This is totally workable. It may not feel this way now, but this situation is a great opportunity—to learn about yourself, to learn about your family, and even possibly grow closer than ever before! The fact that you are asking “why” is a great indication that you want to have a relationship with your family. You haven’t given up or become spiteful and started ignoring them—even though you feel ignored by family.
It starts with you!
We feel “stuff” all the time that we never stop to question, explore, or investigate. That doesn’t diminish the hurt feelings, but it gives us a place to start. Here are some things to be thinking through:
- Is it possible they aren’t intentionally ignoring you, but you just feel left out?
- Are you taking into consideration three months of COVID-19 quarantine?
- Is it possible that you’ve said or done something that offended some family members and you haven’t realized it?
- Have you been trying to communicate with these family members? (Seriously, could they be wondering why you are ignoring them?)
- Does your family do a lot of their communicating and planning get-togethers on social media and you just are not active in that particular arena?
- Is it possible that “feeling ignored by your family” is masking the real, deeper issue?
Why you can’t let this go unresolved.
In 2018, a Pew Research Center survey asked, “Where do you find meaning in life?” The clear, number one answer was, “family” at 69%. This was more than double the next highest answer, which was “career.” In other words, family is at the core of where most people find meaning in life, so if there is static in that particular part of your life, there’s a good chance that your whole life feels off-kilter.
You can’t sit on this. You can’t camp out here. And you can’t wonder. You are going to have to seek out some resolution.
There is really only one way to resolve this…
If you’ve thought through the above scenarios or possible explanations without any peace of mind or clarity, or if you think there is even a chance that you might have said or done something that offended some family members, there is only one place to go for answers—your family.
With questions like this, a direct approach is probably best. Either there is nothing there and you’re worrying over nothing or there is something there. One word of advice: Use “I” statements like, “I feel like I’m being ignored by family. Did I do something? I really want to make it right,” as opposed to “You” statements like, “Why are you ignoring me? Why won’t you reach out to me? Why are you leaving me out?” The difference is between opening a productive dialogue and making an accusation.
So now that you have a plan—when are you going to ask? You can sit and wonder, or you can take a deeper dive into some relationships in your family. Don’t let it go another day!