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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
January 11th, 2019 7:38pm
Firstly, let them understand you love them and you know they love you. Explain to them what it is thats bothering you and why and how it makes you feel. Letting them know that there is a genuine reason that you are behaving in this way and it is not simply to gain attention may open their minds to your situation. Ask them to help you by giving you the space and time to get the full benifit of the help you need. Let them know how they can also help by supporting you and asking how you are. Finally, let them know its not their fault or yours its just a bump in the road and with their support it will be resolved.
February 13th, 2019 4:31pm
Explaining it in these exact words, I believe. If your parents think you are seeking attention you could explain your problems to them. Parents want the best for us, yet they sometimes judge our behavior wrong, on us is to clarify it and if that isn't enough, say it in clear words. When they see we mean it seriously, they will help. But if they don't, there is always someone that will. Hope this helped a at least a little bit. Be honest with people and be honest to yourself. Good and helpful people will show up and give you a hand to raise.☺
March 6th, 2019 12:21am
Honesty and trust are 2 very important factors when trying to prove you're not trying to get attention. Be very up front and honest about how you feel, and why you need help. If you lied in the past to get attention, acknowledge it to show that you take responsibility for past actions. Explain that this time is different, and be very specific about what you need. Sometimes people want to help but just don't know what to do. Make it as easy as possible to help them help you. Lastly, you may need to get support from somewhere else if your family can't provide it. Luckily, there are many places to get help today, in person and online. Don't give up!
March 7th, 2019 10:09pm
Just do your best to be open and honest with them. If you can, try and explain how you are feeling and why you need the help you are seeking. Letting them in may not only help them understand but as well open doors to the help you need that you did not have access to before hand. Often we can close up when we are dealing with things and hurting. I personally have a hard time letting others see me when I feel I am at my weakest. Its hard to open up when you feel no one understands but you will be surprised. Remember it takes a lot of courage to reach out and get help, but things can be so much easier with the right help and support. Your family is not you, they do not and cannot know how you feel and what you are dealing with unless you tell them. Just do your best to explain. I greatly hope they can learn and come to understand and be supportive in your search for help.
June 16th, 2019 4:16am
Sit them down and let them know you need to have a serious conversation. Being completely honest is the best way to handle this. It can be really hard to put yourself out there especially when asking for help.. but stick to your words and be confident. Tell them in which ways you have tried to help yourself. If you can do that, I’m sure they will see that you have been struggling and they will be willing to help. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s actually very brave and takes a lot of courage. If you are able to communicate clearly, your parents will have no choice but to respect your words and help you get back on a path that works best for you.
June 27th, 2019 5:39pm
You can’t make someone understand anything if they’re not willing or able to shift their view. It can be frustrating when your family doesn’t see your need or doesn’t try to help. At times like this, you can help yourself by finding effective outside resources. Meantime, stop trying to get reinforcement from your family. It’s common to try, which is part of being human, but people don’t change without willingness. There are other ways to find support outside your family. I don’t know your age, or what help you need. Usually, school counselors are available if you’re in primary or secondary education. They can provide additional direction. Sometimes the County provides a variety of social services to help people of any age make a plan, and take a next step. You might also find legitimate support groups online with people who deal with the same issues. It takes courage to ask for help! There are people and places out there to give it. Please don’t give up if you don’t find the right fit at first. It takes time to figure out what works best for you!
August 10th, 2019 6:45pm
Maybe you can tell them how you feel in an assertive way? You could write down all of your points and feelings, using "I," statements to own them and not let them gaslight you or discredit your points. Then explain the help you think you need and why, and how this help will benefit you and could even benefit them. Also maybe pointing out that attention seeking is a pejorative and stigmatising viewpoint and not good for our society which is trying to be more progressive and accepting of mental illness and the importance of help and self care and self awareness
August 21st, 2019 11:44pm
Try to tell them what you need directly, as hard as that may be. If you're up front with them and tell them what's happening and what you need, they may find it easier to help you. Parents may dismiss what's happening because they don't understand or are sometimes fearful of what's occuring. Sit down with your parents and talk to them, try to express your feelings in a mature manner while also showing people that you need help. However, do not let them convince you that you are wrong, if you feel as if you need help, then relentlessly seek that help until you become to feel better!
