This past weekend a second cousin of mine got married. Within hours of the event every single member of my family that was present started sharing photos from the event. I was not invited, which I understand, because I’m not particularly close with the person that got married. What bugged me was the fact that these people will scream “family needs to stay together” from the rooftops, but will only include the people that they like from the family. I am excluded from family.
This may sound like a bitter loner that is fighting to seek the attention of her family members, but I don’t think it is.
I am a young adult that just wants to learn from her family so that I can step into a new decade with knowledge of my roots.
It’s hard to do that when your own family doesn’t want you around.
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Excluded from Family: 2004 AD
I remember the days when my family would all gather for Christmas or birthdays.
Hell, we would all go to Abuela’s house every Sunday afternoon after church.
The days of all gathering together are so far gone.
The last time I remember all gathering together was the Christmas after Abuela passed away in 2004.
The only times I feel like I am invited to family gatherings is when someone passes away.
The last time I remember for sure being with family was when my uncle passed away 3 years ago.
It hurts every single time I see cousins my age post photos together from their various outings or a screenshot of their groupchat messages.
Feeling like a loner in my own family
I have always felt like a loner but I didn’t think that I’d ever feel like a loner or outcast in my own family.
It has gotten to the point that my own immediate family doesn’t want to include me in things.
They don’t support my blog in any type of capacity but will support someone else’s business when it is convenient or beneficial to them.
In fact, I recently put myself out there and shared my blog link in a family groupchat and not a single person even acknowledged my message. It was almost like it didn’t even happen.
I don’t yearn for my family’s approval.
I yearn for the feeling of family and togetherness that we once had and wishing people would stop putting themselves on a fucking pedestal and treat others with respect and compassion.
This is such a big thing missing in my family right now. This is why I am excluded from family. They don’t value the same things as I do.
Everything has become such a competition and I HATE IT.
I’m sick of the fake attitudes. If you have something to say to me, then fucking say it. Don’t be all passive aggressive with me because you feel some type of way. If I don’t know what’s bothering you, then how am I supposed to know?
What I learned by being excluded from family is….
This past year has taught me a lot about my family and the number one thing is that they don’t know how to talk to people.
Rather than calmly talk over an issue or problem, they prefer to talk to other people not directly involved with the problem and have them join their “side”.
To me this feels like they’re “drafting” people for their team like the NFL does every single year.
Why? Who knows? I thought families were already “teams”.
Beginnings of Exclusion
I have felt left out since I was a young child.
Mainly because I didn’t look like everyone else. I was a hairy child; inheriting that from my dad.
It was easier for me to just stay by myself.
As I grew older, I wanted so badly to fit in.
I wanted to have the nicest Mary-Kate and Ashley and Limited Too clothes. Wanting to play the wife when we played “House.” But, I was never casted for that role.
I was always the single mom because I wasn’t pretty enough to be the wife or I didn’t have the right “look”.
Being excluded from family can be damaging as a child into your adult life.
I feel like it was so hard for me to find and keep friends because I was always doing something to make myself fit in.
I would change my hair style or save my money to be able to buy the Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirt or even put on wild and crazy makeup just so I stood out.
None of it worked. All of those friends ended up leaving and my family seemed to distance itself away from me.
7 Healthy Ways to Deal with Being Excluded from Family
Here are my 7 ways that I was able to cope with being excluded from family in a healthy way:
1. Acknowledge the situation and allow your emotions
It is so important to allow yourself to feel whatever feelings that are arising.
It has taken me nearly 26 years of allowing myself to feel these emotions. I would be so angry and sad about not being included.
This past weekend I really allowed myself to sit with those feelings and allowed myself to just feel them. I allowed myself to feel the suffering and then did something to trigger a relaxation response.
For me, that included meditating and reading a book that I’ve been enjoying (For those wondering, I’m currently reading, We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union and it is literally the best book ever! I relate to Gabrielle so much. 10/10 would recommend)
Allowing yourself to feel the emotions and then soothing yourself really is important because it prevents you from immediately lashing out and regretting it later.
2. Reach out to someone
Talk to a friend about how you feel.
Grab lunch with a colleague.
Reach out to people in a supportive community.
Don’t allow yourself to stay excluded.
If it is connection you desire, find it with someone you know will be supportive.
My mom and I were in constant communication all weekend because we were both feeling left out. We were able to comfort each other by proving an ear to listen and shoulder to cry on.
3. Calm negative self-talk
It’s normal to have major negative self-talk when you feel left out or rejected. Some of these phrases include, “Everyone is mad at me.”, “Everyone hates me.”, or “They intentionally excluded me.”
Don’t allow your fears to become the forefront of your thinking.
These fears will continue to contaminate your thoughts in every aspect of your life, if you allow them to take root now.
Try making 2 lists: one listing the evidence that supports your fear and another that lists the evidence that refutes the fear. You’d be surprised by how much fear your brain makes up on its own.
4. Shift your mindset
You just found out that your worst fears are in fact true, now what? Try reexamining what you value in relationships and ask yourself if your relationships reflect what’s important to you.
Seize our opportunity to shift your perspective and be grateful for what you learn from the rejection.
Fill in the blanks foe these two sentences and you’ll see just how much your perspective will change for the better.
“That’s great because _________________________“
“Thank you because ___________________________“
My examples for the wedding would be, “That’s great because I can focus my energy on people who are more worthy of it.” Or “Thank you because now I have the energy to devote to something or someone who truly matters to me.”
5. Strengthen your self-confidence
These can start with basic things such as sleeping well, eating well, and moving our bodies. It also works its way into bigger things such as saying affirmations such as:
- My life and relationships are up to me.
- I will get through this,
- I am worthy of good things
- My life is a miracle
- I am worthy of love.
Saying these affirmations a few times a day with purpose will strangely start making those things appear into your life. The law of attraction is such a wonderful thing. You can check out how I was able to manifest $2,000 in 21 days here.
6. Approach the person
If you’re feeling left out often or the one situation that you’re dealing with is extremely painful, try having a one-on-one, face-to-face conversation with the person.
Be prepared going into the situation to not be accusatory or angry.
Do it in a calm situation.
Pointing the finger at them by saying things such as “you did this…” will not help the situation AT ALL.
Use calm language that will allow the other person to actually hear and understand you.
7. Remind yourself that the pain will subside
Rejection or exclusion feels really painful at first and with time you slowly started to feel better. You are so strong and have gone through it before. You can do it again!
Excluded from Family: Reflections
I’m writing this now still as a hurt person, but also as one who accepts all of the pain from the past and has pushed forward to become a better version of me.
One who doesn’t seek the approval of others. One who does things that make her happy no matter the consequences.
I am so happy and proud of the person that I have grown into after enduring a lot of exclusion in her life.
For anyone that is feeling excluded from anything, know that you are not alone and that there are so many people that have gone through it and have come out stronger. If you connected with this post in any type of way or want to add anything to it, please feel free to leave a comment below. I’d love to connect with you.