English is not my mother tongue so please be indulgent.

In my family, we are pretty close to each other. I mean, when I say "family", it includes aunts, uncles and cousins. With my big sister, we grew up with my cousins and one of our aunts. They were all born in the mid and late 1980s. And here I come, born in 1993.

As I am the youngest and the shiest, I was quite often left aside and couldn't build any relationship with them. Plus, I had and still have a rather difficult relationship with my sister.

When I was 20, the situation didn't change. They never shared anything with me. They never asked me to go out with them. It's not like they are much older than me. Even when they are talking, when I'm here, no one talks to me. I know I should try to fit in, but whenever I try to give my opinion, it's like I shouldn't, because "I don't know what I'm talking about." They don't even listen to what I have to say.

Even now, no one thinks I can think for myself and make my own decisions because everyone sees me as a child who is influenced by everything and everyone.

I have lived by myself and had a job for about two years. And most of them don't. I am not saying that having or not having a job justifies whether you are mature or not. I am just saying that even if I proved that I'm responsible, they do not see me as an adult.

My relationship with my mother is pretty much the same. She still sees me as her little baby and tries to make me do whatever she wants me to do.

She has a lot of personal problems. And whenever I try to help her, she doesn't consider my advice. But if her friend tells her the exact same thing I did, she thinks about it and says she’s right. It is rather frustrating.

I shouldn't care about what they think of me, but I have a pretty low self-esteem, and their rejection doesn't help. In family gatherings, I am always put aside. It has become distressing for me to see them.

How can I make them stop seeing me as a child?

Should I just ignore the situation, since I cannot make them change their behavior?

Edit 1 : I forgot to mention that we are a Turkish family who lives in France. My mother came here when she was 4.

Edit 2 : I don't know how to say this without sounding rude and arrogant but almost everyone in my family is narrow-minded and never question themselves. For instance, I have been a vegetarian for about two years and they still insult me, saying it's useless and that I am just following a trend. They don't listen to the reasons why I am a vegetarian and discredit me everytime we eat. I am not forcing them to do anything, or annoying them about it. But they keep coming at me. I know it's not the subject, but it was just an example of how intolerant they are.

Edit 3 : This topic is not just about my family members seeing me as a child. It is also about them rejecting me for not thinking like them and imposing their way of life on me.

  • What the answers in the linked duplicate that won't work for you? "Imposing their way of life to you" seems similar to my situation (like, my work choice).
    – Vylix
    Aug 31, 2017 at 15:24

3 Answers 3


I was recently in such a situation, not with family but with groups of player in some sort of massive game with a huge community. I was that guy you see from time to time and don't even greet because "eh who cares who's that buddy ?".

Was not listened. Was not consulted. Was somehow bullied. Here is what I can tell you from my experience :

Do not do anything with them.

Do whatever you want on your own, try to build a new relationship, and diverge from that group who refused you to join. Do not obey their orders anymore, do as you please. By that I don't mean "do everything wrong" but just "don't be their valet anymore".

After some time they will realize that small insignificant buddy they didn't want to be part of their group is now interesting: because he is different, he is doing stuff, denying the authority of others by not complying.

You will need to fly on your own, to not rely on your family (I guess it's already the case somehow) and do good things. It is a matter of time before they react. Because people can't stand idle while someone they thought was useless, irrelevant, and obedient is now the captain of his soul, and is no more playing by their rules.

Told like that it may sound negative, but it isn't. It also means people in your family that are not happy with how social things are done might definitely see you as a new friend.

Also there's something to definitely avoid: and it is to be pissed against your family.

Since they're not considering you as someone responsible, trying to be cocky, or act with anger will only make them look down upon you, changing in their mind some righteous anger due to them treating you as a child, as some kind of childish tantrum.... while it is not. I could definitely understand why someone would be really pissed if I was to be condescending and paternalistic with him.

So try to stay calm, do not meddle in their affairs, do your own stuff and things will most likely change.

Anyway, your family seems toxic about you, so do you really want to be noticed?

About the last part, you said you are vegetarian and people in your family are coming recklessly to talk about it with you. Looks like some bullying attitude to me and I don't know any good advice about it, except to suffer in silence and do not mind.

Whenever they will start considering you as an adult with his opinion I think you could try to reply and debate, but before that, it will do you no good. There are plenty of subjects on this stack explaining how to do it with short stuff like "Okay cool. Next topic then." By not feeding the bully you will avoid unpleasant conversations I guess.

Good luck!

  • Thank you for taking the time to respond. I try to. Do whatever I want. But they keep interfering with my life and choices. Family relationships is really important in our culture. I kind of “have to” listen to my elders, even if they’re toxic for me and my personal fulfilment. If I deny their authority, I end up by a little brat influenced by Western culture. I guess by posting here, I just wanted someone to tell me “cut all ties with your family”, because I can’t do it on my own.
    – user4715
    Aug 31, 2017 at 12:01
  • @Undietaker I didn't not exactly mean to burn bridges with your family. But more taking some distance with it. Looks like your situation is difficult here, and I admit the kind of people I had to deal with where not exactly like those you describe. Following my advice, you can expect some family members will definitely not like you. Some might on the other end open their mind. In a closed environment, if everyone complies nothing will change at all, while having you around might make them change their mind.
    – Kaël
    Aug 31, 2017 at 12:16

It does not matter what they think about you.

Make yourself so much capable that they must walk to you to seek your attention.

I myself felt that for a good amount of time in my life so far and hence I advice you how you can start to matter!

They probably see you as an average guy who doesn't have anything new to bring to the table or they see you as an introvert

Couple of advice for you to try -

  1. Make your personality very presentable. Iron your clothes, Shave daily, take a bath in a tidy way etc.

  2. Please bring some positivity in your attitude/attire/speech

  3. Greet your family with asking for their well-being often and share yours (Engage in a healthy dialogue)

  4. Make sure you gift/reward the ones which treat you the best!

  5. Those who you wanted to play with or you wanted to mingle with or to join their clan, meet them with a smile and start with "Why do you hate me so much?"

  6. When you are giving attention, give equal attention to everyone around!

  7. Please keep in touch with your like-age family continuously with whom you have to grow old in your time.

There is more but I hope these are a few pointers which will work for you for a start.

Please let us know how it goes in your day to day life after you make these changes. Good Luck!

  • How do you know the OP is a guy? Aug 31, 2017 at 11:19
  • guy is used just like 'baby' a placeholder for a person. By the way who's OP?
    – nitinr708
    Aug 31, 2017 at 12:03
  • The person who asked the question. (OP= Original Poster). You wrote: "They probably see you as an average guy". Aug 31, 2017 at 12:32

I have a partial solution which you can use alongside any of the other answers you receive.

I believe one of the signs that one is mature is the ability to take criticism about one's maturity, and calmly keep moving forward without having to return the hostilities. You are free to agree with me or disagree with me, but this belief has some curious pragmatic benefits. If you do believe this, then the fact that you are upset by your family is a sign that you are not as mature as you think you are. This should lead you to the question "what am I going to about it," and lead you towards using some of that negative energy in a positive way to try to increase your own maturity by getting better at taking this kind of criticism.

The reason I say this is a pragmatic belief is because it leads to one of two outcomes. One is that your parents also believe that this ability to take criticism is a sign of maturity, and you will actually be working towards receiving the respect of your family. The other possibility is that your parents don't agree with this idea, in which case you will be slowly building the skills you need to rebuff their insults.

Thus, whether or not this belief is true, you will accomplish your goal. Either you will no longer be seen as a child, or you will develop the mindset which is no longer bothered by your family seeing you as a child. You win either way.