How to Cope When You’re Feeling Unwanted

Updated on September 29, 2020

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ilustration picture of person who is feeling unwanted

Humans are made to create connections with others. This is evident in how we live as families, create friendships, live in communities and societies, fall in love, and even in how we adopt and love pets. Just as natural as your need for connection is your feelings of loneliness and feeling unwanted when you don’t have the level of connection that you want with others. If you are feeling unwanted, don’t give up, you can feel better.


Feeling Unwanted: Why & What You Can Do


Is It Anxiety?


You might be feeling unwanted if you suffer from anxiety. Your anxiety may be causing this because it makes you feel unworthy of love, or perhaps your anxiety is coming from a lack of self confidence or a negative self-image. If you have constant anxiety, you are likely over-analyzing every detail of your interactions with others until you have planted doubts about how they feel about you. If you are feeling unwanted you should take the time to check if those feelings are truly based on the actions of others or just the doubts caused by anxiety.


Feeling Unwanted In Toxic Relationships


You can feel unwanted in any relationship, from strangers to close family and friends. While feeling unwanted usually comes from a lack of attention of well-meaning people, it can also come from negative or even harmful attention.

If you are feeling unwanted you should make sure that the relationship isn’t a toxic one. In a toxic relationship, the other person is abusive and manipulative. They feed on your pain and sorrow and are actively trying to hurt you. If you find yourself in a toxic relationship, you should cut ties with that person and seek help.


Feeling Unwanted In Family & Friend Relationships


You may be feeling unwanted by your friends or family because they seem to ignore you, or they feel distant. Often, this happens because they are focused on what is happening in their own lives. They may be extremely busy or stressed, leaving little time and thought for reaching out to you. If this pattern continues, you will feel more distanced from them and even more unwanted.

Thankfully, people often don’t typically stay overwhelmingly busy for long, so the situation may naturally improve on its own. If it doesn’t you can be the one to start a change and work with your friends and family to recover your connections and build even stronger ones.


Feeling Unwanted In Romantic Relationships


You might be feeling unwanted in your romantic relationship. Whether this relationship is newly budding, or you have been together for a long time, feeling unwanted here can be especially painful. In your romantic relationship, you may experience the same lack of attention and time as with friends and family.

You can also feel like you are never heard, that your needs never matter, and you may feel like your partner has no interest in being emotionally or physically intimate with you. Once again, if they do care for you, you can work with them to improve things. If they don’t, then perhaps you should consider ending the relationship.


How to Cope When You’re Feeling Unwanted


Express Your Needs


The first thing that you should do when you feel unwanted is to talk about it. Express your feelings and needs to those that are leaving you feeling unwanted. They might get defensive and be a bit hurt initially, but if they truly care for you, they will be willing to listen and work with you to find solutions.

When you are sharing your feelings, it is best if you can be specific about what you feel and when. Say, “when you do ____, I feel unwanted because ______.” Or “when _______ happens, I feel that my need for ______ isn’t being met.” If you can be honest with yourself and others, you are more likely to work through the problems and find solutions.


Start the Connection


If your friends, family, or romantic partner seems to be growing more distant, you should act now to try and rebuild that connection. You will need to be the one to reach out to them. You can’t just wait for them to find time for you. Set up times to call them, get together and chat, or spend time together doing an activity. Even if they can only spare an hour, take the time and do something to reconnect.

You can also be the one to reach out to new people to fill your need for human connection. If you want to be a part of a group, join one or start one instead of waiting for them to extend an invitation to you. Being active in your effort to feel wanted will give you a sense of satisfaction and will be way more effective than passively waiting for affection and connection to find you.


Be Your Own Best Friend


At the end of the day, you can’t make others want you. If your attempts to express yourself have fallen on deaf ears, and your relations don’t want to spend time with you, you need to be your own best friend. It may take practice, but it will be worth it.

Conceptually, being your own friend is simple. Just think of what you would want from a friend and be that for yourself. Go out and do fun things even if no one wants to come with you. Provide yourself with encouragement and motivation. When your hard work pays off, be your biggest fan, and celebrate your successes. Use your inner voice to reassure and speak kindly to yourself.

A good friend cares about your needs and helps you meet them, so be aware of and take care of your needs. Be honest with yourself and get to know yourself the way that a best friend would. Friends build each other up and help each other reach their full potential. Do this for yourself.


Feeling Unwanted Should Never Define You


Don’t let your feelings of being unwanted define you and confine you to a place of misery. You are so much more than these temporary feelings. It’s okay that you feel unwanted, but you don’t need to obsess over and romanticize these feelings. That won’t help you at all.

Instead, take the time to consider what you do want to define you. If you are a musician, play music. If you are an artist, make art. If you want to be known for your humanitarian work, go serve others.


Find Fulfilment


Whomever you want to be, take the time to become the best you possible. Doing so might mean enhancing the skills and qualities that you already have. It might also include learning new skills or beginning new hobbies. You are worth the time, energy, and money to better yourself and find purpose in your daily living. Chances are that as you are following your passion you will find others that will want you in their social circles. And if you don’t find others that want you, as your own best friend with a clear vision of who you want to be, you will want you. And that’s enough.

– – –

When you’re feeling unwanted by others, it’s easy to feel sad and lonely. But your feelings can be improved, even if you can’t change what others think about you. Let this part of your life slide away. Open doors for different, better, happier, and brighter things. Choose joy and rest assured that the better days are on the way.

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