5 Awful Gifts A Child Receives From Difficult or Toxic Parents

4) You seldom feel safe.

Obviously, this goes along with the lack of trust, but it extends to your whole world. If you’re like me, you were abused at home.

That happened in the night, all in secret, and it produced opposing feelings simultaneously: you’re scared and you think the person is supposed to love you.

How can you be safe?

You tend to live with one eye scanning the world for predators, while the other is trying to enjoy the person or world in front of you.

And, these feelings may have gone far underground. You don’t realize that they are still way down-deep, running the programs of your life.

That’s why you need to love yourself enough to get some help. These feelings can keep you from ever experiencing real love, even the honest, real love, and affection from friends.


5) You are starved for approval, approval that you can believe and accept.

A Hijackal parent is in competition with you. Because that’s true, s/he will withhold approval from you. Yes, they sometimes give it.

But, they manage to take it away immediately.”You did a great job with that. I wish you could do that with everything, but that’s hoping for too much.

Withholding approval is a Hijackal tactic! If s/he approved of you, you’d have an edge. It would somehow make you an equal.

No Hijackal parent wants that. My mother used to say that she couldn’t say anything good about me or I would get a swelled head.

What a perfect Hijackal parent remark! She justified her unwillingness to approve of me immediately. Oh, and her friends bought it, too.

You are constantly invalidated by the Hijackal parent. Often, the other parent is silent or agrees to keep the peace. Double whammy!

That makes it very difficult for you to ever believe a compliment deep down, or to ever believe that wonderful, healthy, loving, approving person, free of Hijackal games, actually loves you.


So many of my clients have confessed that they actually looked for somewhat nasty people. They are who they believe they deserve. IT’S NOT TRUE!

Does this help you make sense of those deep-down feelings, the ones undermining your self-esteem, self-concept, and self-confidence? Those will also be the ones that damage your relationships with yourself and others.

A Hijackal parent did that to you. It’s not your fault. And, it’s not true. Learn how to replace these underlying beliefs. They are sabotaging you and your relationships. Be free to live an authentic, empowered life now.

 Hijackals® is my term for the difficult, disturbing, toxic people in life, which includes narcissists, borderlines, avoidant personality disorders (like psychopath and sociopath) and histrionics.

Written by Rhoberta Shaler, PhD
© Rhoberta Shaler, PhD  If you would like more help from Dr. Shaler, subscribe to her weekly Tips for Relationships and listen to her Relationship Help Show every Wednesday at 11 am Pacific. She’s here to help you with small group consulting and private sessions. Start with a free consult. Talk soon!

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Rhoberta Shaler, PhDhttps://www.forrelationshiphelp.com
Rhoberta Shaler, PhD.  When you're ready to say 'No more!' to toxic relationships, unnecessary drama, and poor examples for your children to follow, work with Dr. Shaler directly now  Subscribe to her Tips for Relationships. Listen to her podcasts for valuable insights and strategies to reclaim yourself, and create healthy relationships with yourself and others:Emotional Savvy: The Relationship Help Show, and Save Your Sanity: Help for Handling Hijackals.
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