In my culture, people always judge you for the smallest things…

In my culture (or at least my family), people always judge you for the smallest things, from looks to how your life is and I feel like this has really screwed me up. I suffer from anxiety and self-confidence issues. I want to kick out all the negative people in my life but when it’s my whole family I can’t do that. I don’t know what to do. 

Why can’t you kick out all the negative people in your life? Even if they’re family, they’re obviously not enhancing your happiness or well-being. And if someone really loved you, would they judge you, critique, or make you feel less than? Do you want a life filled with unconditional love or conditional love? It seems that in order to be completely accepted by your family, you have to change aspects of yourself and live a life that they would want you to live. If they weren’t your family, would you settle for the conditional love they currently offer you?

Instead of going no contact, you could go little contact with your family. That just means that instead of shutting out your family, you would just interact with them on certain occasions, or very rarely. And I know from experience, how hard going no contact can be, especially when you’re raised in a family that expects you to take their attacks, accept the way they treat you and abuse you, and put up with their disrespect because you’re family, but although you were born into that ideology, you don’t have to make it yours! If you want to, you don’t have to live by it. Do what will enhance your happiness, self-love, and self-confidence.

If you choose to stay, then try some coping techniques that will help you acknowledge that the way you lead and live your life is right for you and that the way others respond or react to you, has everything to do with them and their lives, and not with you. Whenever a family member says something negative or critical to you, repeat to yourself ‘I am free to choose to live as I wish and to give priority to my desires.’ or ‘I love and accept myself for who I am.’ or even, ‘I am unique and my dreams and aspirations are unique to myself. I do not need to prove myself to anyone.’. Just remember, your mental and emotional health should come before everyone else and you should be your first priority, not trying making others accept you or making others happy.