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Why Does My Dad Hate Me? (EVERYTHING You Need to Know!)

Growing up with a toxic father can have a devastating effect on anyone. You may be wondering constantly, even for years why your dad hates you. It may leave a person believing they were not good enough from as early as their childhood. Constant shouting and bouts of verbal abuse can have severe psychological effects on the recipient. 

Here’s my article to bring you some clarity. I’ll also provide some suggestions for support and a few ways to overcome this type of situation. I combed through all forums and relied on the experience of a close relative of mine who had to go through some hard times. Just remember: you are NOT alone!

Here’s the Answer to Why your Father Hates You

Reasons may include: Feeling inadequate to raise you, you may not be what he was hoping for, you were unplanned or it may be as simple as him struggling with his own issues (past or present).

How do you know if your father hates you?

If you’re a younger person reading this article, you may be wondering if the way your father treats you borders on hating you. Here are a few tell-tale signs that the relationship with your father could be a toxic one. 

Yelling

At some point, all parents yell. Especially if they feel overwhelmed, stressed or are just having a bad day. Often children bear the brunt of this simply because they happen to be around the parent when these feelings surface. 

However, if you feel that your father shouts at you excessively, and usually for no reason, this behavior could be a red flag. If your father’s mood suddenly changes when you enter the room, it’s a definite sign that the relationship is strained. 

Using abusive words

Each family dynamic is different. Some families are comfortable with cursing and using harsh words. Everyone in the dynamic is on board with this type of behavior and it appears not to bug them as much as it might bug outsiders. 

But, if this isn’t your family dynamic and abusive, demeaning and hurtful words are specifically aimed at you, this is another sure sign that there’s cause for concern. The way your father speaks to you shouldn’t leave you feeling inadequate, hurt, or ashamed. 

Dad telling you he hates you

There can be no clearer indication than if your dad outright tells you that he hates you. Even in a moment of anger, stress or general tension, there’s never a reason for a father to tell a child that he hates them! Your father telling you he hates you usually goes along with the screaming and the abusive words. 

To get an idea of the effect this type of relationship has on people watch this short clip featuring leading clinical psychologist, Dr. Ramani Durvasula. This video is about narcissistic personality disorder which could be one of the reasons your father hates you. 

Why does my father react like this?

Once you start identifying this type of behavior, it might lead you to question the reason for it. While each person is different, and there are likely reasons you haven’t considered, you might be surprised to learn that most are actually not your fault at all. 

Let’s have a look at some of the most common reasons fathers show some degree of hatred toward all or one particular child:

  • Past emotional issues: Your father may be finding it hard to deal with issues from his past. Something about you could be a daily reminder of these issues, and your presence is therefore a trigger to his outbursts. 
  • Feeling inadequate: If your father didn’t entirely feel ready for fatherhood, he might feel inadequate at dealing with fatherhood. He might be dealing with his own issues of not feeling good enough. 
  • Emotionally immature: Sometimes, despite being an adult, fathers can behave emotionally immature. In essence, behaving like big children, as if they themselves haven’t grown up. This type of behavior is often referred to as “scapegoating” – where the blame of the stress is being placed on you. 
  • Uncontrollable anger issues: Based on your father’s own childhood, he could have unresolved anger issues and his way of dealing with it is to react in an abusive manner. Narcissism is also a factor of unresolved anger issues which could have been the result of an unhealthy upbringing. 
  • Unmanageable stress: Your father could be dealing with work stress, financial concerns or stress issues you’re not aware of. 

Important factors to consider

While dealing with this type of situation, there are two very important factors to consider:

1. (Most Probably) it’s not your fault

A natural response would be to blame yourself for the treatment you’re receiving from your father. Deep down you might know it’s not your fault but the mind is a funny thing. Your mind will continuously create scenarios in which you are to blame for the abusive words and condescending treatment. 

Feeling like the blame should be placed on you will create a whole host of negative feelings and will also start affecting your self-esteem. It’s important to separate your father’s behavior from how you feel. If it isn’t your fault, don’t carry the blame for it. 

2. Hard on the outside, soft on the inside

An alternative you might want to consider is the following: Is your father genuinely behaving in a hateful manner or, is it just the way you perceive it? Could your father be applying the “tough love” approach to parenting you?

