If Your Parents Were Worriers, You Probably Live Like This

parents with anxiety disorder

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Growing up with parents with anxiety can do a lot of damage to a child, even when that child becomes a full-grown adult. We are so affected by the moods and beliefs of our parents. We don’t know any better when we’re younger—we don’t know to question what our parents say or to think, “They’re only human—they’re flawed and could be wrong.” We are young, we’re naïve, and our worlds are very small when we are kids. So we think that the way our parents think and behave is the correct way to do so. Once we get older, we can understand that perhaps our parents had some issues. But the damage can already be done—they got into our subconscious when it was still so malleable and impressionable. We can even take on some of their behaviors. If your parents were worriers, you may live like this.


You feel most comfortable at home

Leaving your home makes you quite anxious. You can’t control the environment when you leave your home. You worry about your safety. You worry about embarrassing yourself. You don’t like the unknown and the unexpected, so you often try to convince friends to just meet you at your place.


Or in places with which you’re familiar

Maybe you leave your home sometimes, but you have your select few favorite spots. You sit in the same place. You request the same server. You don’t like when they change things at those spots. You really don’t like the unpredictable.


You ask a LOT of questions about new places

When you absolutely must go to a new place, you ask a lot of questions. You are almost trying to go there, in your mind, before going there physically, so that you can prepare. You’re asking about everything from the layout of the place to the noise level to what sort of people spend time there to how far it is from this or that landmark or emergency service.


And new people

Meeting new people puts you on edge. If a long-time friend asks you to have dinner with her and a friend of hers who you’ve never met, you suggest you just meet your long-time friend another time—later, alone. And if you must meet new people then you do, again, ask a lot of questions about them in advance.


You have a bit of hypochondria

You suffer from varying degrees of hypochondria. Perhaps when your life is stressful, your hypochondria worsens, and you fixate on tiny symptoms, believing that you have a deadly illness.


You may believe in some conspiracy theories

You do buy into some conspiracy theories. At the very least, you entertain almost all of them. You believe they could be true. When a true conspiracy theorist tries to sell you on a concept, while everyone else turns away and rolls their eyes, you become panicked and immersed in the conversation—feeling you must hear this person out as it could save your life.


You interpret all strangers as suspicious

When walking around in the world, you believe, sometimes, that people are watching you or following you. Or you believe that some people around you are up to something. You have your antenna up for that sort of behavior, and can be very disturbed and distracted by someone you think is acting a little strange.


You don’t take risks, for fear of failing

You often shy away from opportunities that interest you, for fear of failing. You list to yourself, in detail, all the ways you might fail and all of the devastating consequences that could come after.


And you pass on that fear to others

When people in your life tell you that they’re going to take a risk or try something new—open a business, travel to this country, apply for that fellowship—you ask them, “Aren’t you worried that…” and then you list all the reasons you’d be worried if you were this person.


You’re emotionally closed off

You believe that showing your emotions makes you vulnerable. There are very few people to whom you show your emotions (your equally worried parents may be some of them). But you truly feel that when you emote, you give away power.


In fact, you put on a façade

You are always very aware of how you are coming off. You curate and calculate your interactions with people carefully—you have an intention on how you want to come off. You’re not just…yourself.


You snoop around

You are very nosy about other people. You like to learn everything you can about someone when a new character comes into your life. You feel that having information on someone helps you remain in control of your relationship with that person.


You think people are out to get you

Your general mindset about people is that they are just out to get theirs, and will happily screw you over. From coworkers to bosses to neighbors and even to family, you believe everyone is just playing a calculated game to get what they want, even if it comes at a cost for others.


Which makes you a difficult tenant

If you’re a renter, you are constantly in disputes with your landlord. You feel that everything he does is unjust. You are filing complaints to the city regularly, claiming your landlord is breaking some rule or disregarding some tenant’s rights.


You pass on your paranoia

You worry about people in your life getting screwed over. You believe your friend’s husband is cheating on her, or that your sister’s business partner is stealing from her, or that your parents’ neighbors are spying on them. You drop hints to them, to see if they, too, have picked up on what you suspect to be true.

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