No One Cares About Me: What Can I Do To Find Support?
Updated January 31, 2019
Reviewer Stephanie Deaver, LCSW
When you say the words "No one cares about me," you may feel extremely lonely, sad, and depressed. Yet, when you reach out to a healthy support system, your life is going to change for the better. It will take time and effort to gather support for yourself, but it's well worth the effort.
Why Is It That No One Cares About Me?
The first thing to do is look at why you feel that no one cares. You can start by looking at your life situation as objectively as you can. Is it really true that they don't care? Or can it be that they just aren't good at showing it? You might feel like no one cares about you if you've just moved to a new location and don't know anyone yet. Or, perhaps you've chosen to be around people with too many problems of their own to notice your emotional pain. Have you allowed yourself to receive support from others or have you turned people away?
Look to Your Extended Family
If you feel that no one cares about you, you've probably already exhausted the possibilities of support from your immediate family members. Yet, there may be members of your extended family who are more caring and compassionate. Do you have family members who might spend time with you if they knew you needed them? Consider everyone you know. If someone seems like they would be a good friend, give them a chance to get to know you better.
Join a Support Group
Think about what life categories you fit into. What is your relationship status? Do you have a specific challenge that others might be facing, too? Do you have interests that others might share with you? Look online or in your local area for groups or chat rooms where these subjects are discussed. If you join in on the conversation, you can get to know people who understand your situation in a way people outside the group can't fathom.
Shift Your Focus
Sometimes we get so focused on what we want or need from others, that all we can focus on is what we don't have. You will always feel empty if you are unable to look outside of yourself and have a more outward focus. Give service a try. Not only will serving others help them, but in return you will gain a greater sense of yourself and your own worth. Also, service may be a great way to meet people and make new friends. Realizing that you can have a positive impact on others and in the community will help you feel better about yourself and this positive energy will attract others towards you.
If you want to serve but don't know where to get started, try checking out a local volunteer website such as https://www.unitedway.org/get-involved/volunteer or https://www.justserve.org/ that can provide you with service opportunities in your area. If participating in something big seems too overwhelming, just start with something small. Maybe there is one person you know who is going through a hard time and you just listening to them or helping them with something small will make a big difference. Yes, you may be going through difficult circumstances, but serving others gives you new perspectives and realizations that can help you understand your own problems better.
Have Realistic Expectations of Others
Having realistic expectations of what others should do for you and how others should treat you is imperative when it comes to protecting yourself from feeling unloved, lonely, and forgotten. Avoid the temptation of comparing yourself to other people. You may know someone who always seems to be getting attention and help from other people and this may cause you to feel jealous or frustrated. However, comparing yourself to them will only make you feel worse. It's okay to learn from them. How do they ask for help when they are need? Do they do anything that helps them build relationships with people that put them in a better situation to receive support? However, it's important to realize that everyone's situation is different and there may be things going on that you are not aware of.
In addition, realize that everything you see on TV is not how things usually work in real life. It seems like on television the main character often has an involved support system who seems to know just how to help him or her at just the right time. Unfortunately, this is not usually very realistic. In real life everything does not evolve around you as it would if you were the main character of a television sitcom. People are not perfect. Although they may care, they may be so wrapped up in their own problems that they are unable to always be there for you, even if they would like to. Sometimes you just don't know the struggles that other people are going through that may be preventing them from reaching out to you, but it's not because they don't care.
Be Aware of Thinking Errors
The way you interpret your experiences can have a great impact on your emotions. Sometimes, our minds trick us into believing certain things are true, but in reality we are very narrowly focused on one small aspect of a situation or viewing it through a distorted lens. Next time you catch yourself having those feelings of loneliness, give yourself a reality check. Are you using any distorted thinking? For example, did one person forget to call you, and now you feel like nobody cares? This is called "All of Nothing thinking", where you view things in extremes. Just because one person lets you down, does not mean all people will let you down. Another example is using the error of "Should Statements." You have thoughts about what other people should do and when that doesn't happen, you feel upset. Learning to catch these types of thoughts and working on reframing them into more rational thoughts will lead to you having more positive feelings and behaviors. Working with a counselor to help you identify these cognitive distortions could be greatly beneficial.
Communicate Your Needs
If you feel lonely or forgotten, most likely people just don't know you feel this way. Learning how to communicate your feelings and needs in an assertive way can make all the difference in whether or not you get what you need from other people. Instead of passively hoping someone will reach out to, try being assertive. It can be scary to reach out when you aren't sure how someone else will respond, but don't let feelings of fear or rejection hold you back. Tell someone, "Hey, I've been feeling like I need to be more social lately and was wondering if you'd like to go out to dinner one night this week." If it doesn't work out don't take it personally or read too much into it, just try again with someone else! Waiting around for others to reach out to you can make you feel very hopeless and defeated. Sometimes you need to be the one to make the first step. Who knows, someone else may be feeling the same way you are!
Talk to Someone Who Knows How to Care
A licensed therapist is someone who has spent at least a part of their adult life giving people caring support. Chances are, they wouldn't be in the profession if they didn't have a genuine feeling of compassion for others. They also know how to help you learn to manage your feelings you might have, that you're unlovable or worthless. As you build your self-esteem, you'll be better able to find the support you need to feel healthy and happy.