Are you the black sheep of your family? Do you dread having to deal with people in your family that you know don’t like you? The author provides her personal experience as well as tips she uses when dealing with her own family and in-laws.

They may love us, but they don’t like us. They have proven that by the way they react to us during times when they should be supportive; instead, they are distant. They roll their eyes when we speak. They quickly get off the phone with us when we tell a story. They talk about us behind our backs. They don’t bother to give us any words of encouragement when we are down, they withhold affection and praise. They spread gossip about us and then lie about saying anything to our faces. They find excuses not to buy things for us or our families. They will not go out of their way to do anything for us.

My story isn’t one I am proud of but I think for purposes of this article, it is one that may help someone who feels like they are the black sheep in their family and no one seems to care about them. Years ago I hadn’t noticed any signs that certain family members just didn’t like me, until I talked to other family who told me so. I asked these family members, who brought me a bone and most likely would carry one back, why? Why wouldn’t they like me? A few attributed it to jealousy and others said that they just didn’t like the choices I made in life. It wasn’t that I had done anything that would cause them to resent or even hate me, I guess I was one of those family members who got along with everyone regardless and some didn’t feel that I should.

When I began to look closer at the way they treated me, it became obvious, they didn’t like me. I reasoned that it was because I didn’t always take their advice, that I didn’t consistently acknowledge birthdays and other holidays, because at times I chose boyfriends and jobs over spending time with them. At first I was hurt by the reality that my family was treating me like a black sheep, why? How could they use the excuse of having no money not to visit me when I needed them most? ( I live 3000 miles away and have been back to see my family several times since my move and no one bothers to come out and see me.) I have made up so many excuses these past four years for them when people asked me about their coming out to see me to the point that I can’t keep track of all of them. How could they acknowledge other relatives with children by giving them their money and time and overlook my children more often than remember them? How could they be judgmental of my lifestyle when they were no angels? It wasn’t like I was a drinker, smoker, or gambler. It wasn’t like I chose someone of the opposite race or the same gender. Maybe if I had done these things, it would be easier to understand why they didn’t act like they liked me very much since those choices went against their views. I thought maybe I gave them too much ammunition to use against me by sharing too many details about my personal life for them to judge me; therefore they wouldn’t want to see me.

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  • unknown on Mar 31, 2010

    Yeah its hard though, dealing with the thought of not being liked, when you’ve done nothing wrong. Its a sickening feeling, a stab in the heart, a kick in the stomach, a spit in the face feeling that I get out of it that I cannot deal with.

  • Jessica on Jun 20, 2010

    I love your article you spoke exactly what I needed to hear, I’ll pray and continue to hold my head up high no matter what my family continues to hold against me, thank you!

  • Tina on Jan 5, 2011

    Wow! Your words seemed like you were talking to me. Although some of your circumstances were different, many of the emotions and struggles were right on and are similar to my struggles. The one big difference for me is that my family has replaced me with another family. They now spend “family celebrations” with another family and lie to me about it! It is so hard not to have my heart broken by this, but your article helped. Thank you for your encouragement.

  • Dollbaby's Grandaugter on Aug 25, 2011

    I too am a black sheep in my family. Why I dont know I’ve never done anything to them. I havent been around them except when we would go visit. I’m not welcome in their home, I cant call them and talk to them you know just for emotional support or just to talk and get to know my cousins my age. I recently found a cousin who is several years older on facebook she now lives in LA is a native of Hartford. I had no idea she was a director. I only wanted to become reaquainted with her and to find out about other relatives as I have two grown children now and an 18mo old and I want them to know their relatives. Well I guess that wont happen I guess they are not interesed in us because I dont fit in their circle I dont have money or own my own home or have a college degree. This really hurts these are my grandmothers nieces, nephews and their children. I thought families are supposed to be close knit, supportive, embracing huh thats a joke to me. I asked two of her nieces awhile ago for a place to stay 60-90 days I have housing assistance and only needed to stay until my paper was transferred guess what I was turned away and it was just me and they wouldnt take me in I’m not some drug addict or thief. My granny would have never turned them or their children away never! She always welcomed them in her home would send fruitbaskets,cards,money, gifts for special occasions weddings etc. I dont understand why they dont like me this is so painful that I cant go to any of my family and family is supposed to be there no matter what. Maybe if I won the lottery then they would accept me then I’d be able to fit in. Why dont they want me this really has me so depressed not being accepted by your own flesh n blood for no reason none at all! I hope that someone in my family reads this and knows just how painful it is to not be wanted,loved,accepted by them.But I know GOD will never forsake me, leave me nor abandon me never he is always there when no one else is I can call on him. The Clary-Williams Family Members all of you this is not the type of family I wish I was born in. Florida,Connectucut,California,Georgia, New Jersey

  • DOLL on Aug 26, 2011

    adding to my comment I didnt know what her status was
    (director) I didnt know this until after she responded back to my first message then I looked thoroughly at her facebook page and saw it, the second message no response I was hurt and I just had a feeling that she too would also shun me why?I dint want anything just a friend in my cousin someone to talk to thats all nothing more. I guess when you become famous in Hollywood you forget where you come from. So to all the black sheeps hold your heads high and know that god loves us if no one else does. Love peace and happiness.

