27 Signs A Family Member Doesn't Like You

Last updated on June 11, 2024 by Michelle Devani

The word ‘family’ is mostly associated with good things. People assume that every family member will be supportive, loving, caring, empathetic, and loyal to one another. Of course, if this was the case, the world would be a much better place. Unfortunately, many families are dysfunctional.

Why is this important?

Because many people mistake tough love for hatred and assume everyone that smiles and pats them on the back loves them. Plus, it's better to know the family members that actually love and support you so you can separate yourself from the toxic family members who don’t.

While that may seem easy, things are not always black and white. Your family dynamic may be more complicated than healthy. That’s why it’s essential to know what could suggest a family member doesn’t like you.

Hang in there and keep reading as I discuss 27 signs your family members are toxic and don’t like you.


27 Signs Of A Toxic Relationship With A Family Member

1. They Ignore Your Boundaries

A family that doesn’t respect your boundaries don’t respect you. They won’t mind pushing those values you’ve set to protect yourself, because they honestly don’t care. They’ll lie, scheme, and disrespect you while smiling and acting innocent about it. 

Remember, your mental health and well-being are important, reinforce your boundaries, and limit their access to you if that’s possible and necessary.

2. They Don’t Validate Your Feelings

they don't validate your feelings

When you’re living with toxic family members, your self-esteem may take a hit. Why? Well, everyone deserves an outlet, and the ideal place to express yourself is with family. 

If your family dynamic doesn’t let you express your feelings freely, then it’s toxic. However, is it just one or two toxic family members that constantly shut down your feelings? Or, do you feel everyone is trying to ruin your life? Ensure you differentiate purposeful guidance from toxic family members that actually take your opinions for granted.

3. They Ignore You

When you are in a toxic relationship, the other person may not bother communicating with you. This would make it easy for them to ignore you and make you feel like you’re not worth their time. It’s one of the signs your family members dislike or don’t respect you; they’ll simply ignore you.

4. They Play The Blame Game

When family members don’t dislike you, they’ll always try to make you feel like everything is your fault. When things go wrong, the toxic family members that dislike you would be the first to mention your name. They might even do so innocently, it’s left for you to decide to avoid them or not. 

5. They Don’t Try To Meet Your Needs

A healthy family dynamic will encourage all family members to be supportive of each other. So one of the signs that will show that a toxic family member dislikes you is when they fail to support your needs or life goals. 

6. They Try To Control Your Life

A toxic family member doesn’t want to see you happy. It’s only normal that they would ensure that by trying to control your life. They’d keep giving advice that keeps you within their reach and ensures you don’t make any spontaneous life decisions without them. 

While it’s important to have a loving family member guiding you, you’ll know if it’s a toxic relationship from the kind of advice they give you.

7. They Discriminate Against You

A toxic family member wouldn’t care about your self-esteem. They’ll gladly stand up if you sit too close to them, pick you last during games, or outrightly discriminate against you. They’ll talk about your weakness and speak disdainfully when talking about your personality. Don’t be wavered by this behavior, family members that act like this are not worth your time. 

8. They Cancel Plans To Meet With You

Have you had some family members cancel on you several times? You’re nice enough to invite them for dates, hangouts, and events, but they always come up with an excuse. These are some of the signs your family members aren’t supportive. They’ll do other things and go for other occasions, but once you invite them for yours, they’ll decline.

9. They Don’t Give You Time

When someone dislikes you, they’ll hardly give you their time. Some family members would rather mind their business, so if they aren’t outrightly toxic or mean, it’s better to leave them alone. Don’t try to repair a relationship that doesn’t need fixing. You can’t force people to love you, so try as much as possible not to cross any boundaries with such a family member.

10. They Threaten You

they threaten you

Some family members try to pretend when they are around nieces, nephews, cousins, or even siblings they dislike. But when the resentment runs deep, they won’t mind giving you a piece of their mind. If any of them threatens you, that’s the height of it. Don’t try to make it a life goal to make amends with them, not everyone is nice. It may be wise to sever ties with such a family member for now. 

11. Negative Criticism

There’s constructive criticism and negative criticism; the former is more healthy, but the latter only exists in a toxic relationship. People can tell what you’re doing wrong without putting you down. And even though they slip once in a while, it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. If your relatives are too rash with their criticism, that’s one of the signs you may have a toxic family.

