The worst part of feeling like nobody loves you is having no one to talk to. Even if you do share how you feel, people just brush your feelings away. “How can you say nobody loves you?” they say. “I love you, your parents love you, your dog loves you. God loves you! So don’t say you’re not loved, because you are.”
That isn’t the most helpful response, is it? Because no matter how many times you’re told you’re loved, you don’t believe it until you feel it. And you just aren’t feeling the love. The tricky part is going from “Nobody loves me” to “Wow, I really am surrounded and held by love! I was always loved, by never knew it.”
The other tricky part is not feeling accepted or understood. Whether or not you tried to communicate your feelings, you feel misunderstood and abandoned. You may even feel rejected or ignored. And that makes it even harder to know what to do when you feel unwanted and like no one cares. But guess what? I have good news! At least I hope it’s good news :-) Read on. You can tell me in the comments section below whether or not my tips for dealing with feelings of “nobody loves me” are helpful.
I experienced stages of feeling unloved and unwanted many, many times. I was in three foster homes growing up; my mom is schizophrenic and living in a group home for older mentally ill people. My sister stopped talking to me over 10 years ago. I have no family. Nobody could ever love me like my grandma did – and she died 20 years ago! I’m turning 50 soon, and my friendships are shifting and changing. I’m not the same, and neither are my old friends. I haven’t made new ones yet…and maybe I’m getting too old to make good friends.
So, yes. I know how it feels when it seems like nobody loves you.
But I also know how to get through a phase of feeling like nobody loves me. And that, I hope, will help you cope with your own feelings of being unloved and unworthy.
“Nobody Loves Me” – Is That True?
One of the books that changed how I think about life, love and myself is Byron Katie’s Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life. Some of my tips are inspired by her book.
“As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless,” says Katie. “It means that you are forever in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise.”
She has four questions, which she calls “the work.” Here’s first question Katie would tell you to ask yourself: “Is it true that nobody loves me?”
Learn how to love yourself
If you said yes to the question “Is it true that nobody loves me?” then you are saying you don’t love yourself. And that is the first challenge you are facing. If you don’t love – or even like – yourself, how can you expect others to love – or even like – you?
The first and most important thing is to learn how to love yourself. If you don’t feel good about who you are – if you don’t love yourself as you are right now – then you won’t even know how to receive another person’s love. You can’t see or respond to the love people have for you because you don’t know what it’s like to be loved.
Focus on one person who does love you
When you fall into the “nobody loves me” pit of despair, make a list of the people you know love you. For example, I know my mom loves me. She can’t express her love the same way an emotionally and mentally healthy mother can, but she is so happy when I call her every Sunday. My mom didn’t come to my wedding and hasn’t seen any of my the places I’ve lived for the past 35 years, but she cares about me. She loves me the best way she knows how.
My sister didn’t come to my wedding, either. I’ve only met my dad a couple times, and he never calls, visits, or even emails. But I know my husband loves me, my two closest friends love me, and my mother-in-law loves me. I wish I had more people who love me, but I’ll take what I can get!
Show your love to others, in big and little ways
Sometimes I think the best way to cope with feeling unloved and unwanted is by reaching out and loving people in my life. Even if they don’t love me back, I want to be the first to show love. My embrace doesn’t have to be returned; it’s enough that I am showing up with my arms open. What happens next is not mine to control.
This means calling or emailing friends and family even if they never call or email back. Loving means offering support and trying to be there for people. It really isn’t as easy as it sounds! The truth is that I can write all day long about how to cope when I feel like nobody loves me, but my tips are much harder in practice.
And when we’ve been hurt by friends and family, the last thing we want to do is turn the other cheek and get hurt again! It’s the ones we love the most who hurt us the most. If this confuses you, read Why We Hurt the Ones We Love.
Ask yourself if it’s really true that nobody loves you
Back to Byron Katie’s book and “The Work.” When I again ask myself, “Is it really true that nobody loves me?” I come up with more answers. I dig deeper, and find more love in my life then I realized. For instance I know my sister loves me, even though she won’t speak to me. I know she loves me. Her love is buried beneath pain, grief, shame, and fear.
“A thought is harmless unless we believe it,” says Katie in Loving What Is. “It’s not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.” For years I believed that nobody loved me, but I was wrong. And it was only until I started questioning my beliefs that I realized how wrong I was.
Open your heart, spirit and mind to the Creator of you
The more time I spend in God’s presence – not praying necessarily, just being – the more love I feel. The peace of Jesus Christ, the warm embrace of the Holy Spirit, and the love of God the Father is overwhelming when I sit in silence. There is no love stronger than divine love from the Creator of the Universe. There is nothing like Divine Therapy to heal your heart, spirit and soul. Nobody can love us like God loves us…and I think that’s why we feel so unloved and unwanted. We yearn for God’s love but we don’t recognize Him. We try to get His love from people, and possessions and experiences but nothing measures up. So we’re constantly battling feelings of loneliness, unworthiness, and unlovability.
That’s how I cope when I feel like nobody loves me: I turn my face upward and breathe in the Spirit of God. How do you cope? Feel free to share your thoughts and story below.
Here’s one last quote from Byron Katie’s Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life: “You are your only hope, because we’re not changing until you do. Our job is to keep coming at you, as hard as we can, with everything that angers, upsets, or repulses you, until you understand. We love you that much, whether we’re aware of it or not. The whole world is about you.”
Katie also wrote I Need Your Love – Is That True? How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead. “Romantic love is the story of how you need another person to complete you. It’s an absolutely insane story. My experience is that I need no one to complete me. As soon as I realize that, everyone completes me.”
If you struggle with low self-worth, read When You Don’t Feel Good Enough to Be Loved.
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