August 9, 2022
Est. Reading: 5 minutes

Signs Your Family may not be Caring About You & How to Cope with It

Do you believe your family disregards you? What are the telltale signals that your family is disinterested in you?

The following are some of the most effective strategies to cope with it:

When your family demonstrates overt and hidden types of abuse and neglect, this is an indication they do not care about you.

I spend the majority of my time as a trauma-focused therapist assisting anxious and depressive adults in processing childhood abuse and neglect. When we think of abuse, we often associate it with more visible and overt betrayals such as physical and sexual assault.

Nonetheless, there are several red flags in a family dynamic that are difficult to detect due to their complex and hidden nature. Consider if your family disregards your boundaries, rejects or invalidates your emotions, or engages with you just to get something from you.

They disregard your limitations.

Boundaries are the boundaries that are established between you and others as part of a good relationship. They are signals, boundaries, and stop signs that communicate to others what is and is not acceptable for you.

Families who are uncaring towards one another often disregard or disregard the limits you've established to keep you secure.

Consider a parent who often drops by unexpectedly, regardless of how many times you've begged them not to. When you request that they call ahead of time, observe if you begin to feel guilty for expressing your requirements. Family members who listen to you and attempt to change really care.

They frequently put their own emotions first and disregard or invalidate yours.

Consider intertwined family members who phone you numerous times a day in times of distress in order for you to soothe them down, but never ask how you are.

I deal with individuals who have endured abuse and gained the strength to share their experiences with their families, only to be treated with silence, skepticism, or scorn.

While families are important, if you find yourself regretting every time you disclose anything vulnerable to them, this may indicate that your family is unhealthy.

When your family of origin is unable to provide your basic demands

When they are distant, dismissive, or belittling, this may be an indication of an unhealthy relationship. Whenever this is the case, it is critical to have a dialogue about our feelings about the relationship dynamic and to explain our needs and desires explicitly.

They exclude you

It's difficult to discern the difference between normal family strife and your family just being uninterested in you. They may disregard you by leaving you out of family activities or failing to inform you of significant milestones.

Things like failing to celebrate your birthday or failing to visit you and your children indicate that your family does not care about you.

Keep an eye out for these warning indicators to determine your position within your family. If you see any of these things occurring, consider resolving the problem or just withdrawing from your family to protect yourself.

It's natural to believe that some family members "do not care" about you - yet this is seldom the case.

In other circumstances, it may simply be that different individuals communicate differently.

Family members are similar to friends in that some put forth far more effort than others.

Some will encourage your activities, show interest, and communicate with you on a regular basis, while others may seem more distant. Others may actually be unconcerned and will begin contact only when they need something!

In general, the solution is to appreciate the good ones, ensure reciprocation, and avoid losing sleep over the bad ones. And before concluding that a lack of contact conclusively indicates that a particular family member is unconcerned about you, consider other possibilities.

Everyone has their own set of priorities and struggles in life.

Occasionally, someone from whom you hear little would still be there for you if you ever needed them desperately.

They are constantly rescheduling appointments.

Failing to keep a commitment to a person or appointment demonstrates that you have more pressing concerns. If your family members frequently cancel plans, this indicates that you are not a priority in their lives. While everyone occasionally cancels plans, if this is a recurring pattern, you should be concerned.

In these instances, the best course of action is to initiate communication.

This is particularly critical if you are having difficulties with a significant other. If you suspect that lingering tension exists over a previous event, it is best to bring it up and offer an apology if possible.

Of course, if the family member in question does not live with you, you may want to reconsider your relationship with them as well. Occasionally, family members become more distant as they age, especially if they have children of their own.

They are unable to make time for you.

Time is one of the few things we can never get back — it is our most precious and finite resource, and I believe that when loved ones repeatedly fail to make time for you, to be with you during your most significant life moments, or simply to be with you because you miss them, that is when you know they do not care as much about you as you wish they did.

They have more important things to do with their time, and if that is what they choose to do, then accept that they are more important than you at the time.

Dealing with your pain in a healthy manner requires an assessment of your relationship and your own approach.

Do you schedule time for them in the same way that you would like them to schedule time for you? Do you communicate to them how vital this is to you?

Although it will be difficult, it is worth it to risk exposing yourself to additional pain by having an honest and open discussion.

Many people end up living in their own bubble, unaware that they are harming you, and making the effort to communicate fairly means that the relationship has a chance of being saved, and it is healthier than it has ever been.

And if that fails, at the very least you will know that you tried and did your best and that you will have no regrets (or at least fewer) when you leave that relationship and find others who are more deserving of your affections.

Typically, individuals deal with intrusive thoughts by avoiding the triggers that cause them.

For instance, if someone suffers from chronic anxiety about a specific subject, such as something bad happening to their children, they may cope with anxiety-provoking thoughts by using a coping tool such as deep breathing or by keeping busy with something that will divert their attention away from the subject.

However, for someone suffering from anxiety, those same intrusive thoughts are likely to recur repeatedly. Distracting oneself from anxious thoughts may provide temporary relief, but it actually perpetuates the return of those same intrusive thoughts over time.

Contrary to popular belief, the most effective strategy is to repeatedly attempt to have them on purpose.

Consider watching a frightening film 100 times in a row. No matter how frightening a film is, you will eventually become bored with it and your brain will become desensitized to it. After watching it 100 times, you're unlikely to feel fearful of it even if you tried! That is because your brain will have developed a tolerance for it.

Notably, this technique should be used only under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional who is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or, more specifically, Exposure and Response Prevention for intrusive thoughts).

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