Ah, unsupportive family – how do you deal with them?
Your family and friends are supposed to be your biggest fans. They pick you up when you fall. And they support you unconditionally.
Oh, what a world that would be! Well, we know that’s not always the case. Sometimes, your own family is the first to criticize and prevent you from reaching your goals.
They’re the first to tell you, you’re not smart enough, not big enough, not strong enough, etc. Or that you don’t have what it takes to go after what you want.
It can be devastating when the people you love and respect the most seem to always disapprove of your choices. But you can still stay focused on your goals, even with an unsupportive family. Let’s explore how.
How does having an unsupportive family affect you?
There are so many ways growing up without support and supervision affects a person negatively.
Several studies found that neglectful and unsupportive family dynamics create unsafe environments for children.
And the feeling of being unsafe doesn't leave them as adults, which leads to unhealthy habits and increased risk for mental health disorders.
When you're working towards achieving your goals, here are some ways having an unsupportive family can affect you:
You give up on your goals
Lack of support is a reason people give up on their goals. In fact, a survey by Global Dreams showed that half of the world's women population have chosen to stop pursuing their dreams.
But giving up their ambitions to pursue more achievable goals left the women deeply unhappy with their lives. That’s no way to live either.
You stop telling them about your plans
When you share your plans and you’re met with criticism, mockery, or outright disapproval, you’d probably decide to stop telling your family any of your plans.
Although this act is good to keep the peace, it’s also a sign that you no longer trust your family. All of which could create distance in your relationship.
You become resentful and pull away
As an adult, you can acknowledge that each person is different and some people can’t give you the support you need. But you’re also human, your wants and needs include a strong support system.
So, if you constantly receive a lack of support when you’re pursuing your dreams, you may become resentful. In some cases, the resentment and disappointment you feel may cause you to pull away from your unsupportive family.
How to focus on your goals when you have an unsupportive family
No matter how much we want family members to support us and be this or that, you can only change yourself.
So, stop trying to get your family to see it your way, and focus on accomplishing your goals instead. Check out the list of unsupportive family quotes we have below for inspiration.
Here are a few things you can do to respectfully get your family on board. And how to go after your dreams even when you don’t get their support.
Share your reasons for your goals
First of all, you don’t need to share your plans with everyone. But for the people you want active support from and feel they’re not giving you that, sit down with them and have an open and honest conversation.
People who love you and care for you want to support you, but they have questions. So, listen to their concern and try to understand where they’re coming from.
Then, share your reasons behind your goals. Help them understand what you’re trying to accomplish. If they’re open to hearing more, let them know where you are in your goal such as if you’re at the starting line or have already made headway.
Tell them why their support is important to you. You can even go into specifics and let them know the kind of support you would like to get from them.
Don’t look for approval
When you share your goals with people, whether they’re your biggest fans or a member of your unsupportive family, make sure you’re not looking for approval. Because if you’re looking for validation, then you’ve already given away your power to choose for yourself.
It’s natural to value the opinions of people you care about. It’s also normal that you want them to value the same things you do.
But stay firm on your goals and the choices you made for yourself. Don’t question your dreams and abilities because of your unsupportive family’s negative reactions. And don’t let their disapproval shake your self-confidence.
Let go of expectations
Expectations put too much pressure on relationships. They’re a surefire way to experience disappointment and resentment.
People, even those who love us, can only give what they are capable of. Some people simply don’t have the capacity to support you in the path you chose for yourself.
No matter how hard you try, your unsupportive family may never acknowledge it and cheer for you. And that’s okay.
You have to let go of that need for people to validate your feelings and beliefs. Remember that your dreams are more important than the opinions of others.
Find other support systems
If you have an unsupportive family or even unsupportive friends, find other support systems. Everyone needs a strong support system, especially when you’re going through big life changes. But that doesn’t always mean family.
Build a network with your friends, mentors, and people who can provide the support you need. Aside from helping you succeed, having a supportive network can also reduce stress and improve your health and happiness.
