7 signs your family is far from perfect but they’ve always got your back

Families can be… difficult, to say the least.

As someone who grew up in a very chaotic and turbulent household, I know what I’m talking about.

There are always some issues we’ve got to deal with, be it emotionally immature parents, sudden accidents, divorce, sibling rivalry, extended family members whose passive-aggressive remarks drive you crazy, you name it.

But at the end of the day, your family ought to be something you can rely on when in need; a stable home you can return to when you’re lost.

These are the 7 signs your family is far from perfect but they’ve always got your back.

1) They will root for you no matter what

Your family doesn’t have to fully understand your career choices or lifestyle in order to cheer for you.

My grandmother doesn’t really know how social media works, but that doesn’t stop her from showing her support to my cousin who posts on TikTok.

My aunt may think it is quite a dangerous decision to become a writer – “what with the financial instability and all” – but that doesn’t mean she won’t read my writing and recommend it to her friends.

Too often, our parents or relatives are so stuck in their ways that they completely disregard our dreams and goals. They fear our careers are too unstable or untraditional, and they try to change our minds or dismiss us straight away.

Family members who have your back, however…

That’s a different story. They may not necessarily agree with your choices in life, but they will root for you nonetheless.

2) They are there for you in times of need

Your car’s just broken down, and you need someone to help you out. Not to worry, your cousin’s going to pick you up.

You’re going through a difficult time at work, and you really need some help with the kids. Straight away, your parents jump at the opportunity to take the kids for a few days so you get some time to yourself.

Whatever it is, however big or small, family members who’ve got your back will try their best to step up when you need them.

You might hate that your cousin has different political opinions from yours, but he will absolutely fix that broken sink and help with your house renovation, no questions asked.

3) They are honest with you – even if it’s hard

My sister was once stuck in a toxic romantic relationship that drove her crazy and had a very negative impact on her mental health.

When she spoke to me about it, I told her my honest opinion. 

It wasn’t easy to tell her what I thought of her boyfriend and the way he treated her, but I also knew that she counted on me to be there for her – and that included giving her honest and practical advice based on how I genuinely felt.

Having someone’s back isn’t just about going the extra mile for them when stuff gets hard. It’s also about giving honest feedback when asked for it.

zodiac signs who are genuinely content when theyre surrounded by family 7 signs your family is far from perfect but they've always got your back

4) They make an effort to have an amicable relationship with you

My uncle recently messaged me to ask whether my younger sister and I could stop by and say hello to our newborn cousin.

I haven’t seen my uncle in years. Truth be told, I didn’t even think he cared about me – relationships on this side of my family are quite strained.

His attempt to reach out and form a closer bond with us was heart-warming. We visited for a few hours, had a lovely chat, and went home feeling like we had just re-affirmed and strengthened a connection within our family.

Sometimes, all it takes is a simple phone call, a Merry Christmas wish, or a two-hour visit.

As long as you can see that your relatives make an actual effort to stay in touch with you, you’re much more likely to return the favor, which then kickstarts a cycle of further contact.

You don’t have to be besties. You don’t even have to have that much in common. 

But if you both have an amicable relationship and reach out from time to time, it’s much more likely that you’ll be able to rely on each other and ask one another for help when needed.

5) They keep their word

My friend recently complained to me about his dad’s unreliability: “He always offers to drive me home from the airport and then cancels at the last minute! I can’t count on him to actually be there for me when it matters!”

I completely understand his frustration. While my family is far from perfect, my dad always picks me up if he promises to do so.

He keeps his word. Full stop.

And thanks to his reliability, I know he’s got my back when I need him – in matters both big and small.

6) They accept you for who you are

This is a big one.

Far too many families turn their back on relatives just because they disagree with their lifestyles, personalities, career choices, or anything else.

If that sounds like something you’ve experienced yourself, know that you’re not alone.

Personally, I have learned to think of family as something that is determined by action rather than blood.

If your relatives accept you for who you are and love you in all your authenticity, their actions scream “family”.

However, if they stop speaking to you, cut you off, or judge you every time you meet up, the fact that you share blood does not mean you have to put up with them.

After all, families aren’t just about genetics – they’re about culture, a sense of belonging, and friendship.

And I don’t know how about you, but I’ve built all of that with many of my close friends. They may not have the same ancestors as me, but I count them as my chosen family because they love me for who I am.

7) They respect your boundaries

Finally, someone who roots for you doesn’t necessarily have to be an active part of your life.

If you decide to stop speaking to your family for a while or if you establish firm boundaries regarding contact and communication, a huge sign your relatives are there for you is that they respect your wishes and let you take the space you need.

Oftentimes, it is not what we choose to do but rather what we choose *not* to do that shows our love.

Your family may not be perfect, but if they respect your boundaries, it’s a huge sign they have your back – even if it’s in the most silent of ways.c

Picture of Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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