Sometimes I Hate My Family

Updated November 25, 2022by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Sometimes we find ourselves expressing anger or even feeling hatred toward those we are “supposed to” (and often do) love the most. Feeling such a strong emotion as hatred toward family can be unsettling and frightening. After all, we often harbor certain expectations about what family should represent. For that reason, it can feel particularly hurtful when one of those people who was supposedly on our side then betrays or upset us.

Is Hatred Negatively Affecting Your Life?

Forbidden Emotions

It could be that part of the reason why we feel anger and even hatred toward our family is because we may feel that are not supposed to: it may feel forbidden. 

Therefore, what often happens is we may quash justifiable anger over small slights or disagreements until things reach a boiling point and then what was anger can feel like hatred. When we feel hatred for a person or an object, we may wish it gone from our sight. It can become painful to us, and it can be a reminder of how uncomfortable a relationship has become. It may be that there is guilt involved, which can cause us to lash out and maybe feel hateful emotions or say hate-filled words.

When we feel hatred toward anyone, it can be uncomfortable. To overcome these feelings, we may first consider the origins of the hatred. The next step might be to think about the things we actually like or even love about our family.

If your frustration and anger vents itself as hatred, there may be a few things you could try. Being able to express your emotions can be important because it may help you process them and might not leave them built up in your body. If you’re in tune with yourself enough, you may even be able to express and explain those emotions better to other people, which may result in improved relationships. One way to start practicing emotional expression could be to keep a journal.

Lack Of Familial Acceptance

Lack of acceptance in families could be due to jealousy, perhaps over accomplishments of the individual that sets them apart and even above the rest of the family. Or perhaps this individual has broken a religious or a societal code that caused the family to at least emotionally ostracize them. Feeling hatred in these cases is a typical and normal reaction. Love cannot exist in a vacuum; if it is not reciprocated and nurtured, it cannot flourish.

Confusing Emotions

It may well be the individual cannot pinpoint the reasoning behind hateful feelings toward their family. That may be the most unsettling of all. If someone cannot identify the origin of anger or other strong emotions, it might be due to a lack of communication between that individual and the target of these emotions.

If families are simply going through the motions of being family, this can give rise to negative emotions such as anger and hatred. A family is our first relationship, and just like any other relationship, if the other party is not returning our affection or attention, we can feel compelled to end that relationship. When that relationship is with our relatives, we may feel stuck. That can lead us to feel hatred toward the object of our "stuckness."

Dangerous Families

Many of the reasons listed above might not be easy to deal with. But, for most of those situations, the family can be helped. You can learn to communicate in more healthy and better ways to make the family unit stronger and more accepting and support of one another.

However, there can be legitimate reasons to feel hatred toward one's family, such as if a family is violent, addicted to substances, or involved in criminal activity. Out of a sense of loyalty to blood and kin, we might try to help the family. We might try to love the family. However, these attempts can make us sick to our core, because the sorts of families listed above may have the means of dragging an individual down.

These sorts of families may also run the risk of physically endangering us. If you are experiencing domestic violence, consider reaching out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). The National Domestic Violence Hotline also points out that therapy is unlikely to work in abusive situations because of the inherent power difference and because the safe space of therapy doesn’t necessarily extend into the home. 

Remember that domestic violence can happen to anyone, of any age, gender, or demographic.

If you are under the age of 18 and experiencing abuse, ChildCare.gov will have resources specifically for you, including a hotline, 1-800-422-2253, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Remember: feeling frustrated with, embarrassed by, or like you don’t “fit in” with your family is one thing. If you’re still coming from a place of caring about one another and wanting what’s best for one another, then counseling can be a good, viable option. But if you are being abused in any way, you may need more immediate help.

Seeking Help

Is Hatred Negatively Affecting Your Life?

The old saying goes: You cannot choose your family. This may well be true, but, to a degree, you can choose how you deal with them. A licensed counselor can help you figure out the best ways to deal with your family, so that your safety and happiness are top priorities.

No matter how deep your issues may run within your family, the help you need is only a few simple steps away. You deserve to be happy no matter what your family says or does. Online family therapy can teach you skills on how to communicate more effectively with your family, problem solve better with your family, and create healthy boundaries. Or, if you’re in a position where you can no longer connect with your family, your counselor can help you cope with that and figure out what your new family will look like moving forward.

Online therapy can be one potential route to move forward. You might be curious if online therapy is a good fit for you. It may help to know that there’s been quite a bit of research on the effectiveness of online therapy so far. While your counselor will work with you to find the right approach, what the research to date indicates is that online cognitive behavioral therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy. The New York Times included some of that research in an article they wrote about the growth of online therapy at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

There are some other good reasons to consider online therapy. First, you don’t have to travel to an office. That might be especially helpful if it’s difficult to leave your home for some reason or if you have a particularly busy schedule. Second, online therapy tends to be more affordable than traditional therapy.

Below are some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing similar issues.

“James is a wonderful active listener. His real-world, down-to-Earth approach helped me with some very difficult family issues and relationship issues. I really value James and don’t know what I would have done without his help. Thank you, James!!” Read more on James Wilson.

“Molly helped me through one of the darkest times in my life. She really understands family dynamics and can tell how I'm feeling before I even know myself. I can't recommend her enough, I never knew I would be able to form such a strong bond with someone over the phone. She is a very kind, empathetic person. I am very grateful to have had the privilege to work with her.” Read more on Molly Duncan.

Takeaway

It's not uncommon to feel as though you sometimes hate your family. Remember that there is always a very reasonable cause behind these issues that can often be fixed with the right tips and suggestions. Even if you're in a situation where you can't leave your family, you can change how they affect you. All you need are the right tools. Take the first step today.

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