Family should be a place where we feel safe. Home should be where we look forward to coming and where they look forward to seeing us.
With our family, we should feel accepted and loved for whatever happened to us and whatever we did.
But what if it’s not like that? What if you feel sad around your family? Does that mean there is something wrong with you? Or is there something wrong with your family?
There are many reasons why we can feel sad when we are with our family. Maybe we’ve drifted apart, we don’t fit in, or we miss them…
It’s important to understand why we feel that way to be at peace with ourselves and our family. And it is even more important that we know this so that the family we create will be healthy.
So, let’s explore the reasons behind your family blues and find some useful solutions:
You Don’t Feel Seen, Heard, or Connected to Your Family
If you have always had the feeling that no one understands you in your family, it is never without grounds.
It’s sometimes hard for adults to remember what it’s like to be a child.
Growing up with parents who can’t or don’t want to play with you, who don’t know what’s happening to you and what you think and feel about the world around you, often causes a distinct feeling of loneliness.
Children who grew up with parents who were unable to be close or were never present enough in their child’s life often feel lonely and isolated even when they find people who understand them as adults.
Family visits can trigger that old feeling of loneliness, and it is natural to feel sad in the family circle in such circumstances.
Think about whether there is room for a new connection with your family?
Maybe now, as an adult, you can approach them completely differently, positioning yourself as a friend who wants to get to know them and allow them to get to know you too. You can do that through joint activities like family meals, shopping, movies, etc.
It is important to choose an activity that will be amusing enough for all the family members. After the activity, you will have many topics to discuss and impressions to exchange. That’s a good start, isn’t it?
If this option seems unrealistic, remind yourself of everything you have now instead of letting old memories overwhelm you.
Notice when the old loneliness surfaces, register it, accept it, and then remember that you are no longer that child but an adult who can choose how to think, behave and feel.
Your Family Always Criticizes You
No matter how strong and resilient we are, if we constantly receive only criticism and rarely or never praise, the chances of us feeling good are extremely small.
A natural, instinctive reaction to criticism, especially unfair criticism, is rebellion, the need to defend, fight and ultimately protect.
Even when you know that your parents adore you and would do anything for you, you cannot have a good relationship with them if criticism is all they have to say to you.
To withstand such treatment, you have to engage your defense mechanisms. We all have different defense mechanisms, but none of us feel very happy when, consciously or not, we activate them.
So, it is only natural that your family makes you sad if you know you will only get criticism from them.
You can retaliate with criticism if you are not afraid of conflict. If you want to avoid conflict and still effectively stand up for yourself, here are some suggestions on how you can react:
- Completely ignore the criticism, act as if you didn’t hear it, or if it wasn’t addressed to you, and continue the conversation in a completely different direction.
- Express gratitude for the criticism. Act as if it were a compliment. But nothing more than that, don’t fall into the trap of making excuses, don’t explain yourself, and continue the conversation in a different direction.
- Directly invite your parents to remember the last time they said something nice to you. People who criticize too much are often not aware of it at all.
Pay attention to what you share with your parents. After all, why give them more reasons to criticize you when you know they will.
Your Parents’ Relationship Is Complicated
Parents in a bad marriage often have a lot of silent disagreements and can hardly create a pleasant atmosphere for their children.
Even if they were okay with you when you were a child, the mere fact that they are in a bad relationship could be enough to make you sad. Chances are high that, in this case, you won’t be the only one who feels sad around them. Latent tension, strained relationships – all of this sets the tone for communication, and it is normal to feel sad in such a situation.
No matter how grown up they are, children often feel responsible for their parents’ bad relationship.
It is important that you understand that in no way can their bad relationship have anything to do with you, that you are not to blame or responsible for your parents’ marriage.
In this situation, you can’t really do anything but protect yourself and make sure that your parents don’t drag you into their quarrels.
No matter how much they pull you, hold on and don’t get involved in your parents’ marriage. That’s not your job. Your task is to take care of yourself.
You Feel You Don’t Belong
Some families especially insist on certain features and point them out as recognizable characteristics worthy of pride.
It can sound like this; for example, all of us from the Taylor family have always been good mathematicians. Suppose you’re a Taylor and you’re not a good mathematician.
In that case, there’s a good chance you won’t feel comfortable in the company of other Taylors. It is possible that your family highly values certain qualities and condemns other types of skills and talents as less valuable.
It is quite natural that you do not feel good in such an environment.
You may have the impression that you are not appreciated or understood, and of course, you’ll feel sad as a result. Cartoon Encanto tells just such a story in a wonderful and very entertaining way.
Your family is not the whole world, and you must not accept their standards as the only relevant ones.
Before every family event, remember who you are, what you do, and why you do it.
Remind yourself what you are good at. What makes you belong to a daily is not any talent but love.
Your Family’s Behaviour Depresses You
Suppose you have achieved significant success, a much higher level of education, or have done something else that deviates significantly from how your family lives.
In that case, you may feel like an intruder around your family. Your family may perceive you as an insincere person, pretending to be something you are not, while you have changed naturally following your development.
Of course, such misunderstanding can make you feel sad and like you don’t belong to your family. However, suppose your family is essentially benevolent.
In that case, they will probably be glad that you have succeeded in achieving yourself in life, even if it means that you are now different from them.
The habits and behavior of your family may seem outdated, uncultured, or funny in relation to the environment to which you now belong.
You may feel embarrassed by the way they speak and treat people. Maybe you even feel some family members hate you for what you have become.
No matter how much these things bother you, you will understand that there is no reason to be ashamed of your family over time. You are not responsible for them, but for yourself.
Don’t highlight the differences. Remember the good memories you have together.
Express gratitude for the support you’ve had from your family, even though they may not have understood your aspirations.
If you didn’t have support from your family, it’s even more logical to feel sad. However, we cannot choose our family, so try to understand that it may have been difficult for your family to accept that you do not want the life they lived.
Your Parents Are Control Freaks
If your parents are very controlling, it’s natural that you don’t feel comfortable around them. When someone has the need to constantly control you even though you are already an adult, they send you many messages, and none of them are positive.
It’s normal that in such a situation you have the feeling that your parents don’t appreciate you, don’t know you, don’t trust you, don’t know your abilities.
Of course, you will feel sad and even insecure in such an environment. This behavior of your parents has, of course, the least to do with you.
People who are afraid of losing control simply have no other mechanisms to deal with the uncertainty of life.
All you can do in this case is to control your reactions. Make peace with the fact that your parents don’t know any different. Don’t fall into the trap of making excuses for anything. Be careful what you share with them.
We cannot choose our family, and its influence on us is enormous. That’s why it’s important, no matter how hard it may seem, to understand why our family is the way it is and how it has affected us.
Friends and partners are family we can choose, but only if we are free from negative inherited family patterns that we all have to some extent.
The moment you become aware of the limiting mindset you inherited from your parents that sabotages you in life, you have taken a big step in your personal development.
And you have a much better chance of creating a healthy environment for your future family.