Why Does My Family Ignore Me?

Try these tips to find out what you may be able to do about it.
By John Daum
June 26, 2020
family-ignores-me

It hurts when you feel like your family is ignoring you.

We hope for and expect our family to stick together. But your family isn’t including you. Whether you’re left out of a group text, not invited to an event, or completely estranged… you could be experiencing anxiety, depression, and loneliness.  Physical problems like sleep and appetite loss could be plaguing you. If so, please make self-care a priority and consider seeking professional help.


So many questions and emotions.

When you feel ignored, it can be damaging.

These relationships have suffered an injury or have become diseased. Like a doctor would handle a physical health problem, we have to rule some things out to cover all the bases. Here are some things to be thinking through:

  • Is it possible they aren’t ignoring you on purpose, but you feel left out anyway? 
  • Is it possible 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? 
  • Does your family do a lot of their communicating and planning get-togethers on social media… and you are not active in that particular arena?

RESOLUTION AND RESTORATION ARE IMPORTANT. DON’T RULE THEM OUT.

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 part of your life, there’s a good chance that your whole life feels off-kilter. 

You can try to work toward a resolution.

Maybe you’ve thought through the above scenarios or possible explanations… but you still don’t have peace of mind or clarity. If there’s any chance you said or did something that offended a family member, there’s one place to go for answers… your family. 

You can try to be direct but non-confrontational with family members.

Either there is nothing there and you’re worrying over nothing or something IS there. Use “I” statements like, “I feel like I’m being ignored by family. Did I do something? I 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.

You can try to find a mediator between you and your family.

Ideally, the mediator should be a neutral party… one that everyone involved knows and can trust won’t be taking sides. They can keep the conversation productive. They can also help everyone understand what people are feeling and communicating. The person mediating should work to de-escalate emotions, ease tensions, and ease communication.

IF YOU’VE WORKED TOWARD RESOLUTION WITH NO SUCCESS, HERE ARE SOME NEXT STEPS.

  1. Come to terms with what you can and can’t control.
  2. Take care of yourself physically. This includes diet, sleep, and exercise.
  3. Stay in touch with your feelings and emotions. Try journaling.
  4. Cultivate a support system. Have friends and mentors in your life to whom you can vent. Let them support you and help you process emotions.
  5. Get professional help. Resentment, anger, anxiety, and depression are serious.

You can’t control your family, but you can control how you take care of yourself. There’s no telling what the future holds, but for now, move forward with your life. Be your best self.

Other helpful resources:

Image from Unsplash.com

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