So, choose to create meaningful friendships and relationships over dwelling on your family’s lack of support and disapproval. Go out, meet new people, and expand your social circle.
And remember that the easiest way to find friends is to be one. Supportive friends are essential to staying focused on your goals. They make life easier, they celebrate your wins, and they can keep you accountable.
Set boundaries with yourself and your family
Boundaries are standards you set that guide the kind of behavior you expect from others. Since you can’t change how people will treat you, use boundaries to protect yourself.
To successfully establish boundaries, get clear on why they’re important and why you need to put some in place. In this instance, your reason could be so you can still pursue your goals and love your family.
You may feel a lot of guilt and shame for setting boundaries, especially with family members. That’s why you need to understand why you’re creating boundaries.
Otherwise, you won’t know how and when to enforce them. And it will wind up looking like a parent threatening to take away a non-existent toy from a child.
If you don’t have any boundaries in place already, build them up slowly. Or else, it could all become overwhelming and you’d give up the practice entirely.
19 Unsupportive family quotes
Unsupportive family quotes are everywhere on the internet. That shows you how common it is, unfortunately. Although, it’s not much of a consolation, here are quotes about unsupportive family to let you know you are not alone.
Quotes about how difficult an unsupportive family can be
1. “If a man’s character is to be abused, say what you will, there’s nobody like a relative to do the business.” – William Makepeace Thackeray
2. “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.” – Robin Williams
3. “A big shout out to all the kids who grew up in an unsupportive family while they hear about another supportive family around them: You have a life worth living, you are strong and brave.” - Unknown
4. “Some of the most poisonous people come disguised as friends and family.” - Unknown
5. “It’s not the cruel criticism from folks who hate us that scares us away from our Knowing; it’s the quiet concern of those who love us.” – Glennon Doyle
Quotes about unsupportive family that reflect how families should be
6. “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.” – Richard Bach
7. “Everyone needs a house to live in, but a supportive family is what builds a home.” – Anthony Liccione
8. “Being genetically related doesn’t make you a family. Love, support, trust, sacrifice, honesty, protection, acceptance, security, compromise, gratitude, respect, and loyalty are what makes your family.” – Unknown
9. “Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you are.” – Unknown
Quotes about unsupportive family that show you how to deal with them
10. “Don’t worry about the family that ignores and acts like you don’t matter, love the ones who are always there for you no matter what.” - Unknown
11. “It’s nearly impossible to blaze one’s own path while following in someone else’s footsteps.” – Glennon Doyle
12. “At some point, you realize that your parents are humans. They make the best they can with the options available to them.” - Unknown
13. “No one will believe in you until you believe in you.” – Robin Sharma
14. “Set healthy boundaries with unsupportive people. Release hurts by forgiving, bless their hearts, and then farewell to them.” – Unknown
15. “Letting go of toxic people in your life is a big step in loving yourself.” - Unknown
16. “Sometimes, you have to move on without certain people. If they’re meant to be in your life, they’ll catch up.” – Mandy Hale
17. “You may feel guilty for leaving your family behind, but you’ll never regret moving forward.” – Unknown
18. “You can love them, forgive them, want good things for them…but still move on without them.” – Mandy Hale
19. “To be a champion, you must believe in yourself when no one else will.” – Sugar Ray Robinson
We hope reading these unsupportive family quotes lifts your spirit and inspires you to go find the ones who’ll support you.
Go after your dreams even with an unsupportive family
When all is said and done, all we could hope for is that we lived for ourselves.
Unsupportive family members are free to express their opinions, but you don’t have to take them to heart. The choices you make should be your decision no matter how much you love your family.
Build a network where you can share your goals and get the support you need. Take advice from people who’ve already achieved what you’re trying to do or who’ve been in your position.
Let go of the ideas weighing you down. Start taking action towards your goals and trust that you will meet the right people who can propel you forward.
And if you need more encouragement, we offer other articles about family and money for you to check out.