Updated May 5th, 2023
For some, it can happen that your family doesn’t love you
To many people, it may seem crazy that your family doesn’t love you. But, for others, it is a painful reality. Basically, while it isn’t the norm, it does happen that people find themselves alienated from their families and unable to go to them for anything.
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You know it when your family doesn’t love you, and the impact can be soul-crushing. If you were abused or neglected as a child and had no healthy role models, you may be at risk in your teen and adult years for unhealthy behaviors like substance or alcohol use disorder. Damaged self-esteem may lead to food disorders or self-harm. Relationship difficulties are also common because trusting others is hard.
How do you know your family doesn’t love you?
We’ve heard from people who say, “I feel like my family doesn’t love me.” Or, “My family doesn’t support me.” And this too, “Why do I feel my family doesn’t care about me.” The sad news about human relationships is that not everybody is loved equally even in pretty healthy families. In some cultures and families boys are more valued. Girls are not supported. It’s easy to feel less than or unloved.
When people you love make you feel horrible, it’s hard to believe, and almost impossible to accept, that they’re just not into you. In fact, they may not love you at all. You may feel it’s your fault, or there’s something terribly wrong with you. When do you know that what your gut tells you is true?
Signs your family doesn’t care about you may be confusing
Loved ones may say they may want you around for a lot of reasons. They may want you for the façade of the happy family, or happy marriage. They may believe (or know) you give good presents or money when they need it. But if you feel bad whenever you speak to them, or when they put you off or ignore you, they’re sending you a message. “I just don’t care about you.” Believe it.
Here are 6 warning signs that your family doesn’t care about you
Denying There’s Anything Wrong
You’re not included. Your loved one (s) has better things to do when you come to town. He/she/they stand you up. You can’t get him/her on the phone. You aren’t invited to family get-togethers. You feel horrible and ask what’s going on. Your loved one (s) make excuses or say it’s all in your head, “You jealous freak, you.”
Not Listening To Anything You Say
When others are dismissive of you or argue with everything you say, you know there’s a problem. If you’re always wrong, the other person is not hearing you, not listening, not caring about you. You can’t always be wrong. When you disagree with a loved one and he/she lawyers you to death, it’s demoralizing. You’re battered with a dozen reasons you’re wrong. You may feel you don’t exist. And for your loved one, you don’t exist. There is no way you will ever win an argument or be right about anything. Does your loved one have narcissistic tendencies?
Triangulating Against You
Your loved one enlists others, your friends or family, into taking sides against you by telling bad things about you. Ganging up at any age makes you into the bad guy that deserves shunning or shaming. Triangulating is very common in toxic families. Recently, someone wrote asking what he could do about a triangulating sister spreading lies about him. The answer is nothing. You can’t make a family war. You can only be yourself and not try to control others. You may have to take a break from the family gossip wars.
There’s a lot you’re excluded from. Someone you love doesn’t want you to know what’s going on in his/her life or hides other important facts from you. You make mistakes based on incorrect information. You feel you’re in the dark, and you are.
The people you love deny the things he/she/they did, or lie about things you actually know the truth about. Gaslighting constantly puts you on shifting ground so that you never know what’s real. Gaslighting is intended to control and drive you crazy, and it does.
Blaming and Shaming
Signs you grew up in a toxic family include being blamed for everything–from tiny things that aren’t perfect–to everything that’s gone wrong in the family, friendship, marriage, and every relationship since the beginning of time. You’re also reminded of every mistake and humiliating thing you ever did.
Your family may not be caring period
Sometimes people are not aware they hurt you and can be taught to be more sensitive. If they love you, they will listen to your concerns, apologize and make adjustments. When they won’t listen, make excuses, or blame you for having legitimate feelings, however, they know exactly what they’re doing. They won’t change, and you need to find new, and trustworthy, people to love.
One note from a reader is to remind people that where mental illness plays a part in your feeling unloved or abandoned, it may be that loved ones may be suffering too much pain themselves to be able to express positive feelings for others. Recovery from the emotional damage is possible. There are professionals who can help.
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