping out of their comfort zones.

Being overprotected in childhood often means that failures and setbacks are minimized or avoided altogether.

As a result, these individuals may not have had the opportunity to experience failure and learn from it.

Without the necessary coping mechanisms in place, the prospect of failure can become a significant source of anxiety.

This fear can manifest in several ways:

  • Avoidance of new experiences or opportunities due to fear of not succeeding
  • Over-preparation or perfectionism as a defense mechanism against potential failure
  • Low self-esteem or self-confidence due to a belief that they’re not equipped to handle failure

6) People-pleasing tendencies

Another trait that is often seen in adults who were babied as children is a tendency towards people-pleasing.

This essentially means going to great lengths to make others happy, often at the cost of their own happiness or well-being.

Growing up in an environment where their needs were instantly met, these individuals may develop a skewed understanding of relationships.

They might believe that pleasing others is the only way to be loved or accepted, leading to a pattern of self-sacrificing behavior.

This tendency can manifest as:

  • Ignoring personal needs or desires to cater to others
  • Struggling to express disagreement or dissatisfaction
  • Feeling responsible for others’ happiness

7) Struggle with handling stress or adversity

The final common trait found in adults who were babied as children is a struggle with handling stress or adversity.

Having been shielded from challenges and difficulties during their formative years, they may lack the necessary coping mechanisms to deal with stressful situations in adulthood.

This lack of resilience can lead to heightened anxiety levels and a tendency to feel overwhelmed when faced with adversity.

It can also result in avoidance behaviors, where they might shy away from situations that could potentially lead to stress or conflict.

Signs of this struggle might include:

  • Frequent feelings of anxiety or overwhelm
  • Avoidance of challenging situations or conflicts
  • Difficulty managing negative emotions

Overcoming the impact of being babied

Understanding and acknowledging these traits is the first step towards personal growth.

Recognizing the impact that being babied as a child has had on your adult personality can empower you to make conscious changes and develop healthier behaviors.

It’s important to remember that these traits are not set in stone.

With self-awareness, determination, and practice, you can work towards overcoming these challenges.

Whether it’s improving decision-making skills, setting personal boundaries, handling criticism constructively, or managing stress effectively, each step you take contributes to your growth.

Psychotherapy or counselling can be highly beneficial in providing tools and strategies to cope with these traits.

Self-help resources, books or online courses focusing on personal development can also offer valuable insights.

Remember, it’s never too late to start your journey towards personal growth and emotional health.

It’s all about adopting a growth mindset and being patient with yourself throughout the process.

The journey might be challenging, but it’s undoubtedly rewarding.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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