August 22nd, 2019 6:45pm
some elders tend not to understand the concept of talking to another person other than them as they feel that is part of their job as your parent/legal guardian. do not be afraid of them but do try to be open about why you feel this an important step for you and how their support would really boost your own confidence. remind them that talking to another person altogether does not mean you do not trust them or they are unreliable , it just means you are getting a second opinion from an individual who is specifically trained to handle such situations
November 13th, 2019 6:50pm
Try to be open about your problems. It can be amazingly hard sometimes to ask for help, especially if they are not very kind with you about it, and/or you are someone who thinks that you should be able to solve your life. But asking for help eventually should work you out of your bad situation - or at least push you in the right direction. And instead of seeking attention (which can be a covert way of saying you are in a mess) it works better if you are more direct. Yes, it is much much harder and you feel you might even think you will betray yourself - however, it is probably worth it.
December 5th, 2019 7:12am
The best way to do so is by communicating to your family. Many of us don't like to ask for help. We may have been taught that it's a sign of weakness, so we cling to the notion, "I can do everything myself," even if it's no longer the case It's always better to sit and talk about our problems to a family member. A family member can easily distinguish if we Express ourselves well. There is a common misconception around the idea of asking for help. Many people are reticent to ask for assistance because they view it as a sign of weakness or inadequacy. That idea could not be further from the truth. Asking for help demonstrates not only the acceptance of one’s own limitations, but it also brings to light the possession of admirable traits like honesty and courage
December 12th, 2019 2:58pm
Well, I cannot give you advice 100%, but I know exactly how you feel. Families will sometimes deny that there is anything "wrong" with another member, but it's not because they don't care. What do you feel that is bothering you? Have you tried communicating with this to them before? Maybe you could try going in and explaining that you're experiencing symptoms of whatever you are feeling, explain to them how you feel. You've got this, you're stronger than you think, and they'll come around. Stay strong, take a deep breath, and see if they can book you up with someone to help diagnose you. :)
January 9th, 2020 2:48am
Hi; I'm Frostwire, and welcome to 7 cups. What makes them think you are craving attention? If this is fact based knowledge then; they may need proof of thought. Meaning: If there was proof to give them a indecent look about you; it can be reversed with proof that you are in competent mind for your own well being during those times that made them feel this way. If there is a way to persuade them, is this way the rite way? we would not want to make a uncomfortable situation worse; would we? Family is a precious thing, am i rite? Family can and should be able to trust each other even when there are wars going on. The better question would be: How and where do we get the words to attack the discernment within the minds of or relatives; because after the bills come in, groceries are needed, and schooling is over. what will be left? Is the answer team work? if times was a matter of minutes; an the only thing that rests between us, then it's as Dr. Benjermin E. Mays said: I've only just a minute. Only sixty seconds in it. Forced upon me, cant refuse it. Didn't seek it, didn't choose it. But it's up to me to use it. I must suffer if i lose it. Give an account if i abuse it. Just a tiny little minute, But eternity is in it. Thanks for reaching out to 7 cups for help.
February 12th, 2020 7:26am
I have been through this as well and it is not easy to handle. However, to better understand your situation, I have a few questions. How does your family usually react to your inquisition for aid? Is there anyone in your family you have a strong emotional attachment to? A sibling, a relative or even a close friend? In my case it is my sister.
