“Sometimes, I Hate My Family”: Why This May Occur And How To Seek Help

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated May 13, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Sometimes, we may 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 toward family members can be unsettling and even frightening. Hatred toward family can be the result of suppressing anger, experiencing a lack of acceptance, or living with unsafe* family members. Seeking help by reaching out to a therapist or another mental health professional can help you delve into these feelings and potentially strengthen your relationships with family members. You can find a therapist who meets your needs online or in your local area.

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 we are not supposed to feel this way. This type of emotion may seem to be forbidden. 

Therefore, we may quash justifiable anger over small slights or disagreements until things reach a boiling point, and then what was once anger can become hatred. When we feel hatred for a person or an object, we may wish it was 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 potentially 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 origin of the hatred. The next step might be to think about the things we like or even love about our family members.

If your frustration and anger vent themselves as hatred, there may be a few things you can try. Being able to express your emotions can be important because it may help you process them, rather than allowing them to build up in your body and mind. If you’re in tune with yourself, you may even be able to express and explain those emotions to other people, which may result in improved relationships. A couple of ways to start practicing emotional expression could be to keep a journal or try out various forms of art.

Lack of familial acceptance

A lack of acceptance in families could be due to jealousy, perhaps over accomplishments of the individual that set them apart from the rest of the family. Alternatively, perhaps this individual has broken some form of religious or societal code that led the family to choose to ostracize them. Feeling hatred in these cases can be a normal reaction. Love generally cannot exist in a vacuum; if it is not reciprocated and nurtured, it usually cannot flourish.

Confusing emotions

It may be possible that the individual cannot pinpoint the reasoning behind hateful feelings toward their family. 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 family members are simply going through the motions of being a family, this can give rise to negative emotions, such as anger and hatred. A family is usually our first relationship, and just like any other relationship, if the other party does not return our affection or attention, we may feel compelled to end that relationship. When that relationship is with our relatives, we may feel stuck, and this may contribute to feelings of hatred.

Dangerous families

Many of the reasons listed above might not be easy to cope with. However, in most of those situations, the family can be helped. You can learn to communicate more healthily to make the family unit stronger and more accepting of one another.

However, there can be legitimate reasons to feel hatred toward one's family, such as if a family is abusive, violent, or otherwise dangerous. 

If you or a loved one is experiencing abuse, contact the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Support is available 24/7.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline 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. 

It can be helpful to 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 has resources specifically for you, including a hotline, 1-800-422-2253, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Seeking help

Is hatred negatively affecting your life?

A licensed therapist can help you figure out the best ways to cope with your family issues so that your safety and happiness can be your top priorities.

No matter how deep your issues may run within your family, the help you need may only be a few simple steps away. Family therapy can teach you skills for communicating, problem-solving, and creating healthy boundaries. If you’re in a position where you cannot or do not wish to connect with your family, a therapist can help you cope and move forward individually.

Getting help can be simple with online therapy, which may empower you to get the professional guidance you deserve from the comfort of your home or anywhere with an internet connection. In addition, there may be multiple options for connecting with your therapist, such as online chat, audio call, or video call.

Studies indicate that both online therapy for individuals and for families can be as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy.

Takeaway

It's not uncommon to feel as though you hate your family sometimes. If you’ve suppressed anger toward family members for a long time, it can fester and eventually evolve into feelings of hatred. Similarly, living with a family that doesn’t accept you or is unsafe can also result in feelings of hatred. Living with these feelings can be detrimental to your mental health, and it can be beneficial to speak with a therapist in order to work through them. You may find a licensed mental health professional who can help you locally or through an online therapy platform.
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