Everyone knows it. It’s not a secret, you’re the black sheep of the family. The rebel. The one who doesn’t “quite” make sense amongst the rest of the family members.
But How Does It Feel Being The Black Sheep Of The Family?
It’s not that you are necessarily disliked by your family; as the black sheep, you could be incredibly loved or yes, incredibly disliked by everyone who shares your DNA.
What defines you as the “odd man out” in your tribe could be traits that endear you to your loved ones. But no matter what, embrace who you are. Being like everyone else is boring anyway.
Here are 10 signs you’re the black sheep of the family.
Family dynamics are rough sometimes!
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1. You look different.
You look almost as if you’re the mailman’s child. Sometimes, your own parents wonder where you came from. It’s as if they mistook you for another newborn at the hospital.
2. You gave up religion.
If you have a religious family, and you decided to give your family’s religion the middle finger, oh, child, you’re most definitely the black sheep of the family. This can be a contentious state, for sure.
3. You aren’t close to anyone.
If you find yourself struggling to make good close relations with your family, you might just be the black sheep of the bunch.
4. You followed an unusual career path.
Your family is full of doctors and lawyers, and you decided to skip college to become an actress. This is the talk of the whole family. People can’t quite understand why you made such a choice. It doesn’t seem very smart to them, so during every family gathering, it’s brought up in some way or the other.
5. You have nothing in common.
You’re the only one in a family of athletes who can’t kick a ball. The only one in a family of extroverts who is painfully shy.
You always manage to be different than the rest of your family, each and every damn time.
6. You’re a train wreck.
Your family is full of perfectly put-together saints. And you? You’re an utter wreck. You’re the family embarrassment most of the time, as much as you hate to admit it.
You feel like every single failure glares out from amongst the success of your whole family, and it sucks big time.
7. You’re ridiculously successful.
Or the flip side, your family is full of major wrecks and there you are: a saint, a do-gooder, top of the class, picture-perfect, Martha Stewart-type (without the tax issues).
Your family is jealous of your happiness and success. They shun you for this unless they need you for something. If that happens, then they are all over you, kissing your butt and making requests of you.
8. You’re always the last to be invited.
If there’s a family outing, you’re the last invited … if you’re invited at all. Your family doesn’t make it a secret how they feel about you, yet they try to make it look like they truly care about you to outsiders.
However, outsiders can even tell that your family ostracizes you.
9. Your family expects the worst from you.
They hold your uniqueness against you. Don’t be surprised when your siblings gossip about you.
Often, your parents will exclude you from their good favor and fortune, and instead bestow it on another sibling, even if you need it more, just as much, or that sibling doesn’t deserve the help.
10. You’re secretly admired.
You’re the black sheep, but many of your family members admire you. They look up to your desire to stay true to yourself, rather than constantly worrying what everyone else in the family thinks or wants you to do.
You make no apologies for yourself and it’s known that you’re “just that way.” Even if your family doesn’t agree with you, they still secretly admire your chutzpah.
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5 Ways To Cope With Being The Black Sheep Of The Family
1. Remember your chosen family.
Were in a day and age where blood doesn’t mean family. A family could be so many other things. But in truth family are those who choose to be in your life.
Therefore you should focus on your chosen family and create lasting bonds and connections with these people to fill in for the people who don’t understand you.
2. Establish and maintain personal boundaries.
If you choose to cut off those within your family that throw around petty insults when you’re around, that’s completely okay to do. Your mental health and personal identity are way more important than ‘family’.
Choose the people you want in your life and set clear boundaries with your family. Don’t let them walk all over you or try to change who you are. This is your life and you get to decide who and what you are.
3. Redefine how you look at being the black sheep.
Being the black sheep of the family could in a weird way be a blessing. Being left out from a toxic environment cultivated by toxic people may not be a bad thing after all.
This way you won’t pick up their traditions or characteristics and can lead your own life.
4. Practice self-love.
It can be hard to love ourselves, especially in today’s world, and having those unrealistic expectations along with a family who dislikes you for who you are can be more than hard to deal with.
But you should never let them get to you. Practice loving yourself. Have self-care days and do them often. Be connected with your true self and treat her with kindness.
5. Be yourself.
Don’t ever dull your shine to avoid offending others, especially your family. These people were supposed to not only accept you for who you are but encourage you to be who you are.
So be your beautiful self and never change for anyone.
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Laura Lifshitz a comedienne, writer, Columbia University graduate & ex- MTV personality, a contributor for the Huffington Post Blog, PopSugar Moms, HuffPost Live. Read her rantings on sex, marriage, divorce, parenthood, and life on her site, frommtvtomommy.com.