Blood boils quicker than water. Wait, that is not the saying, but it is nonetheless very true. We find ourselves expressing anger and often feeling hatred toward those we are supposed to and do love the most. Feeling such a strong emotion as hatred toward family is often unsettling and frightening. After all, our family is supposed to have our backs when no one else ever does. Right? Sometimes it seems our family stabs us in the back when no one else ever would.
It could be that part of the reason why we feel anger and even hatred toward our family is because we are not supposed to: it is forbidden. Therefore, what happens is we quash justifiable anger over small slights or disagreements until things reach a boiling point and then what was anger feels like hatred. When we feel hatred for a person or an object, we wish it gone from our sight. It becomes painful to us, and it is a reminder of how uncomfortable a relationship has become. It may be that there is guilt involved, which causes us to lash out and feel hateful emotions and say hate-filled words.
When we feel hatred toward anyone, it is uncomfortable. When we feel hatred toward a family member or our entire family, it can consume us. In order to overcome these feelings, we must first consider the origins of the hatred. The next step is to think about the things we actually like and even love about our family.
If your frustration and anger vents itself as hatred, there are a few things you could try. Being able to express your emotions is important because it helps you process them and doesn’t 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 emotion expression is to keep a journal.
All In The Family
Families can be embarrassing. Often, we feel we hate our families because they make us afraid of introducing anyone new into the equation. In family sitcoms, we see this often. The dad in the family is so settled in his ways, he has no problem being rude at the dinner table. Or the mom who talks incessantly about nothing. These are, of course, stereotypes, but stereotypes come from somewhere.
It is often the family member viewed as the “black sheep,” the family outcast, who feels such emotions. It may be that this individual has never been accepted. This lack of acceptance 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.
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 feel compelled to end that relationship. When that relationship is with our relatives, we feel stuck. That leads us to feel hatred toward the object of our "stuckness."
Many of the reasons listed above are not 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 try to help the family. We try to love the family. However, these attempts can make us sick to our core, because the sorts of families listed above 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. 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 is a good, viable option. If you are being abused in any way, you likely need more immediate help with more stringent boundaries.
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 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. 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 is 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 for common types of talk therapy, when working on issues that aren’t very severe, online 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.
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.