Why Does My Dad Hate Me (What Can I Do?)

Through self-reflection, effective communication, patience, and counseling, you can rekindle your relationship with your father. Respect your father and try to understand his perspective. If the relationship is toxic, take a break from the relationship to find support, a different view, and to heal.

None of us want to lay in bed late at night with a bitter thought of “Why does my father hate me?”. Yet, nothing feels more real than these heart-aching thoughts. Having a damaged sense of trust with your father can interfere in your overall life, affecting everything from your career to your other personal relationships.

If you are wondering what you can do to rekindle your relationship with your father, continue reading.

Angry father looking off to the side with upset daughter in front of him

My Father Hates Me…Why?

We Change

You might have experienced that your dad loved you more than anything else at an early age, but his affection became less as you grew up; this is not uncommon.

When you grow up, you start developing your own ideas and set of rules to live by. That said, your values and ideologies begin to differ from your parents. You increasingly think and live differently from the way they taught you. A natural separation occurs as you develop separate identities; these changes commonly create a certain level of stiffness in your relationship with your parents.

Us changing can be a difficult transition for your parents. Parent invest time and energy in raising you, and now they have to hand over the reins. Some parents pass through this transitioning period smoothly and with a healthy association, whereas others develop mixed feelings.

Over time these subtle differences become more significant and more visible. As a result, your relationship may take a sharp turn, replacing the love your parents felt for you in childhood with a feeling of hatred.

You Made a Severe Mistake

Making a grave mistake is one of the most plausible reasons you may think your father hates you. Mistakes vary based on the value system of your household or religion.

Growing up can be a difficult transition for your parents. More so, if we make choices that they don’t support or agree with. For example, drinking alcohol, drug use, gambling, or falling pregnant before marriage.

If these choices mentioned above contradict the values and standards of your upbringing, the chances are pretty good that your father will have a severe reaction. The severity of the response might make you perceive that he hates you. Fathers are notorious for being more rigid than mothers. He might be worried about you, and the only way he knows how to express his concern for you is through anger.

Your Ideologies Differ

Ideologies influence the way we think, act, and view the world. Sometimes ideologies and beliefs are dearer to us than our blood relationships. If you and your father have ideological differences, it may make living under the same roof close to impossible!

For example, if you follow different religions, identify with other political parties, or have different social ideologies like feminism, individualism, or patriarchalism.

Arguments on ideological differences can quickly turn into hatred if mismanaged.

Ego

Ego and stubbornness can be the biggest enemy of any relationship. Unfortunately, some parents tend to be over-controlling. They believe that their word is the law.

They want to control every aspect, whether it be relationships, career choices, or lifestyle choices. Controlling parents can give their kids a tough time for making choices different from theirs.

His Actions Feel Unloving

There might not be anything specific that causes you to feel as though your dad hates you. Maybe your feelings come from years of cruel words and hurtful actions that you now interpret as your father not loving you. The emotional hurt that his words and actions caused can leave you wondering if he meant those things.

You may feel like your father hates you because he doesn’t spend enough quality time with you. You may feel bad when he chooses other activities above spending his free time with you.

Society teaches men to be tough, especially regarding emotions. Fathers are generally more focused on work and monetary responsibilities. As a result, dads have a limited amount of time to spend with their children. Due to less participation, an emotional distance forms between fathers and children. Emotional distance creates bottled-up tension, sometimes leading to a rise in uncomfortable situations.

Fathers tend to show fewer emotions than mothers, even if they strongly urge to do so. This is because they have been raised in a society where toughness is demanded from men. This toxic notion is brought into parenthood, which may be the reason that you feel your father hates you. It doesn’t mean he hates you; he might struggle to express his love to you.

Father Is Over Critical of Me

Another reason you may feel like your dad hates you is because he constantly says or does things that are critical to you. Make sure you know the difference between constructive criticism and criticism that is intentionally hurtful.

Many parents are firm believers that you should have similar interests and goals as theirs. However, they feel threatened and perplexed if their children have different characteristics, abilities, and talents from their own. In addition, your father may see your differences as a threat to the standard social order.

On the other hand, many parents strongly believe in conformity. They believe that their children will be ostracized if refuse to conform, they, or the parents themselves fear being ostracized by the community. Parents insist that it is safest to conform and strongly discourage their children’s individualism and nonconformity.

My Dad is Abusive

If your father physically or mentally abuses you, you must speak to someone. It is normal to argue and say things that you regret, but if you are being hurt or feel like you are in danger, you should immediately contact a responsible adult.

If your dad is abusive and regularly says that he hates you, you need to talk to someone about this. Your dad is struggling with something internal and needs outside help. Remember that this is not your fault.  

For a global list of local websites and emergency contact numbers, click here to open a new tab.

My Father Hates Me…What Can I Do?

From your perspective, what your parents do may seem unreasonable and unnecessary. All the social gathering restrictions, punishment for getting home after curfew, and the consequences of not doing the chores given to you appear to be acts of injustice.

Parents discipline their children differently. For example, if your father reprimands you for not obeying rules meant to keep you safe and well, it does not mean that he hates you. Instead, discipline is called “tough love”; it signifies that he cares for you.

Sometimes feeling that your father hates you for punishing you is just a short-term emotional roller coaster triggered by unpleasant circumstances.

In other, more severe cases, your perception that your father hates you speaks for itself. However, if mistreatment and abuse are involved in the relationship, it is time to speak up and ask for help.

