If you’re like most people, you’ve gotten into an argument with someone and said something (or had something said to you) that was hurtful. Sometimes people say things when they are mad, even though they don’t mean them. These arguments often happen with those close to you, like your mom. At times, it might feel like your mom hates you — especially if she says she does in the heat of an argument. Even if your mom said she hates you, though, she probably didn’t mean it, and she most likely felt bad afterward. If you feel like your mom hates you, there’s potentially quite a bit to explore and unpack. While every situation is unique, you may find that your mom doesn’t hate you at all but is instead dealing with issues in her own life. So, what are some of the reasons someone might feel this way, and what can you do to address the situation?
Why Do I Feel Like My Mom Hates Me?
You may have many reasons for believing your mom hates you, and they may not be related to fighting at all. Maybe your mom treats you differently from your siblings. It could be that you feel this way because you don’t spend enough time together, or you could think she is too critical of you. While not an exhaustive list of possibilities, the following are some things that could be going on.
Being Treated Differently
If you think your mom hates you because she treats you differently from your siblings, you should know that many people have this concern. It’s completely normal. Parents sometimes do not realize they’re treating their children differently, so it may be a good idea for you to speak to your mom about it. Although it can be difficult, as being treated differently for long periods of time can impact your mental health, it can help to talk about it with your mother.
This is a good time to let her know that you feel like she’s treating you differently than she treats your sibling(s). You can bring up the fact that you’re concerned about it because you think that she might feel negatively toward you. Most likely, she will be surprised you feel that way, and she may immediately let you know that she doesn’t hold negative feelings toward you.
Communication is very important when you have feelings like this. If you keep things to yourself, it can lead to resentment, and your mom may never know how you feel. Without this important information, she might not ever be able to fix the problem, which could lead to you continuing to feel as though she hates you. So, consider speaking up to your mom and letting her know how you feel.
When you have issues with self-esteem, you may feel as though people are judging you, or even that they hate you. In reality, that’s not likely the case. These are sometimes internalized thoughts and feelings arising out of your interpretation of people’s words and actions toward you. People might never tell you that they hate you, but you may overanalyze and assume they do. This is an issue that can be addressed so that you can live with a healthier attitude towards yourself. You don’t deserve to feel as though the world is against you or as though you’re unloved.
Sometimes, family can contribute to difficulty with self-esteem. If this is true for you, you may seek the aid of a therapist or counselor.
Her Actions Feel Unloving
You might not be able to think of anything specific that causes you to feel as though your mother hates you. It could be that your feelings come from years of words and actions that you now interpret to mean your mother doesn’t love you. Perhaps your mom went through personal mental health-related concerns when you were a child, but those words still stuck in your mind. People can sometimes unfairly take out their emotions on their children. The emotional hurt that her actions or words caused may leave you wondering whether she meant the things she said in the past. If this occurred when you were younger, it may feel like an unresolved concern because an apology never took place.
Maybe your mom still says less-than-kind things to you today. It can help to remember that people express and receive love in different ways, so understanding how you need to be loved is important. Perhaps your mom is a “tough-love” type of person. Maybe she thinks she is helping you out by critiquing your outfit, significant other, or grades. She may think she’s showing you love, but these actions may not be what you need at the time. In fact, they can be downright hurtful, and they likely have the opposite of a positive impact — regardless of the intention.
When you know how you want to be loved, you can more effectively talk to your mom about how you are feeling and come up with solutions to improve things. If you know she is too hard on you, you can express that to her and ask her to be more sensitive. Remind her that not everyone appreciates tough love and that it can have real implications. Work to set boundaries and consider seeing a counselor or therapist together so that you can communicate more effectively. A mental health professional may be able to ease any worries a parent has about not giving their child tough love or give them alternate ways to strengthen their bond with you.
No Quality Time Together
Alternatively, you may feel like your mom hates you because you don’t spend enough quality time together. We live in a very busy world, and everyone handles their time differently. Also, many households today have both parents working full-time jobs, often leaving very little time to spend with their kids in the midst of busy schedules. So, your mom could be trying to juggle a lot of things at once. You may feel bad when she chooses to do another activity instead of spending her free time with you. It is OK to feel bad about this and to want to spend more time with your mom. She may want to spend more time with you, too, but hasn’t been able to — and this doesn’t mean that she hates you.
Your mom is likely a busy person, doing a lot of things for you without you even knowing. She may work all day, help take care of the house, care for your other siblings, and more. This can be even more time consuming if she is a single parent. It’s possible that she is so busy trying to take care of the family that she forgets to take a break and simply spend time with you. If you are an older sibling, she might forget to spend one-on-one time with you, outside of taking care of the younger kids. This doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you. So, give her the benefit of the doubt and try to recognize that she is so busy because she loves you. Think about what she does all day, like working, cleaning, cooking, taking you to practice, calling you, etc. This could be her way of showing you that she loves you.
She Doesn’t Know How You Feel
Have you told your mom how you feel? You may need to help her realize how her actions make you feel. It is possible that she doesn’t recognize how you are feeling and thinks your feelings are unrelated to her or her attitude toward you. Find a calm time to talk with her, when she is not in a rush or trying to take care of one of your siblings. Also, be prepared to be assertive when you two sit down. You may need to explain clearly how you are feeling so she fully understands. This can be difficult to do if your emotions have not always been well received. But your courage, honesty, and independence will likely be appreciated by your mom.
