How To Deal With Feeling Unwanted

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Do you struggle when you feel unwanted? Does it hit you hard, affect your level of self-worth? Make you feel empty, alone? See, when you’re feeling unwanted, you get the sting of rejection, the insecurity, the self-doubt. It creates a whole mush of emotions and feelings, each interlinked.

But it doesn’t have to beat you. No matter how overwhelming it may feel, there are ways to better deal with feeling unwanted, and in this article – we’ll explore exactly how. So listen up, my friends, because this is where things are all about to start to change…

What Does Unwanted Mean?

So before we look at how to deal with feeling unwanted, I want to get clear on what exactly this means. Like, define: unwanted.

By definition it is someone or something that is not or no longer desired. If you say that something or someone is unwanted, you mean that you do not want them, or that nobody wants them.

But isn’t it just a harsh word? An emotive word? See, I happen to think that title in itself could stir up some pretty bad feelings. I mean, when you put it that way, who wants to be unwanted?

But the thing to remember, is it’s really subjective. First off, just because one person may not “want you”, or more specifically – doesn’t want to be with you romantically, that doesn’t mean you’re unwanted as a whole.

And let’s say you do feel unwanted by someone – couldn’t it be something else instead? Couldn’t it be more about them than you?

We’ll explore all of this in more detail shortly, but for now, I want you to remember the definition of unwanted, because there may be some situations where you need to challenge if unwanted is actually the “right” way to feel.

I feel unwanted

What Makes You Feel Unwanted?

So what makes you feel unwanted? Well, it could be down to people, circumstances or certain things/ situations. For instance:

Feeling Unwanted When You’re Single

You could feel unwanted on dating apps, when the people you’re speaking (that you’re actually potentially interested in), don’t respond, leave you on read, or don’t seem as interested as you are in them.

Just remember – at this stage, they don’t really know you, so can you really take it to heart to consequently feel unwanted? Maybe not.

Feeling Unwanted When You’re Dating

Or perhaps you feel unwanted when a person you’re dating doesn’t want to see you again. You’ve taken the time to speak to them, to see them, to get to know them, and you feel rejected by the fact that they’d rather call it a day. Or worse still, they ghost you. (Brr, not nice at all!)

But again, in this situation – there could be no end of reasons and no end of things going on in that person’s life that influence this decision, that you simply don’t know about.

Also, just because someone doesn’t see anything romantic with you, doesn’t mean they don’t like you or “want” you as a friend. Which is why it comes down to the way you see it, once more.

Not everyone is going to treat you right, give you a complete chance, see you for who you are, or want to be with you… But that’s okay. Honestly, it is. Learning to deal with rejection when dating is just part of it.

Feeling Unwanted When You’re In a Relationship

You might even feel unwanted when you’re in a relationship. Perhaps your partner doesn’t give you the attention, love or affection that you crave for, and so – despite the two of you being together – you still don’t feel desired, happy or whole.

These are just a few brief examples. We’ll explore what makes you feel unwanted in more depth shortly, but for now – think generally… what instances make you feel unwanted?

Try to identify them, start thinking…

Why It Hurts To Feel Unwanted

Everyone’s different. Some people will find themselves in situations and feel unwanted. Others could be in the exact same situation and not feel that way at all.

They’ll interpret it a different way. Or, it could just be that some people are better at brushing off the unwanted feelings… it’s not such a big deal.

See, naturally as a whole, feeling unwanted is – of course – not pleasant. Feeling unwanted also works hand in hand with rejection and biologically, we’re not creatures who feel comfortable with rejection.

It all comes back to our survival instincts. A person who is “rejected” is less likely to survive on their own.

However, for some, feeling unwanted can be especially hard. Why? Because it can be triggering.

For instance, if you have abandonment issues, feeling unwanted could be a major pain-point. Or if you’ve had past toxic relationships, feeling unwanted can bring all those experiences back.

Likewise, if you have anxiety or are feeling alone day to day – feeling unwanted is lightly to heighten all of that.

Who you are, what you’ve been through and what you’re struggling with to date, will therefore all play a part in how these feelings affect you.

The good news is, regardless of where you’re at, there are things you can do to better cope. You’re never trapped, stuck or helpless. There’s always things you can do.

How To Deal With Feeling Unwanted

How To Deal With Feeling Unwanted

So let’s get stuck in. Next up, I want to share the process for how to deal with feeling unwanted.

I want to teach you how to better process and respond to it.

Because that’s what it’s all about – knowing what to do when you’re faced with challenging feelings and emotions, knowing how to healthily work through them.

Sounds good? Alright then…

Step 1: Identify What Exactly Is Creating This Feeling

When you’re feeling unwanted, I want you to get clear on what exactly is making you feel this way. I gave you a few broad examples of what can trigger you feeling unwanted as a whole, but the more specific you get, the easier it is to tackle.

