We all want to feel like we matter. Sometimes we feel like we don’t. The emotional scars we have from experiencing trauma and living with emotional pain— from being rejected, ignored, or alone— may make us feel insignificant, invisible, or disconnected from everyone else. And we may believe that no one cares about us. This thought can shape the way we feel ourselves, but it doesn’t mean it’s true. And with time, it’s possible to change this belief.

Why do I feel this way?

Believing that you are worthless or that no one cares about you may have even become a core part of your identity. Changing the way you think about who you are can be difficult, but it is possible! By understanding where our core beliefs come from and learning to reframe them, we can learn to develop a more positive sense of self.

Experiencing relational trauma

Feeling unloved by your family, experiencing a bad relationship, or being bullied can make you feel like no one cares about you. Having your safety, emotional, and physical needs neglected or threatened can make you feel like you don’t matter. Or not being able to communicate your feelings and needs to your loved ones and others can make you feel disconnected and worthless. The feeling that “no one cares about me” is very common in people living with borderline personality disorder (BPD) or who have experienced relational trauma. Though this feeling may feel difficult to overcome, your worth is not tied to what has happened to you in your past or present.

Living with a mental health condition

The feeling that “no one cares about me” could be a symptom of a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. You may feel that no one else understands what you’re going through and may isolate yourself from others. Or you may feel exhausted from projecting a fake version of yourself to hide your struggles from other people. Both actions can make you feel invisible and disconnected from those around you. Surrounding yourself with people who have shown that they care about you may help you combat this feeling.

Reframing the thought

Reframing the thought “no one cares about me” isn’t easy, but it is the first step on the journey to healing. The belief that “no one cares about me” is a thinking trap— or being stuck in the same pattern of thinking.

We often get stuck in thinking traps when we are in a negative mind state. And it’s up to us to figure out a way to pause the negativity and reframe the thought. The next time you start to believe “no one cares about me,” ask yourself, “What’s a healthier thought? Is this thought rooted in reality?” Tools like the overcoming thoughts interactive activity and this worksheet can help you rework your thinking and take steps toward healing.

Feeling more connected

Accepting the love, support, and care of others may be overwhelming at first because our negative thoughts may make us second-guess their intentions– or if they truly care. But it’s within our power to push through those thoughts and accept love and care from others. If we’re feeling lonely, we have the ability to acknowledge our loneliness and build connections with others. And it’s within our power to make amends with those we may have pushed away. Change isn’t easy, but it’s necessary for healing.

Surrounding yourself with people who care about and value you will help you feel connected to others. Social skills are skills that you can learn and practice over time. Though you may feel that no one cares about you at this moment, you can learn how to build, repair, and create meaningful relationships going forward. Getting involved in volunteer work or a community based around shared interests–such as a book club, gaming group, sports team, etc.–can also help you feel more connected to others. If the current people in your life don’t value you for who you are, you can find people who do.

“No cares about me” is a belief about yourself that you have the power to change over time. While facing your feelings and challenging your negative thoughts may feel painful and overwhelming, it is worthwhile and will lead to healing.

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