9 things you don’t realize you do because you were raised by strict parents

Growing up with strict parents can shape your behaviors in ways you might not even realize.

These habits, ingrained from a young age, can follow you into adulthood and impact your relationships and life choices.

And while these behaviors aren’t necessarily bad, they can be confusing to others who didn’t experience a similar upbringing.

Before we get into it, I want to make one thing clear:

This article isn’t about blaming your parents or resenting them, in most cases, they probably did the best they could with the knowledge they had at the time.

But ultimately, they’re a product of their upbringing too! 

Through understanding ourselves, we can also understand our parents better as well. 

So, let’s delve into some of these unconscious habits. Here are 10 things you do because you were raised by strict parents, whether you’re aware of them or not.

1) You’re a perfectionist

Strict parents often demand high standards, and this can develop into perfectionism as you grow older.

You might find yourself over-analyzing every detail or constantly striving for the best in everything you do.

Whether it’s work, relationships, or personal projects, you never settle for less.

This isn’t necessarily a negative trait.

In fact, it can drive you to great achievements.

But it’s important to remember that everyone makes mistakes and it’s okay to not be perfect all the time.

Ultimately, it’s all about finding a balance and not beating yourself up if and when you fall short. 

2) You’re overly apologetic

Growing up with strict parents, I often found myself on the receiving end of a lecture for the smallest of things.

I developed a habit of saying “sorry” preemptively to avoid potential reprimands.

Even now, as an adult, I catch myself apologizing for things that don’t even warrant an apology.

Like when a colleague bumps into me in the office hallway, or when a waiter gets my order wrong.

It’s not that apologizing is bad, but when it becomes a reflexive response, it can undermine confidence and self-esteem.

It’s a habit I’ve had to recognize and consciously work on breaking.

3) You have a high level of self-discipline

Strict parents often value discipline and structure, instilling these values in their children. And you guessed it -this can translate into impressive self-discipline in adulthood.

This has probably helped you a lot, in your career, personal relationships, and self-development. 

In comparison, those who didn’t have such an upbringing may find it tough to self-motivate and self-discipline. 

That being said, you don’t want to make the mistake of being too harsh on yourself. As I mentioned before, there’s a fine balance that needs to be achieved here. 

4) You value privacy

If you’re like me and grew up with strict parents, your privacy might have been a luxury rather than a given.

Whether it was diary entries read without permission or constant questions about where you were going and who you were with, these experiences can lead to a strong appreciation for privacy in adulthood.

You may find that you’re particularly protective of your personal space and value your alone time more than others do.

You’re anti-social, but rather, you cherish the freedom to have your own thoughts, actions, and time undisturbed.

This is something I relate to a lot. And to be honest, it’s caused friction sometimes as I can be overly protective of my personal space. 

But here’s the thing – understanding this can help you communicate your needs more effectively with friends, partners, and roommates who may not share the same background.

5) You’re a planner

Growing up with strict parents often means a scheduled and structured childhood.

From homework times to bedtime, every activity was planned out.

This can translate into adulthood as a penchant for planning.

You might find yourself making lists for everything, scheduling your days down to the minute, and feeling uneasy when things don’t go according to plan.

If the feeling of being out of control makes you anxious, though, it’s worth working on this. I’m slowly learning to go with the flow and accept things out of my control – it’s made a big difference to how I react when the unexpected happens. 

So give it a go – let someone else take control from time to time. Go out and resist the urge to plan every detail.

The next time plans fall through or something gets messed up, rather than stress about it, breathe, take a step back, and simply observe what happens.

Oftentimes, things work themselves out and our worrying was for nothing!

6) You struggle with self-expression

Strict parenting can sometimes stifle a child’s ability to express their emotions freely, for fear of punishment or disapproval.

This can lead to a tendency to bottle up feelings and emotions in adulthood.

You might find it hard to let people in or to express your feelings openly.

It can feel safer to keep your emotions tucked away, rather than risk the vulnerability that comes with sharing.

I get that. But the bottom line is, emotions are part of the human experience, and sharing them doesn’t make you weak.

In fact, it takes a lot of courage to be open about your feelings. 

7) You’re a people-pleaser

When I was young, the focus was often on meeting my parents’ expectations rather than exploring what made me happy.

This resulted in a constant desire to please others, even if it meant sacrificing my own needs and wants.

Even now, I find it hard to say ‘no’ to people. I often go out of my way to help others, sometimes at the expense of my own well-being.

While it’s good to be considerate and helpful, it’s essential to remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish; it’s necessary.

And saying ‘no’ sometimes doesn’t make you a bad person, but a human with limits.

8) You’re independent

If you grew up with strict parents, you’re likely very independent now as an adult. 

You’re self-reliant, preferring to handle things on your own rather than seeking help.

But when was the last time you asked for help? 

It’s important to know that you don’t have to handle everything by yourself – this can lead to resentment, and even worse, burnout. 

So be independent, but don’t forget that there’s nothing wrong with leaning on others from time to time. 

Doing this will also increase the closeness you have with your loved ones. It shows them that you trust and need them as much as they trust and need you. 

9) You’re resilient

And finally, an undeniable trait that comes from being raised by strict parents is resilience.

The challenges you faced have equipped you with the ability to bounce back from adversity and to keep going even when things get tough.

This resilience is a gift.

It’s a testament to your strength and perseverance, and it’s something to be proud of. 

The behaviors and habits we acquire growing up with strict parents are deeply rooted in our childhood experiences.

They shape our actions, our reactions, and even the way we perceive ourselves.

So, whether it’s your perfectionist streak, your penchant for planning, or your resilient spirit, remember – these traits are part of what makes you uniquely you. They have contributed to your strength, your growth, and your journey thus far.

And remember, it’s never too late to learn, grow, and change.

Embrace yourself for who you are, understand where you come from, and look forward to who you can become.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

If you display these 9 traits, you’re smarter than you give yourself credit for

If someone uses these 11 phrases in a conversation, they’re actually a great listener