Sometimes the reasons for why you’re feeling unwanted are totally obvious. They may be a natural reaction, a fully justified feeling or just your natural response – which is why it’s become familiar to you.

Other times however, you may not be so sure. Or, it could even be a mix of the two – what you think may be the obvious answer you can probably explore further.

So if you’re feeling unwanted, ask yourself:

What’s made me feel this way? Was it predominantly one instance of has it been an accumulation of things? Has it been building up? And what’s making it build up? What kind of things?

Write it down. Also consider the “rules” and “expectations you have in your head for how people should behave or what certain things mean – and how that ties in to triggering those feelings of being unwanted.

This task, when done properly, isn’t a two-minute job. It may take time to fully identify and understand. So save this article and come back to it if you need. Don’t rush the process.

Step 2: Evaluate It

So you’ve got the hard part out the way, you’re starting to build a better picture in your head of what kind of things are making you feel unwanted… good stuff.

Remember, you can change your mind, add to your notes, cross things out. This “work” is for you and for you only. But for now, look at what you’ve written down and ask yourself…

Is this rational? Is this reasonable?

We’re not saying your feelings aren’t justified, but if you have limiting beliefs or are holding onto what’s previously hurt you – sometimes you can mix up past experiences with present ones and intensify the situation you’re currently in.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about, just something to be aware of. Because once you’re aware, you can take away its power by deciding to change.

Feel Unwanted When Single

Step 3: Feel It To Release It

So you’ve identified that you feel unwanted, you’ve recognised where it’s come from, what’s triggered it, and you’ve considered if it’s valid and reasonable.

Whatever the conclusion, if you want to let go of the way you feel, you have to allow yourself to actually feel it. Even just temporarily.

Whatever emotions this situation evoked, however unpleasant it feels to feel unwanted, you have to recognise your emotions and actually feel them in order to release them.

To teach you how to do this properly, we’ve created a quick guide on “how to feel your emotions.” That’s right, we wrote a whole blog post about it because it’s such a big deal – so be sure to check it out!

But just to be clear – this isn’t about dwelling. It’s just about recognising, feeling, then freeing. It’s an empowering process and is really as short or long as you want or need it to be.

PAUSE: Important Point

Now when you’re feeling your emotions, it’s important to not negatively act on them. Or force other emotions over the top of them to try to cover over them completely. For instance…

Let’s say a guy you’re dating is flirting with other people at a party. You see it. It stings. It pulls up those feelings of hurt and rejection, so you lash out. You try to brush it off, “get your own back.”

You think “Forget this, I don’t even care.” Which would be all well and good, but it’s not genuine at this stage, because you’ve not actually felt how it made you feel. You’re just trying to cover over it.

A better way to deal in this situation, without those feelings of being unwanted piling up, is to:

  1. See it.
  2. Accept it.
  3. Feel the sting.
  4. But take the situation for what it is – nothing more, nothing less.
  5. And decide to let it go… (If that’s the right thing to do of course.)
  6. As you let it go, release the negative emotions with it.

Stirring up more negative emotions, fuelled by negative thoughts towards the person / situation won’t help. They’ll only reconfirm those feelings of being unwanted. (Which by the way, you’re not!)

That’s why I can’t stress enough how important it is to follow this process… to deal with it in the right way. This can be applied to many situations in life, too.

Feel Unwanted When Dating

Still Unable To Let Go?

There’s always going to be things in our life that are less than ideal, things that happen that we wish happened another way, perhaps. But if these things start to compile, they gain strength… they’re heightened. So before you give yourself the pep talk and lift yourself up, ask yourself…

“Is there something deeper happening here?”

It’s like if you go to a restaurant, look through the menu, see that ham and cheese pizza and think, “YES! That’s just what I fancy!”

You order it, you get excited for it, and the waiter comes back and says, “Sorry, we’re all out. No more ham and cheese pizzas here. I’m afraid you can’t have it.”

You’d be disappointed right? But you’d have another look at the menu, pick something else and actually, when it came, you may well be thankful you went for the chicken pasta instead… it tasted good!

Now with this analogy, I’m not saying that one guy makes you feel unwanted so you go and find someone else instead. No, no, no.

I’m instead comparing to the fact that yes – you’d have a natural reaction, you’d feel disappointed that what you wanted, you couldn’t have. But you get on with it…

That ham and cheese pizza isn’t going to play on your mind for the rest of the night, becoming all-consuming!

And if it is – it’s because you’ve developed some kind of phobia around it happening… which is what’s happening with these guys that make you feel unwanted.

What To Do If This Is The Case

So if you’re recognising you’re feeling unwanted, allowing yourself to feel it, but are still able to let it go – there may be more work you need to do.

You can’t do this all at once. But over time, you can. You’ll retrain your brain.

