A very true fact of life is that our childhood shapes us for the rest of our lives, and the people we spend the most time with as children is our family. Families can provide loving, nurturing, supportive homes for children to grow and develop in a healthy environment; but they can also ridicule, abuse, and ignore. Often times, one may be sidelined by other seemingly more important family members. Whichever path is taken, it will have a lasting effect on your psyche, emotional health, and feelings of self-worth, forcing someone to become the black sheep of the family. Don't think this has nothing to do with you; you might as well be that black sheep.
Signs You're the Black Sheep of the Family
You’re Super Independent
Even if it means you have to struggle, you insist on remaining independent from your parents. You don’t mooch off of them, or rely on them for any sort of financial support. Leaning on your parents for their money means you’d have to follow their standards, and you would rather live your life by your own rules.
Your Life Is Their Cautionary Tale
Your aunts and uncles tell your life story to their children as a cautionary tale, warning them that if they don’t shape up, then they’ll end up just like you. And what does that mean? It means they’ll become the black sheep of the family too… and also a total disappointment.
They Don’t Trust You with Their Children
Since you’re a bad influence on everyone around, especially children, no one wants you to look after their children. They don’t even want their children hanging around you at the block party. After all, if they spend too much time with you, your behavior and attitude (and maybe even your potty mouth) will rub off on them.
They Always Disapprove of Your Lover
It will never matter who you bring home, whether it’s a guy covered in tattoos, or a girl with a law degree, your family will not even give you and your partner their blessing. They don’t understand that you’re not looking for their approval and will be with whomever you choose, and that you’d just appreciate a bit of support.
They Don’t Support You
If you’re the black sheep of the family who has or is currently struggling with substance abuse, it’s unlikely your family will provide the support you need. They’ll put you down and call you a failure or a loser before you even try to take back control of your life. You’ll just have to rely on yourself to get through some of life’s hardest situations.
You Don’t Fit In
You and your family differ in so many big ways, like having different or opposing views on politics, religion, and, of course, your lifestyle. Just rise above the arguments, and don’t stoop to their level.
You Don’t Fit the Mold
Whether you’re a guy and you don’t want to crowd around the television with your brothers and uncles during the game, or you’re a girl who doesn’t stand in line to hold the new baby in the clan. You don’t fit the stereotypical gender mold and that disappoints your family; they see it as if something is wrong with you.
You Moved Out Immediately
Even if your family was against it, as soon as you could afford your own rent, you were out of there. You couldn’t wait to have your own safe space and independence. Add that to the list of reasons why your family disapproves of your lifestyle.
You Don’t See Your Family Often
It seems like most of the people you know go running home to see their family for every birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the like. You, on the other hand, like to keep your family visits minimum because it just becomes all too stressful once you’re there.
Family Gatherings Make You Feel Awkward
There’s nothing worse than a holiday or celebration that you’re obligated to attend because it makes you feel so awkward around your family. They invite you because it would be rude to do otherwise, and you go for the same reason, but everyone is aware that you are feeling out of place. At least, there’s always free food.
You’re Always Left Out
Family get-togethers are horrible because you always feel left out. Since you’re so often not around, no one takes too much time to bring you up to speed on all the happenings in everyone’s lives, so you end up sitting on the sidelines because you don’t feel like you’re a part of the family.
The Bad Memories Outweigh the Good Ones
When you reminisce on your childhood and teenage memories, it feels more like a bad dream than happy nostalgia. It’s hard to think about all the fights, misunderstandings and bad feelings, so you don’t even want to go there.
They Always Interrogate You
When you do see your family and the attention is on you, you can’t seem to avoid their incessant questioning. They want to know everything about you, and it just feels like they’re looking for more reasons to argue with you or let you know how your choices are poor. Keep your mouth shut and don’t reveal too much.
You Never Want to Introduce Them to Anyone Else
Whenever you’re dating someone new, the topic of family is one you try to avoid. Maybe you’ve even met their parents and found that they’re lovely. But when they ask you to meet your parents, you try to save them from the inevitable horror story that meeting will turn into.
You Can’t Relate to Your Friends Who Come From Good Families
Your friends who were lucky enough to come from good homes and loving families don’t understand you and your past. It’s difficult for them to imagine, since they don’t have your experience. When they try to get you to open up about your feelings, you get anxious or even resentful.
Your Friends Are Your Family
Even if you’re the black sheep of the family, with your friends you are a magical unicorn. Your amazing friends totally understand you and relate to you in important ways, and you also have so much in common with them. These friends become the family that you never had, and it’s super important for you to hold on tight to them.
You Often Receive Questionable Gifts
Your gifts during the holidays are always some sort of “get your life together” suggestions. It could be an electronic cigarette to encourage you to quit smoking, or a gym membership to get you in shape. Or the worst, it could be an online subscription to a dating website so you can marry someone that they approve of.