8 Signs Your Family Doesn’t Care About You & How to Deal with It

Do you think your family ignores you? What are the signs that your family does not care about you?

Here are some of the ways to best deal with it:

Maryann W. Mathai, LPCC, NCC

Maryann Mathai

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

A sign your family doesn’t care about you is when they show you overt and covert forms of abuse and neglect

As a trauma-focused therapist, I spend most of my time helping anxious and depressed adults process childhood abuse and neglect. Most of the time when we think about abuse, we think of the more obvious and overt betrayals like physical and sexual abuse.

Yet, there are also many red flags in a family dynamic that are difficult to identify because of how nuanced and covert they are. Notice whether your family ignores your boundaries, dismisses or invalidates your feelings, or only connects with you because they need you to do something.

They ignore your boundaries

Boundaries are limits set between yourself & others as a part of a healthy relationship. They are signals, borders, and stop signs that make it clear to others what is acceptable for you and what isn’t.

Families who don’t care about one another routinely ignore or dismiss the boundaries you’ve placed to make you feel safe.

An example may be a parent who regularly stops by unannounced no matter how often you’ve asked them not to. When you ask them to call beforehand, notice whether you begin to feel guilty for stating your needs. The family members who hear you and try to change really care.

They routinely prioritize their own emotions & dismiss or invalidate your feelings

An example is of enmeshed family members who call you multiple times a day when they’re in distress so you can calm them down, but they end the call without ever asking how you are.

I work with clients who have gone through abuse and finally built up the courage to share it with their families, only to be met with silence, disbelief, or ridicule.

Yes, families are important but if you find yourself regretting every time you vulnerably share with them, it could be a sign your family is unhealthy.

Gina Handley Schmitt, MA, CMHS, LMHC

Gina Handley Schmitt

Psychotherapist | Professor | Author | Speaker

When your family of origin is not available for meeting your needs

When they are distant, dismissive, or demeaning, it might be a sign that the relationship is unhealthy. Whenever this is the case, it is important to initiate a conversation about how we are feeling about the relationship dynamic and to specifically communicate what we need and want.

Related: Signs of Toxic Family Relationships and What You Could Do About Them

If our family is unable to hear and respect these requests, it may be time to consider stepping away for a period of time.

We can reallocate some of that emotional energy into creating a family of choice – people who are capable of showing up for us and providing consistent care for us.

We cannot choose the families we are born into, but we can choose to invest our time and energy in relationships that are healthy for us.

Adina Mahalli


Certified Mental Health Consultant, Enlightened Reality | Family Care Specialist, Maple Holistics

They leave you out

It’s hard to figure out the line between regular family drama and your family simply not caring about you. Signs that they don’t care include them leaving you out of family events or not telling you about major milestones.

Things such as not celebrating your birthday or coming to visit you and your children are also indicative of your family not caring about you.

Look out for these warning signs so that you know where you stand within your family. If you see these things happening, consider ways to fix the issue or simply distance yourself from your family in order to protect yourself.

Ben Taylor

Ben Taylor

Writer, Write Blog Earn | Entrepreneur | Career Coach

It’s easy to find yourself thinking certain family members “don’t care” about you – but it’s not usually as simple as that

In some cases, it could simply be that different people have different styles of communication.

Family members are a lot like friends – some put in a lot more effort than others.

Some support your endeavors, take an interest and check in with you regularly, while others can seem more aloof. Others may genuinely not care, and only ever initiate contact when they want something!

Broadly, the solution is to appreciate the good ones and ensure you reciprocate and try not to lose too much sleep about the others. And before assuming that a low level of contact means, conclusively, that a specific family member doesn’t care about you, consider other possibilities.

Everyone has their own priorities and their own challenges in life.

Sometimes, somebody, you hear little from would still be reliably there for you should you ever desperately need them.

Eddie Johnson

Eddie Johnson

CEO, Anabolic Bodies

They are always canceling plans

Flaking on a person or appointment is an indication that you have more pressing concerns. If your family members are constantly canceling plans, then you are not a top priority in their lives. While everyone cancels plans occasionally, if this is a recurring trend, then you should be worried.

The best thing you can do in these situations is to open a dialogue.

This is most important if you are having issues with a significant other. If you suspect that there is still lingering tension over a previous event, then it is best to bring it up and offer apologies if possible.