See, if you’ve constantly found yourself in situations where you feel unwanted, if it’s happened time and time again – every time it does happen, it will stir up all of those bad memories.

It becomes a trigger, holds more power over you, like we spoke about above. And that’s why it’s a bigger deal.

So before you brush it off, before you’re actually able to brush it off and truly move forward, you need to see why it’s getting to you so much. In fact, let’s pause a moment and explore that…

Recognising Deeper Issues

  • Are these feelings familiar to you? Is it normal to feel unwanted?
  • Is this something that you’ve learnt to dread?
  • What hurts so much about feeling unwanted?
  • What do you think it means to be unwanted?
  • Does it hurt your ego? Or is it something deeper?
  • Do you think this is more a reflection on your self-worth?
  • What’s happening in your mind here?
  • What other things are going through it that could be significant?
  • Where could this stem from? Why might this be such a big deal?
Feel Unwanted In a Relationship

Final Step: Tackle It

If you identified that there’s more behind it, a deeper reason why feeling unwanted feels so hard to you, then you can then begin to address it.

Address each point, one by one. Whether that’s working through it with a specialist coach, or swatting up on each individual issue and working through them yourself.

The most important thing is that you’re trying different things and taking consistent, focused action towards working on and improving the things that are making you feel unwanted (even if you’re not 100% sure to begin with, what you need to do.)

Think, try something, evaluate its effectiveness, try again – and if all else feels, get professional help / support to well-and-truly overcome it.

Just know that there are solutions and slowly but surely, if you’re truly committed to it, you can overcome each of the core issues that play into feeling unwanted.

What To Do When You’re Feeling Unwanted

To finish off, I want to leave you will some final tips that will really help when it comes to feeling unwanted.

(Uh huh, I told you – this is where everything changes, remember. You’ll be fully stocked up with strategies and ideas after this. All that’s left is for you to apply it… And keep applying it!)

1) Start By Changing Your Mind

However you currently feel, whatever thoughts go through your mind when you’re feeling unwanted, challenge them and replace them with more empowering beliefs.

So for example, you might turn…

  • “No-one wants me” into: “I am surrounded by people who love me.”
  • “Why doesn’t anyone feel the same way back about me…” This becomes: “Not everyone is going to see me, appreciate me and be in the same place as me at the same time. But that’s okay. Things don’t work out with the wrong people, to create space for the right ones. I’m glad that this happened. And it’s no reflection on me.”
When you change the meaning that you give things, your life changes.
Forgetting Fairytales

2) Give Yourself a Pep Talk

I also want to stress the difference it makes when you decide, right now, you’re not going to feel this way. When – not only this but – you also remind yourself of that in the moments where you do feel unwanted.

And I know what you’re thinking, “Ha! If only it was that easy.” And it’s not. Not really. Not if you want the feelings to go away and stay.

But it’s all about commitment. Because if you’re committed to it, you can make it happen. Especially when you stay committed and refuse to have it any other way.

So be your own best friend, use those empowering beliefs and also have that fight in you to build on it further.

How to feel wanted

So For Example:

> A guy calls things off with you: you feel unwanted, you allow yourself to feel that, but you then recognise the way you’re speaking to yourself, the meaning you’re giving it and say…

“You know what, this happens. He simply wasn’t the right person. That’s okay. But I’m not going to let this knock me!”

> Or your boyfriend says something that makes you feel unwanted. But you know, deep down, you’re being over-sensitive. Recognise it, acknowledge it, then say…

“No, I’m better than this. I’m not going to keep reacting in the same way!”

Find your truth. Then say it, believe it, keep reminding yourself of it, and carry on…

3) Keep Moving Forward

When you do all of this, you’ll shift your state. You won’t stir up all the negative emotions that come with feeling unwanted. Instead, you’ll choose to go down a different path.

When you feel yourself hitting that turning point, use the momentum that you’re gaining and build on it. So do things that make you feel good.

Get yourself on those dating apps, ask out the guy you do actually fancy, be around your friends, get focused on some work.

Whatever you want to do, do it. And keep moving forward, instead of downing on whatever made you feel unwanted in the first place.

You’ve got this. Trust me. You are good enough, smart enough, fun enough, beautiful enough. You are more than enough, in all areas of your life. So don’t let anyone make you feel any other way.

That’s All For This One…

There we have it. What to do when you feel unwanted and how to deal with feeling unwanted.

I hope this helps. Any questions, remember, you can always give me a shout. Take care!


When You Feel Unwanted
Photo of author
Ella Stearn
Ell is a Breakup, Dating & Relationship Specialist & Coach, with over 3 million annual readers, globally. As the Creator of Forgetting Fairytales, her mission is to help you learn to love yourself, find the right person to give your love to, then make it a love that truly lasts.

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