February 16th, 2020 3:58am
First of all know that accepting you need help and actually trying to get it is a big step towards your cure so congratulations in advance. Now, if your family thinks you are just seeking attention, try this before approaching them again: make sure you take a deep breath and try to speak slowly and calmly in order to make them understand you are serious; I understand it can be frustrating to make people hear you but do try again, people that love you will want to hear you, I'm sure they will see you are just trying to communicate and maybe they will have a better response to a different action. I hope it helps.
March 22nd, 2020 3:13am
There is a negative connotation around attention seekers. Attention is a good thing to have, and those who lack it should be encouraged to seek it. The sad side of this story is that not every person truly understands the importance of attention. If your family feels that you are merely seeking attention, then you are encouraged to explain your situation and emotions to them. Honesty is a very important and nearly flawless tactic of explanation. Honestly, in an ideal world you would not have to explain yourself or justify yourself when you need help. But alas, this world is not ideal. No matter what, remember that you and your emotions are valid and you are loved.
March 25th, 2020 1:34am
First of all, I am so sorry you have to go through this. Keep asking for help even if they just turn you down time after time. Sit down with them and explain to them how you are feeling and how this is affecting you in your day to day life. Unfortunately, sometimes there is not much you can do to help them understand. This being said there are various things you could try like talking to a school counselor or psychologist. There is also great online communities like 7 cups that can help you out a lot. Wish you the best of luck and as always remember we are here to help!
April 5th, 2020 3:11am
Getting families to understand the need to reach out for help is tough. Especially, if there are cultural/generational differences within the family itself. If someone had a cut on their hand, no one would fault them for going to the ER for stitches. In the same way, you need to get the help you need for the problem you have. Sometimes our cuts aren’t on our bodies but within our hearts and minds. Another way to think about it is that 200 years ago, there were no airplanes but people still needed to travel. So they used boats, horses, and trains. As time passed, humans invented faster and better means to solve problems. Medicine/self care are similar. We have learned how to better deal with issues and sometimes those solutions seem odd to those who have never considered them. After all, a plane would be shocking to someone who has only ever seen people ride horses.
April 19th, 2020 12:37am
It's often very difficult to approach this topic with family members. I have had this issue myself, coming from a culture where mental health is kept under wraps. It might help to take a step in their shoes and think of how to relate to their personal experiences so that it may be more relative to them and so that they don't think you're just seeking attention. Ultimately, however, we cannot make people think a certain way, and sometimes people must take action for themselves even without the support of others (who do not want to support you). It is important that you get the help you need though, so prioritize that because there is nothing wrong with trying to help yourself grow for the better.
April 24th, 2020 6:44pm
Go to a doctor and tell your parents to come with you, it is okay if only one of them wants to come there. When you get there talk to the doctor and also tell the doctor that your parents don’t believe you are really sick. The doctor might try to talk to your parents in private or in front of you to tell them about the situation and assure them you are not seeking attention, you are really sick. Even if you have to wait for tests to confirm you are sick, you can take the tests and they will prove you are not seeking attention.
April 26th, 2020 6:45pm
Communication is key. I suggest sitting them down and clearly voicing out exactly what areas you need help in and discussing the issues you're going through. Try not to get side tracked, clarity and getting your message across is the goal. I know that when dealing with family sometimes being heard can be difficult either because they constantly interject or try to turn the conversation into something it isn't. Keep calm throughout the entire thing and just remember you've got this. You are awesome and just as worthy of love, attention and care as any body else. You deserve to be heard.
May 29th, 2020 9:01pm
Sometimes your family don’t understand what you’re going through, it takes time. You have to be patient with them. Explain your emotions and your feelings, try and make them understand. Most importantly speak to someone who you feel will understand you better; someone you can trust. Families tend to use age as a reference for you not understanding the real world; they forget that you are also a being with human emotions. Be patient with your family because they could be new to this also, you need to help each other get through this. Don’t go through it alone.