12. They Belittle Your Accomplishments

Whether it’s a little victory or a major life accomplishment, your family should be your loudest cheerleaders. One of the signs that your family is toxic is when they are not. If they keep belittling all your accomplishments, then they are purposely trying to crush your spirit. Now, here’s the thing, some people can’t help being mean and bitter. 

They don’t mean to hurt you, but they don’t know how not to either. Of course, you still have to give such family members space until they get the help that they need and change.

13. They Talk Badly Behind Your Back

Some of your family members may say the nicest things about you when you’re around. However, once you leave the room, they’ll dissect your case like a lab experiment. 

As I said earlier, some of them can’t help talking about others, but that doesn’t still make it okay. The best thing to do is to distance yourself from such family members; they may not mean much harm but could end up creating chaos. 

14. They Are Cynical About Your Dreams

You’ve probably met more than two naysayers in your life, and maybe some of your family members fall into this category. They downgrade your opinions and say your dreams are childish and unachievable. Even though some people mean well when they dissuade us from making expensive and risky mistakes, it’s still important to correct them with kindness and love. 

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15. They Blackmail You

Yes, as awful as this may sound, a toxic family member won’t mind blackmailing you to get ahead or just see you punished. They’ll set you up, say bad things about you and even go as far as planting ‘evidence’ on you. Beware of such people, they may be your blood, but they don’t love you.

16. They Destroy Your Things

they destroy your things

A toxic family member could go as far as burning or tearing up your things just to prove a point. They won’t care how much it hurts you, especially if they have an ulterior motive. 

If you buy new clothes, have nice accessories, appliances or furniture, they won’t mind destroying it just to get you angry. Of course, they may apologize later, but while it’s important to forgive, you don’t want toxic family members ruining your life. You don’t have to cut them off, but set healthy boundaries if you can.

17. Gaslighting

When a family member manipulates you just so they’ll have the upper hand, it’s one of the signs your family dynamics are toxic. The sad thing is that a lot of times, we don’t see the warning signs. Yes, you may suspect that the family member dislikes you, but you won’t know when they are manipulating you.  

That’s why it’s better to be strategic with such family members, read the signs, and don’t take any of their actions for granted. If you’re patient and not quick to act, you may stop them from gaslighting you.

18. They Easily Get Angry At You

People that have a problem with you practically have you on a short leash. You don’t have to do much to get them angry; the mere fact that you are alive may even irritate them (hopefully it’s not that bad.) 

However, you can’t underestimate the signs of a toxic family member. Especially one that flares up at every little thing you do. If you can, stay as far away from such a family member as possible; if not for anything, consider your mental health.

19. They Can’t Maintain Eye Contact

When a person has issues with you, they’d rather not face you. But if you’re still talking to them innocently, they won’t be able to meet their gaze. It’s possible you don’t know that this person dislikes you, so relate with them as family. However, if you suspect that they don’t have pure feelings towards you, just follow their gaze. 

If they constantly avoid eye contact, it means they are avoiding long conversations with you. It also means they can’t look you in the face because of their ill intentions. 

20. Their Smile Seems Forced

Watch out for smiles that aren’t genuine. They are easy to spot, people either over-smile when they are being fake or give sub-par smiles. So, how can you tell which is real? Well, a genuine smile takes more muscles in your face to achieve. So observe their cheeks, under eyes, and forehead to check if their entire face is smiling with them, or it’s just their lips. 

21. Their Body Language Around You Is Off

Still, on the body language matter, a family member who doesn’t really fancy you will act closed off when you’re around. How can you spot this, you ask? I’ll tell you. How does this person act when you walk into the room? Does their face drop? Do they cross their legs or their hands? These are all closed body languages, they suggest that the person isn’t open to you

If it gets even worse, and they roll their eyes, then you don’t need a diviner to tell you that the family member dislikes you.

22. Things Are Awkward Between You Two

things are awkward between you two

When you hang out with your family, how do all of them behave? Better still, how does the atmosphere feel? Is it tense? That may suggest that one or more of them aren’t exactly your fans. They might go as far as making snide comments, talking in hushed tones, or avoiding direct conversations with you. 

Sometimes, they don’t even have to say anything, the awkward silence in the room is all the proof you need to tell that some of them dislike you.

23. Your Intuition Tells You So

Sometimes, people act so nice around us, it’s hard to tell who is who. Depending on the tips above might help to an extent, but if the individual is really good at pretending, you may not know their true intentions. That’s why you hear about sisters who backstabbed sisters or cousins who caused chaos in their houses. It all stems from unknown resentment.

