Did you miss the most recent family holiday gathering because you felt like you weren’t wanted due to being the Black Sheep of the family?
Or maybe you went to the event and even being surrounded by lots of people, you felt lonely because you felt like you just didn’t belong?
There are many different reasons that people might feel this way.
Here are some of the most common. Which one do you identify with?
- Your family is not happy with your choice of profession. They think you would be better off if you followed a more traditional family line of work.
- The person you are dating or married to doesn’t fit into your family’s standards of the person they would like you to be with.
- They are hung up on your past about activities or people that you associated with that they didn’t approve of.
- Religion is an off-limits topic because you broke the cardinal rule and strayed from the family religion.
- Everyone in the family looks at you as the Rebel so that makes you feel like it is always a ‘me’ vs. ‘them’ mentality anytime you are around them.
- You have a sense of ‘worthlessness’ anytime you are around your family because you never seem to be ‘good enough’ or ‘as good’ as so-and-so.
- You disagree with the way a situation was handled within the family.
- Whenever you see a child in the family receiving discipline you hear the parent exclaim, “This is for your own good because we don’t want you to end up like ____(insert your name).”
What can you do if you are faced with one of these or even a different reason for believing you are the Black Sheep of your family?
Eliminate Unnecessary Worry
It is important that we realize that the way people treat us is actually a reflection of them and their own internal issues they are trying to deal with.
Yes, you may have made some pretty serious mistakes in your life, but name ONE person that has never made one! Just because you made mistakes doesn’t mean that you are the source of all that is wrong in your family.
Try not to waste your time trying to justify your choices to them whether it is the way you dress or who your life partner is etc. If however, you are hurting yourself or others with addictions or abuse, listen to the concerns of professionals. And then remember, YOU are ultimately responsible for your behavior. Your family may be trying to help albeit in a fashion that you may not understand. Realize where their heart is.
Bring It To Their Attention- Demand Respect
Have you discussed your feelings with them? Maybe they don’t even realize how their actions or words are affecting you.
Tell them how you feel. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to them in person, think about writing them a letter in a respectful tone addressing your feelings. Avoid using ‘YOU did this’ statements and stick to ‘how this made me feel’ statements. No one can deny you what your feelings are because they are just that- YOUR FEELINGS.
Even if we are not in the most favorable light with family members, we all deserve to be treated with the utmost respect. Make sure you treat others with respect and that you demand to be treated with respect as well.
Stand up for yourself when it comes to sarcastic comments or mean jokes, etc. Immediately address these in a direct and respectful manner. Make sure they understand that these comments or actions are inappropriate. Then let it go.
Remember: You Aren’t What People Say You Are
We are all unique.
Sometimes, people in our life may weigh us down with their desires and expectations. Because of not following these expectations, we begin to believe that we are the problem and then beat ourselves up over this.
What about you? You can continue to allow others to ‘nit-pick’ at your life and how you are not fulfilling their dream or you can show them who you are and be PROUD of being the unique person that you are.
“The world needs that special gift that ONLY YOU have.”
– Marie Forleo
Let Go Of The Black Sheep Label
Are you creating a label for yourself that no one else sees? Or are there people that actually refer to you as the Black Sheep?
Hang out with people who ‘get you’ and celebrate you and accept you the way you are. Ask them for support or reach out for professional support if needed.
Be willing to let go of being identified as the Black Sheep or ‘rebel’, even if it is the only way you have come to address yourself. You CAN redefine who you are. Let go of that part of your past so that you are not taking that feeling into your workplace, school, and other relationships apart from your family.
While we cannot control others and how they act, we can give up our story of being the Black Sheep and be the person we were meant to be by demonstrating compassion to our own self.
What actions can you take to redefine who you are and let go of the past? Please share your comments below.
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