Do you ever get the feeling your family doesn’t care about you? Are you worried that you are being paranoid, but you can’t stop worrying about it?
How would you even know? I mean, it’s not as if you can just ask your family outright.
In this article, I will explore the signs your family doesn’t care about you, and, more importantly, what you can do about it.
Undeniable signs your family doesn’t care about you
1. They don’t contact you
Some people have tight-knit families and others don’t, and that’s perfectly natural. However, most families communicate at least occasionally.
I have several siblings and I have different relationships with all of them. What this means is that contact with each one varies. For example, I might not speak to my brother for several months, but I’ll hear from my sisters at least once a week.
So, while it is natural to have different levels of communication with your family, having no contact is a big sign your siblings don’t care about you.
2. You don’t get invited to family events
We all have family events that we are expected to attend. I’m talking about birthday parties, christenings, barbecues, Christmas or Thanksgiving. While sometimes these events may seem tedious and we’d rather be doing something else, it’s always nice to get an invite.
Have you noticed that you are always left off the guest list at a family get-together? Maybe it is your sister or brother that doesn’t care about you or doesn’t want you there?
3. You are the last to know when something important happens
All families experience drama at some point, whether it is something tragic like a death, or joyous like a new baby or engagement. Are you always the last to know when anything happens? Do you tend to find out from sources other than your family?
Being the last to know can make you feel isolated, jealous, disrespected, and a whole host of other emotions. If they can’t be bothered to tell you the important stuff, it will make you wonder whether anyone in your family cares about you.
4. If you didn’t make the effort, you’d never see them
Are you the person that always makes contact with your family? Have you ever stopped to test how long it takes for someone to reach out to you? If a family member only ever answers your texts or calls but never makes them, it is a big sign they don’t care about you.
Moreover, when you do make contact, you feel as if you are intruding or a nuisance. Perhaps you phone them and they never pick up. You feel like an outsider in your own family.
5. They take advantage of you
I have a cousin that I never hear from unless he needs money. Sure, we go through pleasantries at the start, like ‘How are you? How are the dogs?’ etc. But he soon turns the conversation around to what he needs and how much he wants from me.
As a joke, I once said ‘How much do you need this time?’ He got furious with me and offered to pay back every cent I had lent him. Of course, it never happened.
6. They cancel plans at the last minute
When we respect people, we treat them as a priority in our lives. We don’t let them down at the last minute because we know that is rude and disrespectful.
I’m not saying that sometimes life gets in the way and occasionally people do have to cancel plans without much notice. But if this happens regularly, it is a big sign that you don’t matter. Remember, actions are important, not constant apologies.
7. Your feelings or opinions don’t matter
Our values, beliefs, and opinions are what make us who we are. They build our identity and form our character traits. You have as much right to be taken seriously and listened to as every other family member.
So, if your opinions are repeatedly dismissed, that’s one of the most telling signs your family doesn’t care about you. Because if they did, they would listen to your opinions and take your feelings into account.
8. They badmouth you behind your back
I have a friend, and his mother constantly gossips behind his back to his brother. She will badmouth one son to the other and then do the same to her other son. They both know that she does it, and they have confronted her about it.
When confronted, she plays ignorant and denies what she’s said. She’ll also act depressed and anxious and say that they are all attacking her. In this particular case, my friend decided he wouldn’t put up with it. He distanced himself from his mother.
If you’ve been through a similar situation within your family, it could be that your mother doesn’t care about you.
9. They turn up unannounced
I don’t know about you, but I am an introvert. As such, I like to plan things way ahead. So, if there’s one thing I hate, it is unexpected visitors. Thankfully, my family know this now and won’t turn up out of the blue. They respect I have boundaries and they don’t cross them.
Do your family members turn up unannounced and expect you to be happy to see them? Have you asked them to let you know in advance and they have brushed off your requests and called you out for being rigid and not spontaneous? Are they dismissive when you try and tell them how you feel?
10. They never ask you how you are
Are your family ever interested in your well-being, or it is always about them?