Tough love refers to a type of parenting where parents appear to act harshly but in actual fact, the behavior is for the child’s benefit. To establish if this is the case, ask yourself if you have ever seen him behave differently when you were ill or needed assistance?

I recently read some comments on a forum called The Student Room where the question was posed about troubled father relationships. Often the behavior you perceive as harsh could just be a form of tough love. It could be your father’s way of “toughening” you up for the realities of the world. As harsh as he treated you, in a critical situation he will still be by your side. Is this perhaps the case?

Why does my dad hate me but loves my brother or sister?

Very often parents will make it very obvious that they “prefer” one sibling over another. This can cause animosity between siblings and ruin relationships where children are supposed to draw strength from. 

Ever heard of the “grass is always greener syndrome?” This refers to the belief that you may have regarding your siblings’ relationship with your father. You believe it to be more loving and respectful than yours. Often this belief allows you to see the sibling and father relationship in an exaggerated manner. You may think it’s better, but it isn’t. 

How to deal with a father who hates me

Before giving up on the relationship with your father, there are a few options you can try to improve the situation. While they’re not guaranteed to work, attempting to resolve the issue will not only show character on your behalf but might go a long way toward repairing a broken relationship. Here are a few tips you could try. 

Wait for the right moment when he’s calm

Your father could be unaware that his harsh treatment is hurtful to you. He could just unintentionally be copying a parenting style his father used on him. Wait for a time when he’s calm and ask him if you could speak to him. Approach the situation carefully and explain how his behavior makes you feel. 

Become more a grown up than he is

It’s necessary to be more grown up than your father. This means, don’t stoop to the level he’s on. Don’t mimic his behavior by acting in the same manner. If he shouts, don’t shout back. Take the high road and walk away. Behave in a manner that would be more grown up. 

Love yourself and parent yourself

It’s very easy to stop loving yourself in this type of situation because you believe there’s something wrong with you. Don’t let feelings of inadequacies overwhelm you. Practice acts of self-affirmations and keep reminding yourself who you are and what you have to offer. 

Sometimes this means you’ll have to parent yourself. Look out for yourself, act in grown up ways and abide by the general rules of the home. (Rules such as curfews, homework and chores)

Talk to your peers

When you feel like you’re the only one experiencing this situation, talk to your peers. You might find that someone else in your social group is experiencing the same problem. Talking to your peers is a great way to get some support, advice and even to help you stay positive. 

Read a book to find consolation

One of the easiest ways to find an understanding of a situation you’re experiencing is to read other people’s experiences. Books dealing with toxic father relationships can give you comfort that you aren’t alone.

There may also be valuable advice that could assist you with clarity and guidelines to moving forward with the situation. I’ve listed three of the most popular books to consider. 

Narcissistic Fathers: The Problem with being the son or daughter of a narcissistic parent by Dr. Theresa J. Covert

Narcissistic Fathers: The Problem with being the Son or Daughter of a Narcissistic Parent, and how to fix it. A Guide for Healing and Recovering After Hidden Abuse

This riveting encounter gives you some insight into life with a father who doesn’t seem to care about you, your feelings or your accomplishments. Anyone suffering from a toxic relationship with their father should give this book a read. While there’s no “magic wand” to rectify the situation, Dr. Theresa J. Covert provides some much-needed insight into dealing with the situation. 

Toxic Parents: Overcoming their hurtful legacy and reclaiming your life – Susan Forward

Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life

Dr. Susan Forward has created a helpful and uplifting self-help guide to understand the reasons for toxic relationships between parents and children. It’s an informative book to help you find your inner strength and emotional independence. 

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents – Lindsay C. Gibson

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents

Clinical psychologist Lindsay Gibson exposes the troubled relationship between immature or emotionally unavailable parents and their children. She provides a guide to help these children heal from the pain once they’ve reached adulthood. She also encourages readers to create newer and more positive relationships to build a better life and not repeat the mistakes of the past.

Final Thoughts

Living in the same home as a father who you believe hates you, can be very draining as well as emotionally draining. Trying to find the source of your father’s resentment can also be very exhausting if you’re not quite sure where to look. 

The best advice would be to try and approach your father on one of his calmer days and discuss the way you’re feeling. Sometimes it might take more than one discussion to get to the root of the problem. It’s also important to never blame yourself. Don’t give up on trying to build positive relationships with other people in your life!

Last update on 2021-08-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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