That could mean that the family member has the element of surprise because you’ll never see it coming if you don’t know they dislike you. That’s why it’s important to depend on your gut; what, what body language and clear displays of disdain won’t show you, a sharp intuition will. 

Sometimes, you’ll just feel it in your gut, especially when both of you are in the same room. You’ll see through their fake smiles and attitudes and know how to avoid such family drama strategically.

24. Their Conversations With You Are Quite Short

Ask yourself this, will someone that likes you be dismissive? Especially when they are family? If you notice that this family member tries to keep conversations brief and would rather not sit and talk to you, that’s fishy. 

It’s excusable once or twice, but when it becomes too regular to ignore, maybe it’s time to set your own boundaries. 

25. They Compare You To Others

This point goes back to the ‘negative criticism’ sign; when someone you consider as family constantly compares you with other people, that’s toxic.

You know those aunts or uncles that can’t help mentioning how your cousin Stella is doing so much better, with her husband and two sets of twins? Yeah, those types. It may sound funny or cliche at first, but when they are constantly taking ‘innocent jabs’ all the time, that’s certainly toxic behavior.

26. They Set Unrealistic Goals For You Yo Achieve

When people want to ridicule you, they’ll push you to start things they feel you can’t finish. It’s almost similar to preparing a neat bed and placing thorns under, then kindly asking someone you’re supposed to love to lie on it. Okay, that may be more extreme, but you get my point. 

Such people would suggest you meet unrealistic goals each day or do certain tasks that will simply exhaust you. 

27. They Try To Cause Trouble With You

You know the famous adage, ‘let sleeping dogs lie?’ Well, sometimes, our families push the boundaries. They know the things that get you angry or make you sad, so that’s exactly what they’ll do when they want to get to you. In a case like this, it’s better to keep important information to yourself, the less they know about you, the better. 


What are the signs that someone doesn't like you?

There are many signs that someone doesn’t like you, and some of them include being emotionally absent when it comes to you, acting envious around you, never making eye contact, ignoring you, or talking badly about you.

How do you know if you have a toxic family?

A toxic family is one that’s too controlling, they’d rather punish you than actually discipline you (there’s a difference) they threaten each other and harshly criticize you. Plus, if they call you names and make you feel less or frustrated with your life, that’s another sign.

How do you react to a toxic family member?

It’s very important to set boundaries with family members that don’t like you. If you are still living with them, tell them as little as possible, and don’t feel pressured to divulge any major plans or accomplishments. Also, if you have the chance, sever ties with any toxic family member that poses a threat to your health and livelihood.

How do you tell if someone is lying about cheating?

When the person doesn’t make eye contact, always swears he's not lying, or does things that contradict what they said, that person may be lying

When someone puts their head down when they see you?

This is a sign that the person is either intimidated by you or is trying to avoid you. It’s a closed body language that people sometimes unconsciously express when they don’t like someone. They may also feel uncomfortable around you as well. 

To Conclude

I hope you enjoyed reading this list. It may be disheartening having a member of your family that dislikes you. But take heart, you can’t change people, but you can put yourself in a position where you’re less likely to be hurt by them. If this helped you in any way, please share this with others, and leave a comment below, I would love to read your feedback.  

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Michelle Devani
My name is Michelle Devani, and I've been helping people with their relationships since 2003. In 2017 I decided it was about time I started a blog on the topic, and since then more than 2 million people worldwide have read my relationship advice. Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think.

2 comments on “27 Signs A Family Member Doesn't Like You”

  1. So what am I to do when there are grand children involved. I’m to the point after Christmas when I bought gifts for everyone even my daughter in-law that did not show and my so. That stayed in the kitchen. They worship the ground my mother walks on because she keeps my grand children for them every day. They buy her expensive gifts and did not hand me 1 gift at all. I deleted all there numbers I’m done. I can’t take it any more I’m divorced and alone. I do raise my grandson and have a daughter living with me. They are all I have. The others cause me agony!!

  2. My adult daughter has a long time boyfriend who seems to make her happy and is good to her. His family welcomes my daughter into their home etc. I have been open and welcoming, ensuring gifts for him, treats and encouraging him when he is in our home. But he can't look at me, talk to me and rushes after my daughter if left in the room with me. My daughter ignores me when I talk when they are together, however she seems to enjoy our company when we have a shopping trip together etc. I feel like I am being manipulated on many levels...but why does he dislike me?

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