The VICE Guide to Self Improvement

People Share the Worst Habit They Got From Their Parents

The first step is to admit it.

by VICE Staff
11 September 2017, 1:28am


Can trading eight hours for polyphasic naps make you more productive? Could crystals be the secret to happiness? Read the rest of the VICE Guide to Self Improvement here .

There comes a point in most people's lives when they realise they did not spring forth from the earth fully formed, a unique blend of brain and body entirely unaffected by the weirdness of others. That is to say, we all inherit weird shit from the people who raised us. It's just a matter of when, and which ones.

We asked people what got passed down to them—much to their dismay.

Emma*, 25
My parents are terrible at telling each other how they feel. Whenever my dad does something to piss off my mum, she just gives him the silent treatment. She can never tell him why she's upset, or mad, or hurt. I'm no different. When I was 21 and going through depression, they couldn't ask me what was wrong, even though they knew I wasn't okay. I similarly couldn't speak up. I've never really been taught to express how I feel.

Christy, 22
I used to clean my ears a lot in public. But I don't do it as much anymore because I'm super conscious of it. My dad does it with keys which is even more worrying.

Amber, 30
My mum was a constant nudist. I would always have to call home first to make sure she wasn't nude in my paddling pool so I could bring friends over. But now, you'll find me lying naked on my couch wiping food crumbs off my stomach. I've had to acknowledge the fact that I am her.

James, 24
My mum and I were in Hillsong, the cult, when I was young. Now I can't not say Grace in my head before I eat.


Rachel, 27

My dad is basically a hoarder. He has boxes and boxes of old photographs and newspaper clippings filling his house. A lot of the pictures aren't even of people, they will just be a photo of peeling street art, or half a newspaper headline in an interesting font.

Recently, I realised I do the same thing. But my hoarding is digital. I cut and paste every interesting quote, I screenshot every cool bit of design. I have loads of hard-drives. I take pictures of anything vaguely interesting. Nothing is really organised, and I doubt I'll ever look at any of it again. But it's comforting, in a way, to know it's there.

Adam, 25
I've legitimately said to a car salesman, "Does she come with the car?" I'm a pig.

Clare, 23
My dad always had really bad road rage, which I judged him severely for as a child. But recently mine has become a lot worse and it's definitely not a good colour on me. I give the finger daily.

Erick, 32

I got my argumentative streak from my dad. I'm not good friends with anyone, which I blame him for, because I like to argue pointlessly just so I can be right. I hate that part of me so much.

*Names have been changed

people share
People tell us
Self Improvement Week