  • Janet on Oct 4, 2011

    You have just said what I have been trying to say and deal with forever…..honestly you just saved my life and freed me to know there are others out there like me and recognize it. Thank you thank you thank you for this post. What freedom!!! I think I will celebrate!

  • workinitout on Oct 20, 2011

    Thank you for encouragment when I used to wear rose colored glasses, now I dont and they cant stop talking about me or using my sons fathers family to interact with my son. If you dont like me then please stay away from my child ;)

  • Michelle on Mar 5, 2012

    Thank you for writing this article. I thought I was the only one. Reading this gave me a new sense on what is most important. I’m the black sheep of my family as well. When my cousins and I were all children, I was left behind because I was quiet and nerdy. My mom liked to nag to the other children to get good grades like me, and I felt guilty that they had to put up with my mother’s constant attempts. I soon realized my mom’s good intentions though. Over time, I became enraged with the immoral things that my family has done to each other, and I felt like my family was not loving at all. I concluded last year that I should share what I felt with them. Unfortunately, dislike became hate, as they never saw me complain. And since it was about them, I think I was at fault that I attacked them instead of just expressing my feelings. I don’t know what happened in their heads at the time, but I was really, really sorry. And to this day, they are polite to me and I’m polite to them when we converse, because that is the adult thing to do. But when I try to sit next to them, they move off to another area to sit. And I’m left alone wondering if I was the worst person alive to have family turn against me. The feeling is terrible, and the lack of love really makes me feel unworthy of talking to anyone.

    I also considered making them gifts, because crafting is what I do best. I also wanted to do well in college so that they would acknowledge me. But I suppose that wouldn’t change anything.

    I do have people that love me though. My parents, my friends, and my boyfriend. They know me for who I am, and they don’t mind listening to what I have to say. Instead of feeling like I must gain acknowledgement from people that I believe I should get it from, I should just love the people that loved me from the start. No one matters more than those who you care for.

  • kron on Apr 16, 2012

    I am the youngest of 4 siblings one brother and two sisters. It has been really hard. My brother doesnt have anything to do us at all very harshly judgemental. my sisters and I can only seem to deal with one or the other and not all three. There always has to be an odd man out. I made a big mistake and got caught in the middle of thier hateful relationship with each other and now. I am the one out. Ihave decide to step out of it all togeahter.Now they continue to talk bad about me and my children as if their childrren are perfect and can do no wrong. My oldest sister gets information about me and my daughter from the other sister who is still in the same area and hears things about my daughter and my life then the older sister reports it back to my parents.I am fourty seven years old and it doesnt seem my parent who have relly never been supportive or careing need to know any of my buisness.The sad thing is it has trickled down to our three daughters and although they do hang out togeather its all smiles and giggles untill someone turns their back then here comes the knife. I have the live and let live attitude but they seem to always be trying to discredit me and mine.I have asked the one sister who we have named Brenda star to not dicuss my buisness with anyone but she just cant seem to do it. My other sister does not speak to me at all but when my oldest son goes to her house to visit ( they live in the same town) she always asks “so whats your mom up to to get info out of him.acting like she cares It is so frustrating to me because I have such bad depression and look at other families that care and are open and honest with eachother with out it ripping them into pieces. I have been working on alot of co dependant issues and accepting that this is just the way it is and pray for my family to stop competeing for my parent approval which I feel is the root of the problem. everyone wants to be the good and perfect one in thier eyes cause we never got that approval when we were younger. Its just hard to know we are wasting so much life and time that we could use to be a family. Thanks for writting this article its nice to know I am not alone but I do not feel good about your troubles cause I know how horrible it feels.

  • Narmy on May 7, 2012

    I’m the black sheep, for sure. My mother let my grandparents raise me. I grew up with my grandparents and aunt. My aunt had children, and we kind of grew up together. My mother started having kids that she actually wanted. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I don’t fit in with any of them. My cousins have each other, and I’m out. My sisters have each other, and I’m out. My grandparents died, and my mother still doesn’t like me. I actually can’t even visit her, because my daughter has dog allergies. I asked my mother to watch my children for a night, and she wouldn’t put her dog outside because, “It would make him sad.”

