To a large number of people, it sounds absurd that their family may not like them. After all, family is our first contact with society and we share a blood relationship and that must count for something right? Well in most cases this may be true but like everything in life, there are exceptions. There is the cold hard reality that your family might not like you or that they are toxic in their actions towards you.
So, if you find yourself in such a dilemma, all hope is not yet lost as you can still mend things with your folks with a few changes in your approach to the issue.
How Do You Identify What Is Toxic Behavior Among Family Members?
For those who are still struggling with the idea that your family doesn’t care about you, though it’s a hard fact to wrap your head around, you have to be brave enough to identify your predicament. Below is a comprehensive list of signs to look out for if you are sensing that your family members do not care about you:
When your family members show you covert and overt forms of abuse – bearing in mind that abuse is not just limited to physical but also mental, emotional as well as sexual this is a glaring signal of liking with a toxic family. Research has also shown that the trauma from abuse of all kinds from one’s family can result in a low social and psychological adaptation by the victim which can last for a lifetime if it’s not acknowledged and addressed.
Criticism must be constructive to be positive. It should focus on behavior rather than the person. If criticism from family leaves you with feelings of being unloved and unappreciated, it’s probably toxic and a sign that they don’t like you.
Lack of provision
There are necessities of life like food, shelter, clothing, and basic education that should be provided by the family. If your folks refuse to provide these, especially when they can do so, it may be a pointer to a lack of love and care.
Disrespecting personal boundaries
When your family does not acknowledge the limits and rules you have created to ensure that other people treat you right, it’s a sign they do not respect you as a person.
Invalidates your feelings
Our feelings matter and are valid. It is a sign that your family doesn’t like you when they constantly invalidate your feelings and emotions.
Leaving you out of family plans
Family is supposed to foster feelings of community amongst members. This is encouraged by spending time together and engaging in activities with one another. Suffice to say that if you’re being constantly left out of family plans like holidays and get-togethers, it probably means your family doesn’t like you and does not want to spend time with you.
Constantly withdrawing support from you
One of the perks of being a member of a family is the automatic support group it provides to individuals. Your family should be one of your biggest cheerleaders so when this support is lacking or being constantly withdrawn, it’s time to evaluate the relationship. Our families will always have opinions on certain life choices that we make. Choices like religion, education, marriage, etc but it’s important to note that even when one’s family does not like their choices, they should show a level of support and not antagonism. It’s also important to note that a family that wields its support of you as a tool to control you can be considered abusive.
Extra high expectations
When your family sets impossible standards for you, it may feel like they do not want you to succeed and are setting you up for failure. This can lead to low self-esteem. It may also cause you to be excessively anxious and stressed.
Constant comparisons between siblings and peers
The harmful effects of comparison especially sibling comparisons are very extensive. Generally, your family constantly comparing you to others instead of acknowledging your efforts leads to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.
Did I Do Something Wrong To Make My Family Hate Me?
A variety of reasons can cause your family to dislike you. Maybe you do not fit into the image of their expectations or you simply changed from who you used to be. It could also be because of poor communication skills amongst members. On the flip side, you might actually be the one who hates your family and this does not necessarily make you a bad person as a lot of things might trigger you to feel that way especially if they have been mean or toxic towards you.
Some of the reasons that can lead to such a toxic relationship may include:
1. Your family members think you are stingy even though you are financially buoyant
2. You have a long-standing reputation of being self-centered and selfish
3. You always avoid family gatherings
4. Your life choices are in contrast to long-standing family traditions
5. You are considered the favorite child of your parents
6. You have an antagonistic approach to people and ideas
What Can I Do When My Family Does Not Like Me?
Evaluate your relationship with them. You must introspect and identify what behaviors are harmful and toxic. While evaluating, you must be honest enough to discern if you are the cause of the toxicity. If you are, it’s important for you to make peace and amend your behavior.
Beyond trying to work on yourself, you should be willing to have open and honest conversations with your family. Sometimes people may hurt you without knowing that their actions are hurtful so it is important to communicate.
However, if all efforts at open dialogue fail, it is suggested that you cut off from all forms of interactions for your peace. If a total break-off is impossible, keeping interactions to the barest minimum is the next best option. You can also seek therapy to deal with your feelings and hurt – therapy can help you to find healing thereby ensuring that you don’t replicate toxic behaviors in the future.