When you two sit down, you’ll be able to tell her how you feel when she doesn’t spend time with you. You can tell her you feel left out, lonely, or forgotten about, and then let her know that you would like to spend more time together. You might even offer to help with some of the household responsibilities so she’ll have more free time. Propose the idea that you two do chores together, rather than in separate rooms. Maybe, you two can go for walks after dinner. She’s likely unaware of the impact she’s having on you, and she would probably love to make time together a priority. Consider coming up with ideas together and even making room in your schedules. When you do this, you two can develop your relationship and form an even closer bond.
She Is Overly Critical Of You
Another reason you may feel like your mom hates you is that she says or does things that are negative or critical toward you. It’s possible that she’s trying to help you learn to be your best. As mentioned above, she may be a tough-love type of person; or she may just be critical in general. But there is a line that is often crossed when people are overly critical of each other. When it gets to the point of intentionally tearing you down and making you feel insecure, her behavior likely needs to be addressed. Whether your mom realizes she is being hurtful or not, that type of criticism can make for an unhealthy relationship.
You can still give your mom the benefit of the doubt that she may not realize that her words are hurtful. She may think she is trying to help you be your best self. This is a common misunderstanding between parents and children. They try to shape you to be the best adult possible, and that can come off as unnecessary critiquing. Generally, though, there is a point at which being overly critical is unhealthy for your self-esteem.
So, consider bringing the issue to her attention and asking her to be gentler with you. If she has any feedback about your behavior, she can give it kindly, sensitively, and with consent. If your mom has trouble changing this pattern, you might be able to make a plan together with a licensed professional.
You Ignore The Way You Feel
Do you ignore the way you feel? Many times people ignore their emotions because they assume their feelings aren’t valid. Remember, you are feeling the way you are feeling for a reason. Instead of just ignoring it and hoping things improve, it could be time to let your mom know how you are feeling. You don’t want her to feel defensive; rather, you may want her to understand what you need. Your feelings deserve to be heard, and you deserve to feel loved by your mom.
What if you feel as though you can’t talk to anyone about how you feel? Perhaps you don’t feel comfortable talking to your mom about how you feel like she hates you, or you aren’t comfortable with the way she is speaking to you or treating you. Maybe you’re having trouble with boundary setting. You can use “I” statements (e.g., “I feel sad sometimes when you criticize me.”), or if you aren’t 100% sure how to navigate the situation, you may consider getting support from someone like a licensed therapist.
This can be hard, but talking to a therapist can help you understand and process your feelings and learn how to communicate in an effective way. A therapist can even talk with you and your mom in a session if this is something you’re open to. This may be the most effective solution if you don’t feel comfortable talking about your feelings with your mom directly.
My Mom Hates Me: Violence And Abuse
If your mom is abusive and actually says she hates you on a regular basis, reach out to someone about this. If applicable, talk to a teacher or school counselor and let them know exactly what is going on at home. It’s important for you to remember that this is not your fault. A parent telling a kid that they hate them is a form of abuse. And there is no reason for a parent to abuse their child mentally, emotionally, or physically.
If you are physically or mentally hurt by your mother, it’s essential that you tell someone. If you cannot tell someone at school, tell another trusted person in your life, find a medical or mental health professional, or reach out to a hotline with resources. People who love each other argue sometimes, and many times they say things they regret, but if you feel like you are in danger or you are being hurt or left alone for long periods of time, you should contact a responsible adult immediately.
Please reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800.799.SAFE (7233) if you or someone you know is affected by abuse. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ways To Cope When You Feel Like Your Mother Hates You
If you think your mother hates you, the resulting emotional turmoil can be intense. There are a few things you can try to lessen this load.
Taking a break and doing some deep breathing or using other coping skills can help when you feel very upset. Deep breathing has been shown to lower anxiety and improve cognitive function. You might be surprised by how much this technique helps you! It may even help you verbalize how you are feeling to your mom when you two sit down to talk. Instead of wondering, “Does my mom hate me?” you two can have a calm, heart-to-heart conversation so that you can gain clarity.
Another thing you can try is taking a break. Sometimes, walking away from a situation is the best way to gain clarity. If your thoughts are shrouded by doubt, take a moment away to clear your head. Then you can come back to the situation and deal with it. Even though your mom is reassuring you that she does love you, the doubt in your mind may make you feel otherwise.
Finally, getting a different perspective can make a big difference. When we are too close to a problem, it can be hard to see potential solutions, but an outsider can often help. A licensed counselor or therapist is also a great tool to have in your pocket. They can also help you build your reserve of coping skills for high-stress moments if needed.
Finding a provider to work with face to face can take months, but online therapy makes it more accessible. The counselors at BetterHelp are accredited and have thousands of hours of experience helping people cope with and move through challenging family connections as well as other potential obstacles. The platform is entirely remote, making it both easy and convenient to get support. No matter how you choose to start your journey in therapy, the important thing is that you find the right provider for you so you can get the care you need.
Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing similar matters.
“Christina has been with me through some pretty dark times. She has helped me feel heard and acknowledged, and she has given me the tools to feel strong when in the past, I wouldn’t have had the strength. I am beyond grateful for her guidance in navigating some pretty rough emotions.”
“Alisha has let me view situations in another perspective. Like the stressful times I’ve gone (still going) through with my family and my work. I’m really grateful for her time to listen to what’s on my mind and really making me comfortable to share so much with her. Thank you, Alisha!”
Getting the right help can be essential when working through challenging times in life. If you believe your mother hates you, or you need general support related to family life and other topics, there are several avenues you can take to improve your situation. With the right tools, you can move on to a happier life with more fulfilling relationships.