Of course, if the family member in question is not someone who lives with you, then you may also want to reconsider your dynamic with them. Sometimes family members grow more distant as they get older, particularly if they have families of their own.

Dane Kolbaba

Dane Kolbaba

Entrepreneur | Owner, Denver Party Ride

They fail to give time for you

Time is one thing we can never take back — it’s our most important and finite resource, and I think when loved ones fail again and again to make time for you and be with you in your most important moments in life or simply be with you because you miss them, then that’s when you know they don’t care about you as much as you want them to.

They have other more important things to spend their time on and if it’s what they choose to spend their time on, yes, accept that it’s more important than you at that moment.

Related: What Are the Most Important Things in Life?

Dealing with your pain in a healthy way means evaluating your relationship, and how you yourself deal with them.

Do you make time for them the same way you want them to make time for you? Do you let them know that it’s important to you?

It would be difficult, but it’s worth it to risk opening up yourself to potentially more pain by having an honest and open discussion.

A lot of people end up living in their own bubble where they don’t realize that they’re hurting you, and putting in the effort to communicate fairly means the possibility of saving that relationship, and it is healthier than it’s ever been.

And if that fails, then at least you know that you tried and you did your best, and will have no regrets (or at least less), when you leave that relationship behind and find others more deserving of your affections.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to Do When You Realize Your Family Doesn’t Care About You?

Dealing with the realization that your family doesn’t care about you can be incredibly difficult and emotional. Here are some steps you can take to help you through this challenging time:

• Acknowledge your feelings: It’s okay to feel hurt, sad, and disappointed when you realize that your family doesn’t care about you. Acknowledge these feelings and give yourself permission to feel them.

• Seek support: Surround yourself with people who care about you and will listen and support you. This could be friends, a therapist, or a support group. Talking about your feelings can help you process them and feel better.

• Focus on self-care: Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Eat healthy food, exercise, get enough sleep, and engage in activities that bring you joy. Doing these things can help you feel better and boost your self-esteem.

• Consider therapy: A therapist can help you work through your feelings and provide you with tools to cope with difficult situations. They can also help you identify any patterns in your relationships with your family and give you guidance on how to improve them.

• Set boundaries: It’s essential to set boundaries with family members who don’t care about you. This may mean limiting or ending contact with them. Only you can determine what is best for you.

• Move forward: Try not to dwell on the past and focus on moving forward. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people, and engage in activities and hobbies that bring you joy.

• Create your own family: Surround yourself with people who love and care about you. This can include friends, coworkers, or a significant other. These people can become your new support system and help you build a fulfilling life.

Is It Okay to Distance Yourself From Family?

Yes, it is okay to distance yourself from family. Family relationships can be complex and challenging, and taking a break from them can be a necessary step to taking care of your own well-being.

It’s important to remember that everyone is entitled to set boundaries for themselves and determine who they want in their lives. This includes deciding whether or not to have contact with family members. 

It’s also crucial to find alternative support systems, whether it be friends, a support group, or a therapist, to help you cope with the stress and challenges of family relationships. Seeking professional help can be particularly useful for those struggling with maintaining healthy relationships and those dealing with more serious issues such as abuse or trauma.

How Do You Escape a Toxic Family?

Escaping a toxic family can be complex and challenging, but it is possible to create a healthier and happier life for yourself. Here are some steps that may help:

• Acknowledge the toxic behavior: This can be difficult, but it is vital to recognize the patterns of abuse and dysfunction to start the healing process.

• Set boundaries: This can include telling them that certain behaviors are unacceptable and communicating the consequences if they do not change.

• Seek support: Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family members, and professionals who can provide you with the emotional and practical support you need. 

• Protect yourself emotionally: Limit exposure to toxic family members and avoid situations that trigger negative emotions. This can also include reducing contact with them and seeking alternative forms of support, such as therapy.

• Create a safety plan: If you feel physically threatened, it may be necessary to create a safety plan. This may include seeking a restraining order or finding alternative living arrangements.

• Focus on self-care: This can include practicing self-care activities, such as exercise, healthy eating, and hobbies, as well as seeking professional help to deal with the emotional impact of the toxic relationship.

Remember, healing from a toxic family environment takes time, and you must be patient and kind to yourself as you navigate this process. Seeking support from professionals or a support group can also be extremely helpful.

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