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Black Sheep of the Family: 22 Signs You’re Going Against the Herd

Constantly feel like you’re a bit of an outsider in your own family? Here are 22 simple ways to tell if you’re the black sheep of the family.

black sheep of the family

Have you ever looked at your parents or siblings and thought “How are these people even related to me?” It makes you wonder if you’re the black sheep of the family. They seem so different that you keep checking your birth certificate because you’re convinced they adopted you.

They look like you, but they couldn’t be further away from what you’re like. You can’t agree with them on anything, from politics, to religion, to TV shows, and constantly find yourself in petty arguments. And despite your attempts, they just don’t seem to “get you.”

It’s as if you were abducted by this family. Now forced to spend countless holidays with them leaning over the dinner table to complain about your job, or scold you for that new piercing you went and got. All while you secretly plan how to crack open the bathroom window and escape, so that you don’t have to hear another word.

How to know if you’re the black sheep of the family

Chances are you’ve known you’re a bit of a black sheep for a while. You just got used to it. The rebel figure in the household, and you know you’ll never be like your family. But you’re at peace with it.

If you’re still not sure whether or not you are actually the black sheep of the family, here are 22 signs that you’re the odd one out of your relatives.

#1 You never fit in. No matter how you acted or behaved, you never truly felt like you fit in with the rest of your family. There’s always been a difference in the way you are, and the way they are. It’s as if they’re total aliens to you, and you can’t seem to relate to them. [Read: 16 strategies to get your shit together]

#2 You don’t live up to expectations. You seem to have a habit of going against the grain when it comes to expectations. When your mum tried to dress you as a little girl, you refused to wear the frilly dresses. Or when you were a little boy you hated sports. You can’t tell if they’re disappointed in you for that, but you also don’t really care.

#3 You have your own look. You don’t look much like the rest of your family at all. Showing up to a family gathering with an edgy new haircut, crazy makeup, or an obscure fashion style has always been your bag.

You change it up and push the boundaries of how it is acceptable to look. You hate the idea of blending in with your peers or family members.

#4 School was the worst. You never wanted to be a cheerleader, you didn’t like chemistry, and you didn’t get on with many other kids, apart from your close circle of friends. But they hated school just as much as you did. Your grades generally reflected this, much to your family’s dismay. [Read: Burn bridges or leave it? 15 clear signs it’s time to walk away]

#5 People are convinced you’re adopted. There are too many times to count, when people see you around your family and were surprised when you said you’re related. You’ve also convinced friends you weren’t kidnapped as a baby by this weird family that seem nothing like you.

#6 You do your own thing. You stick out like a sore thumb from your family, but you’re pretty proud of it. You don’t share the same personality traits, quirks, or mannerisms that they do. It just makes you more unique.

#7 Your family tells you how to live. You’re so used to your family telling you what you should be doing with your life that you learned to block it out. They constantly try to assert some control into your life. Just keep moving forward and do what suits you best. [Read: How to ignore people who mentally stress you out]

#8 You were always just going through a weird “stage in your life.” You’ve heard the words “it’s just a phase” or “you’ll get over it” far too many times. And yet here you are, years later, still living in your “phase” and loving it.

#9 Your SO is never good enough. It doesn’t matter who you bring home to your parents. They always find something wrong with your significant other. They disapprove of the way they talk, their job, and their style. But that’s only because they have such high expectations. [Read: 10 tips for setting boundaries with difficult people]

#10 You’re full of firsts. You were the first one in your family to get tattoos, move away from home, get a super chic hairstyle, and always the first to speak your mind. Your family thinks you’re wild or impulsive, but you’re actually just a bad-ass trailblazer.

#11 Family fights are your forte. You often find yourself in the middle of family fights—mostly unsure how you got there. Chaos seems to find you. Probably because you find it difficult keeping your opinions to yourself when a family member says something stupid. Instead of calming the situation, you fuel the fire.

#12 You express your personality with your music. Your taste in music has either been completely eclectic or totally wacky. If your family listened to country or R&B, you were the one head banging to punk. You listen to bands most people never heard of, and thoroughly enjoy annoying your relatives by blasting it loud at family gatherings.

#13 You go against the grain. Whatever people want from you or expect you to do, you do the opposite. There’s nothing more boring to you than being the same as everyone else. Instead you let your distinctive outlook on life dictate what you do—no matter what, because that is what the black sheep of the family does.

#14 Your family has a lot of face palm moments with you. You find you constantly embarrass your family when you go out in public with them. Whether it’s a simple trip to get groceries, or a night out at a restaurant.

You talk louder, act bolder, and react stronger to things than they do, but you don’t mind if that draws attention to you. Even if they do. [Read: Negative Nancy: 17 traits and ways to deal with their attitude]

#15 Settling down is for suckers. Everyone around you is settling down and getting married, and you still can’t decide what shoes to wear today. The idea of staying put and letting your roots grow terrifies you. You still want to explore, have adventures, travel, and date new people. So, don’t tie down that wild spirit just yet.

#16 You’re not scared to try something new. In a horror movie, you’re the one that walks head first into a dark room without turning on the light. You aren’t afraid of unfamiliar situations and don’t let anything hold you back or intimidate you, despite your family’s pleas for caution.

#17 Swear words are a regular part of your vocabulary. You’re always getting told to tone down your language, or being told you swear like a sailor. When I was in high school, my mother put a swear jar in our kitchen. I managed to fill it within a week. You can’t help the potty mouth—at this point it’s just an unavoidable bad habit.

#18 Responsibility is not your strong suit. You’re a little scared of holding babies, because you’re terrified you’ll drop them. You also keep forgetting to show up to events you promised ages ago you’d be at. When it comes to important decisions, you’re generally not the one left to make them as the black sheep of the family.

#19 Your career choice seems odd to them. While your siblings have gone on to become doctors or lawyers, you did your own thing and decided to set up your own bakery. Or become a professional poker player. Or an app developer.

No matter how successful or fulfilling, your job will always be a topic of conversation amongst family members. [Read: How to be comfortable in your own skin: 20 ways to love being you]

#20 You’re used as a word of caution. Although your family loves you, you generally hear the phase “as long as you don’t end up like that” or “don’t copy their example” when your parents talk to your siblings or cousins. Wear that like a badge of honor. Better to be a cautionary tale, than a forgettable face.

#21 Family gatherings are awkward AF. You never really know what to say to your aunts about how your life is going, and you don’t have much in common with your cousins. Plus, the idea of sitting through your grandparents telling the same stories three years in a row drives you crazy. And the holidays are mostly just a big attempt to avoid any family get-togethers. [Read: Sense of self: 21 steps to raise it and feel like a million bucks]

#22 You’re super self-sufficient. The only way you know how to be is fiercely independent, and you rely on yourself in all situations. You’re always the first to stick to your guns and have your own back, no matter the opposition.

You don’t need anyone else to stick up for you or your lifestyle choices, because you’re a self-styled maverick that makes no apologies. Secretly, your family admires you for it and loves the black sheep of the family.

[Read: 15 steps to take if you keep saying “I hate my family”]

Hopefully you figured out whether or not you’re the black sheep of the family. Next time you feel like you don’t fit in with them, don’t worry. Just keep being your unique, wacky self!

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Rebecca Kremer LovePanky
Becki Kremer
Becki is from the big city of London, but is a small island girl at heart. She is of mixed-race heritage, and has wanderlust flowing through her veins. She work...
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