Have you endured some trauma recently and wanted to reach out but didn’t bother because you knew your family doesn’t care about you? Do they ever call or text to see how you are? Do they show interest in your life, your achievements, your partner, or your career?
If you didn’t bring up any of these subjects, would they never ask you themselves? When we love our family, or indeed, anyone, we want to know how they are doing.
Sure, sometimes conversations can be a little one-sided, but if this is a regular occurrence, it is a big sign your family doesn’t care about you.
11. Whatever you do is never good enough
It’s one thing being ignored, or never being asked how you are, it’s something different if you are being constantly criticized. Constructive criticism is healthy and helpful. But being constantly put down by those who are supposed to love you the most is soul-destroying.
It makes you doubt your abilities, your opinions, whether you are capable or not. It leaves you wondering, “What am I doing wrong that my family doesn’t care about me? Am I not worthy of their love?” You might even find that you are being compared to another family member who can seem to do no wrong.
12. Everything is always your fault
Are you the scapegoat of the family? If something goes wrong, is it always your fault? I know a family that always blames the youngest daughter for everything.
For example, she was ‘put in charge’ of ordering the flowers for her sister’s wedding and the company were late delivering the order. That was her fault because she chose that particular company. What happened was that no one else could be bothered to arrange the flowers so she was given the task at the last minute.
When your family doesn’t care about you, it’s easy for them to use you as a scapegoat when things go wrong.
13. You can’t rely on them for help
While your family will always expect you to drop everything if they need something doing, the reverse is never true. Perhaps you asked your parents for a ride home from a hospital trip, or maybe they promised to look after your cat while you were on holiday.
But when it comes around to that time, they make excuses or they won’t return your calls. You have learned from experience not to rely on them because they always let you down. It has made you feel as if your parents don’t care about you.
14. They don’t respect your boundaries
This might be something as simple as knocking before entering your room, or not gossiping about your health issues. Have you found them looking at your phone without your consent? Do they read your emails or texts? How do they act when you confront them? Do they dismiss you as being over-dramatic?
Or maybe they say that families shouldn’t have secrets from one another. No matter what you tell them, they disregard your wishes and continue to do the things that invade your privacy. Oh, and they won’t understand why it bothers you so much.
What to do if I feel like my family doesn’t care about me?
I have a best friend who doesn’t have contact with his family, and the reason is that he has learned over the years that they don’t care about him. When I was writing this article, I asked him how he coped and what did he do to compensate?
So, this is his advice as someone who knows what it feels like to be isolated from your family.
1. Don’t compare your family to others
It can be heartbreaking to hear stories of other people’s family lives when your family doesn’t care about you. But no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. And we all polish and preen ourselves on social media to look as if we are living our best lives.
Some people are lucky to have supportive and caring families, and others are not. It is no reflection on you; they are to blame for their actions and behavior, not you.
2. Build up a strong network of friends
My friend has many other friends, so they have become his family of sorts. He lived with me and my family for a while. I regard him as family now, as do the rest of my brothers and sisters. He has known many of his friends, including me, for over three decades.
We are loyal to him as he is to us. He comes to us for advice he wouldn’t get from his family. So his advice is to consider your friends as your family.
3. Don’t put up with bad behavior
My friend cut his mother from his life for several reasons; she has consistently gossiped maliciously about him to his brothers, invaded his privacy, gone against his wishes, and generally would not listen to any of his requests.
He finds it easier to have no contact with her. He will no longer put up with her disrespectful behavior to him.
Maybe this is what you should do too if your mother or father doesn’t care about you.
4. Don’t expect anything from them
Christmas and birthdays can be difficult for my friend. His family either forgets or buys him something completely inappropriate. It is as if they don’t know or care about him. It used to upset him when he was younger, but now he no longer expects anything, so he doesn’t get disappointed.
It doesn’t have to be the end of the world if you recognize the above signs your family doesn’t care about you. Consider my friend’s advice. Remember that old saying, you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. But, if you are lucky, your friends will become your family.