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How can I make my family understand that I'm not seeking attention and just trying to get the help I need?

155 Answers
Last Updated: 03/27/2021 at 10:46pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Smita Joshi, BA Psychology / MA / Advanced EFT Practitioner


I am empathetic with my Clients going through emotional overwhelm and passionate in helping them. I am supportive, openminded & interactive in helping my clients.

Top Rated Answers
August 12th, 2016 8:44am
There is a difference between "attention seeking" and "care seeking".Unfortunately, when we are looking for help or care around us, this can often be seen as seeking attention, even though it's not and we know that.You could sit down with your family or write them a letter to help you explain how you feel about it and what you need from them.
August 20th, 2016 1:34am
Try to define as clearly as you can what issues you are trying to get help with and emphasise that any help and support they can offer will always be appreciated. People thinking you are seeking attention often stems from a feeling that they will be imposed on. By reassuring that support is appreciated but optional you allow them to make the choice to support you in whatever capacity they feel able to and this in turn often leads to more support than would have originally been offered.
August 21st, 2016 12:09am
Open communication with others is one of the most beneficial tools I've used to tackle difficult conversations in all areas of life. Ask family members if they are willing to support you and let them know how they can be there for you to create the opportunity for dialogue.
August 25th, 2016 8:52pm
Assuming you have already tried to communicate effectively, a more enforcing way would be to engage a third party, likely a family counselor.
August 26th, 2016 4:06am
Explain to them that you would never fake something like this and genuinely need their help right now.
August 27th, 2016 5:48am
People get busy sometimes and are often times on autopilot, perhaps you could sit them down and explain to them that you need their help?
August 28th, 2016 4:10pm
In my experience, you have to explain your emotions and troubles out loud, or in a letter, showing and listing symptoms, technical terms, and generally trying to be professional about it. Tell them you are not seeking attention, you really need help, and that it's generally going to help you succeed in life to get this help.
August 31st, 2016 5:22pm
Talk with them and explain how you feel, say exactly what you said here and i'm sure they'll know you aren't seeking attention
August 31st, 2016 6:19pm
Try talking them through what you're thinking and feeling. Sometimes when we act certain ways the people close to us won't necessarily understand why we're doing so, so sometimes they can end up with the wrong end of the stick and think it's something other than what it is. I would encourage you to speak to them and try to set the record straight. That way they may also be able to help you get the help you need
September 1st, 2016 7:29am
Tell them. Explain to them what you are feeling, and what you would like to do about it. They should be happy to help you get through your situation.
September 6th, 2016 7:15pm
That´s very difficult, I believe. Because it´s their interpretation, not your actions, that make you needing help looking like you needing attention. Focus on people who truly care about you.
September 11th, 2016 5:35pm
Tell them. If they don't get it, then just provide some evidence. If they still don't get it, then it is not your fault. Sometimes, people won't understand and won't take even the smallest effort to try to understand you. It's common for people to not care, even within family.
September 25th, 2016 12:48am
Honestly that's a hard one,but as a parent they should believe you,tell them how you've been feeling everyday,they should start to understand by your behaviour mentally and physically
September 28th, 2016 6:22am
I wrote my mom a letter about how depressed and directionless I felt about a year ago when they've been thinking that I was acting ot for no reason. Mom and dad did their best to help me out, and now we're closer than before again and more open on expressing our feelings.
October 1st, 2016 7:07pm
Try researching about how you feel. For example, a wikihow site describing your feelings as symptoms. Sit down and talk it out calmly but firmly.
October 23rd, 2016 11:40pm
Describe in detail the problems you're having and how they are affecting your life. Then, describe how the help would address some of those problems. It could also help to get someone that your family trusts (maybe a therapist, teacher, friend?) to talk to them about why you need help.
October 26th, 2016 1:37pm
You can explain them that depression etc can have serious bad effects on a person, maybe showing them some videos related to depression etc?
October 28th, 2016 12:12pm
my mother was once saying the same thing, she never believed that I actually needed help, so I sat down with her and tried to talk though my feelings, so she understood why I wanted help.
November 3rd, 2016 11:10pm
Show them that you're confident and satisfied with your self-approval. Show them that you're happy with what you have in your life..
November 10th, 2016 1:44am
Sometimes it's hard for them to distinguish. Try sitting them down and having a serious talk with them-- explain to them exactly how it is you feel, but try not to sound accusing, whiny, or dramatic. Practice what you'll say beforehand, and do your research so you know what it is you're talking about.
November 10th, 2016 11:08am
Try a different approach to the method of asking for help. If that doesn't work, give them a bit of a reality check by explaining the repercussions of not achieving the help that you need.
December 5th, 2016 12:21am
This is probably not the helpful answer that you're seeking, but it's the truest one I can give from my perspective - there is no way you can 'make' anyone see or do anything. Your parents have a choice of what to believe. You can offer as much supporting evidence for your case as humanly possible, but they can still choose not to believe you. This might seem like they are rejecting you, but it's not you they are rejecting so much as that they don't want to accept that you need help or that anything could be wrong. Sometimes parents take it as a reflection on themselves if their child is suffering in any way and this could actually be bringing up their feelings of inadequacy or helplessness. I don't know your situation or your parents, but from a very general standpoint, this is what I would imagine they could be feeling. Don't give up on trying to get help, though. Parents can control a lot of our lives up until we turn eighteen, but doing small things that you can, like going on this website and looking up self-help guides, is a way to get around them potentially not allowing you to seek help in other ways. Lots of love to you. xoxo
December 15th, 2016 8:35pm
First, it would be beneficial to sit down with your family, all in the same room and making sure they're all listening. Good nonverbal communication involves eye contact, small responses like "mhm," head nods, and positive body posture are what you should look for with your family. I would start by explaining the problem and say things such as, "it makes me feel sad and not worthy when I am seen as seeking attention rather than getting the help I need," or "I feel ignored when I'm told that I'm seeking attention and would appreciate more support." These are examples of nonviolent communication. Instead of saying things like, "you need to pay attention to me," or just, "I need help," try to explain WHY you feel you need help and how it makes you feel when you are potentially being ignored or labeled as "seeking attention."
January 7th, 2017 7:35pm
Have you tried honestly communicating with your family what it is that you want exactly, point blank? I understand that sometimes it may be difficult to open up but it is really important that you clearly assert what your needs are; otherwise, people are left guessing your feelings and making assumptions.
January 8th, 2017 8:55pm
It seems like your family doesn't really understand you. I personally believe that talking to them might help as the most important part of anyone's relationship is conversation! But if they still don't understand, they may never at least not until they see what you are going through.
February 5th, 2017 2:11pm
Discuss with your family exactly how you are feeling. Bottling up your feelings will make you feel worse. The first step is opening up and being honest.
February 17th, 2017 4:41pm
Firstly you find someone who would listen, then to confront your whole family at once. Then you don't scream, or get angry but politely ask them to listen to you. You explain to them your needs and ask them for their aid. Then let that person represent you to talk to your family, and it should go just fine.
February 23rd, 2017 10:15pm
Sit them down and calmly tell them what's going on. If they aren't prepared to listen then perhaps speak with your doctor or counsellor who can refer you to the services you need. If you need to speak with someone who will listen and empathise with you then there is always here at 7Cups. I hope that helps.
March 8th, 2017 5:22pm
It would be best to sit with your family at a time when you are calm and explain to them that you are in need of help and what you believe to be the best resource to get that help.
March 17th, 2017 9:44pm
Tell your family that you need to do this for yourself and that their understanding will not only be good but helpful