July 1st, 2020 2:04am
Try sitting down with them and talking more in detail about how you are feeling and what you need support with. Communication is a big part of letting your family know what they can do to help. Try sitting everyone down together and starting simple building up to the big thing, making sure they know what you need from them and what would help you feel most comfortable. Talking to a close friend to ask for advice on what to do always helps me too. And if your family still doesnt understand, your school is always there to help as well with councilors
August 9th, 2020 10:39pm
As a person with toxic parents I might help. Next time you're feeling low don't make them figure it out but make them listen to you and tell them exactly how are you feeling in that moment and the cause of it. They must realize that you're suffering and it is already in that point where you are afraid that you can't do it alone. Give them examples just as if they were in your place. You need to stand up for yourself and tell them. If it won't work help yourself and believe me, when they see you doing something about it they will understand. (hope it goes well)
August 14th, 2020 7:04pm
First, that's great that you recognize that you need help, it's a big first step to take towards better mental health. We all deserve some kind of support. With family members they can sometimes be in denial with someone needing helping, thus ignoring. They want you to feel your best so it's easier to "ignore" if you say otherwise. The best thing you can do is keep on advocating for yourself and your needs. You know how your situation the best and can use your voice. So, use your words to the best of your ability. How can you do this so they will listen? Find the time where life is not being rushed. Maybe this is after dinner, in a car, or setting up some time on the phone. Some bad times to have this conversation is right before an event, or anyone leaving to go to work. By setting up this time your family will recognize you're being serious. Another way of communicating is through writing. Writing might be an easier way of communicating for you. A note that is describing how you are doing will also show that your serious. In both writing and talking it's best to be direct and assertive while stating your needs. One time might not be enough but it's possible to get through to them. I hope talking to them gets you the help that you need. Everyone deserves and needs support in their life. Keep advocating for yourself.
August 22nd, 2020 2:26pm
Show them that you genuinely want help and explain to them that it's important for you. Explain in depth your situation and what sort of help that you need, maybe try your best to show them that you haven't been yourself lately and that these problems are taking a toll in your life and that you've tried dealing with it all by yourself but it isn't that easy and you would really appreciate their support, I'm sure the family would understand and do what they can to help and support you. Just take it step by step and think about what to say to them first.
September 13th, 2020 2:27pm
When people don't believe your struggles, sometimes it's helpful to show them. Being open about how your problems are affecting your daily life is a great way to show your family that you are not seeking attention and that you really do need help. When people are feeling terrible emotions and going through a lot of stress, sometimes they hide their emotions and put on a brave face. It's important to be open and honest about your struggles with your family so that they can properly gage how to help you. You could also try speaking to someone outside your family about your struggles. Hearing that you need help from an outside source could be another extra push to show your family that you need help.
September 17th, 2020 10:58pm
You can explain to them that you are not feeling well mentally. You can explain that just because they cannot see what is wrong with you, does not mean that there is not anything wrong. You are still going through something and you can help to show them by sitting down and having a meaningful conversation with them about your feelings and what it is that Is effecting you. You can also try to explain what has made you feel the way that you do, if you understand it yourself. If you do not understand it then you can explain that to them as well.
November 11th, 2020 2:41pm
Communication is playing a very important role in making them understand your needs and feelings, discuss with them, and try to get their support and help. I am sure they will understand, they are your parents and they want all the best for you. Acknowledge that there may be a reason behind their feelings that has nothing to do with you. There are lots of reasons that a person may not be able to understand a condition like depression.Don't let mental health stigma prevent you from getting the help and support that you need. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of depression.
December 6th, 2020 4:26am
Sometimes family can be stubborn and think they have you all figured out, so it's hard to get them to understand the way you feel. If you live in stable family conditions where you know your family genuinely cares about you, I recommend you sit down and have a talk with the member you're most comfortable with and highlight your frustration, open up completely to them to try to let them understand your point of view. If you've already attempted this or it doesn't work out, remember that you don't always need your family to understand just yet and that there are many other people out there that want to hear about your feelings and care about you that you can reach out to :)