  • KIA on Aug 6, 2012

    I’ve been getting this feeling lately with my family that they find me annoying and bothersome. I’ve been getting the feeling over the years that I am unwanted at family do’s. I always pretend that I am tired and want to go home early so I don’t have to sit on my own. It’s got a lot worse lately there was a fight and I got the brunt of the blame. Someone had said something nasty about another person and everyone had a bit to drink. I got angry over it and argued. They all blamed me for it and said I should have stayed out of it. I probably should have I know that but when that person wasn’t there to defend themselves (a person I care a lot for) I felt I had to say something and I know rightly my mum and aunt would have done the same thing if they heard it. My dad and mum have been supportive and said that I was just defending this person. I’ve been hearing things that they all find me annoying and hate to spend a lot of time with me. When i’m at these do’s they are all nice to me and chat with me but when my back is turned they say things like I can’t stand her, I wish she never came. Apparently my aunts and uncles agree also. I probably have done something or maybe I need to change myself I don’t know what I’ve done. The person I argued with had always had something against me. at do’s she blanks me and no one sees this. My mum says she’s always had something against me.

    I’ve always tried to please everyone by trying hard at school which I’ve worked my way up to getting a masters and no one had congratulated me over my last degree. I like to make things and felt I had to make things for them. I know i’m not perfect no one is but its hurtful when you see your family doing this to you. Maybe in time I’ll learn to accept that they don’t like me.

  • Fran on Sep 30, 2012

    My son treats me terribly . always abusive and blames me for things I havn’t done and now his daughter (my grand daughter seems to be following in his footsteps and doesn’t want to see me. I invited her down but all I got was abuse.How do I forget them and get on with my life as my health has suffered because of it.

  • Nadia on Oct 21, 2012

    Hi. I’m currently experiencing the same thing and I feel so… alone. I was raised by my father because my mother cheated on him and decided to abandon us. Thanks to him, I went through school, college, and now I’m working to get a master’s. I’m currently living with my dad again, since my school is close to my childhood home. But it seems that my father and I continue to butt heads. Obviously, my sister and my stepmother side with him and they try to talk to me here and there, but it’s probably only because they feel obligated. I have a boyfriend that my father hates because I lost my virginity to him (although I never intended to wait til marriage because my family is not religious at all…). Well, my dad can’t wait to find excuses and reasons to remind me of what a horrible choice I have made and how stupid I am for falling for this guy. He even wanted us to get married asap when he found out I lost my virginity to him which still confuses me because my father has never gotten married and my stepmom and him started dating when she was a teenager. He could have been her father…. Anyway, today, he said I’m just like my mother and that I always make myself out to be the victim. He made it very clear that he just dislikes me. he may love me… I’m hoping so, at least. But he sure as hell does not like me and he’s all I have. I don’t know if my boyfriend will be the one… I don’t know if my friends will stick around. I always relied on the permanence of family… that if my friends left me and my boyfriend broke up with me, that I would at least have my family. But now, I’m not so sure… and it really sucks.

  • Jade on Oct 28, 2012

    My step dad just gave my mom the her or me ultimatum and she decided to have a talk to me about me going on welfare and finding an apartment. I am 18 and in 10 months I am supposed to be away at college. I am devastated that the entire family that I currently live with dont want me around. I’m scared, I’ve never been so alone before

  • lala on Nov 5, 2012

    Well , im not the most prettiest nor the most talented in the family . For that reason , i feel like im the “left out one”. I have only one cousin (mariah) who has supported me when i needed the support. I have always wondered , why don’t they like me ? Did i do something wrong ? What did i do wrong ? If so , how can i change it ? Years after had gone by and i realized some of it was jealousy and some is just hatred itself . Also i had not taken advice others in the family had wanted me to , even the most littlest things . In life one must stay , positive and confident , because others will always try to drag our sucess down including family . You must change for no one but yourself .

  • lala on Nov 5, 2012

    Well , im not the most prettiest nor the most talented in the family . For that reason , i feel like im the \”left out one\”. I have only one cousin (mariah) who has supported me when i needed the support. I have always wondered , why don\’t they like me ? Did i do something wrong ? What did i do wrong ? If so , how can i change it ? Years after had gone by and i realized some of it was jealousy and some is just hatred itself . Also i had not taken advice others in the family had wanted me to , even the most littlest things . In life one must stay , positive and confident , because others will always try to drag our sucess down including family . You must change for no one but yourself .

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