If you experience mental and physical abuse, it is better to leave the family and distance yourself from your father. Get professional help and take your time to recover.

Self-reflect

When you have low self-esteem, it is easy to feel like everyone is judging you or even hates you. Of course, your father might never have said that he hates you, but by overanalyzing and assuming what he meant, it may be your current perception of his feelings toward you.

Take some time off, go for a walk, and try to get some perspective. We struggle to see the clear picture and potential solutions if we are too close to ur problems. Ensure that your emotions aren’t getting the best of you, making you experience hate from your father.

Be willing to acknowledge your faults in the impaired relationship. Being honest and acknowledging your mistakes will greatly be appreciated by your father.

Analyze What Your Problems Are

Your first step to understanding why your father hates you and how to improve your relationship with him is to figure out why it got damaged in the first place. 

Knowing the problem areas between you and your father and where they come from is an excellent start to solving them. Make a list of the recent conflicts you’ve had with your father, as well as what triggered them. Give thought to what you might have said or done that may have hurt them or triggered an adverse reaction.

Tell Your Father How You Feel

It’s challenging to have a conversation with your father about your feelings, especially when you can tell that hatred has occurred. However, you may have to help your father realize how you feel by conversing about it.

A communication gap is one of the biggest problems faced in relationships. Communication gaps can be mutual or one-sided; whichever one it may be- both cause tension.

Be assertive; you will need to explain how you feel so that he can understand clearly. It can be challenging to do if you were raised in an authoritative parenting style. However, your courage and honesty will likely be appreciated.

How to Start the Conversation With Your Father

If you want to fix your relationship with your father, it’s important not to let your ego get in the way. Make the first move. Be willing to be the first one to approach him and communicate your feelings.

Here are a few guidelines to follow when talking to your dad about how you feel:

1. Determine your goal

Think about why you are having this discussion and what you would like the conversation’s outcome to be. Determining a goal is will help you to think clearly, instead of having an emotional outburst.

Are you having this discussion because you want forgiveness, or do you need him to apologize for saying something hurtful to you?

Do you need to express your feelings to your father to understand better what you are going through, or is your goal for him to stop mistreating you?

2. Choose the right place and time

Discussing something very emotional with your father needs to be done in the right setting and at the right time. Find a quiet time to speak to him, do not choose a time when he is stressed and in a rush.

You can also put thought into his emotions. Make sure he is receptive and calm, this can improve your chance of being heard.

3. Be honest with your dad

Be honest about your feelings and expectations of your father. Do not be afraid to talk about negative aspects of his parenting style or behavior towards you that contribute to the worsening of your relationship.

Make sure that you are respectful, friendly, and non-confrontational when doing so. Showing respect will allow your father to reflect on what you said without lashing out. It may even compel him to change or better the relationship.

4. Listen to his side as well

Reciprocity is fundamental to communication. If you want to be heard, you need to be able to actively listen too. Be patient and willing to listen to his side of the story. Be attentive to what your father has to say and listen to understand his point of view.

Try to find common ground with your father and be open to compromises. Try to find a solution that would be acceptable to both of you.

5. Stay calm

You want to have a meaningful conversation with your father, not a confrontational one. Therefore, it is vital to remain calm and not get defensive when things turn out differently from what you hoped.

Show your father that you are mature and that you have given thought to the conversation. Remember that there is no need for yelling. Instead, be precise with your words. Do not raise your voice and avoid aggressive gestures.

If your father disagrees with what you say and your goal isn’t reached, stay calm and agree to disagree. It is important to remember that your dad is entitled to his opinions, even if you think he is wrong.

6. Write a letter

If he is still upset and not open to talking, write a letter to him that explains your point of view in a respectful tone. Writing a letter cuts out the verbal interaction and conveys your thoughts, not your hate or anger. Letters help avoid the chances of it getting out of hand.

7. Take a Break

Parents have flaws and their own set of psychological, emotional, and physical problems. Unfortunately, there are occurrences where a parent is incapable of seeing their flaws or showing love and support. If your father is incapable of seeing fault in how he treats you, and if he is demeaning, abusive, or overly critical, it would be best to step away from the relationship for a while.

Toxic relationships cause stress, depression, anxiety, internalized feelings of not being enough, and even other failed personal relationships.

Stepping away will help you to protect your self-esteem and well-being. You might be able to rekindle your relationship later on in life, but it would be best to take a break from the toxicity for a while until then.

Consider Counseling or Therapy

If you cannot resolve your differences and feelings with your dad, consider seeing a counselor or therapist.

Counseling and therapy are effective ways to facilitate communication between the two of you, without blame-shifting or emotional outbursts. Counseling allows you and your dad to have a fair opportunity to communicate your feelings and be heard.

If your relationship with your father is toxic or abusive, consider going to therapy alone. Therapy might help you regain your self-esteem and possibly even gain a different perspective on your relationship with your father that will help you find solutions that you currently can’t see.  

Conclusion

Even if it seems that your father hates you, he probably really does not. He might be criticizing and have high expectations of you, but this is because he loves you and wants you to thrive in life.

To conclude, bad relationships do not happen overnight. Remember that relationships are two-sided. Keep your father involved in your life. Always respect him and speak to him politely, even if you have a different opinion. Do not get carried away by current, temporary tension with your father, and always communicate your feelings as clearly as possible.

If your relationship is abusive, it may be best to take a break for a while.