I’ve noticed recently that I don’t like to talk about what I do. I’m very passionate about design and I could talk about it all day and night, but only with the right people. When my friends start talking about their jobs, annoying colleagues, or angry bosses, I become quiet. And it’s not because I don’t have anything to share, it’s just that they often look at me with that face that says “you don’t understand” or “it’s not like you really work”.
We are all criticized or judged for our life choices at some point, but it becomes even harder when you are trying to build a business or grow and monetize your blog and there’s nothing but negativity.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m lucky to have a partner that has always been here for me, a family that supports me and good friends that always encourage me. But there are others, members of my family or good friends that don’t understand what I do or why I do it, and at times, it seems that they are the only ones that matter. It’s their appreciation that I want and I often feel alone and even guilty because they don’t support me.
Understanding why people don’t support you
You’re probably thinking that your friends are jealous or just mean and some probably are, but there are so many other reasons why they don’t support you.
Most people have a very rigid understanding of what can and cannot be done. Some people feel that if they can’t do something, then no-one else can do it. Others, especially those who have known you for a long time, might feel that you aren’t capable of doing something because of your past experiences.
There are also those who are worried about you and how your life choices will affect you and your family. This is often the case when a husband or wife wants to quit their job and embark on a new journey. The other spouse worries about the effects this will have on their family and their budget and it often leads to a very hostile atmosphere.
For me, the hardest is having to deal with people that don’t understand that there’s life outside a corporation and are convinced that their way is the best and only way. And the worse is that they are never satisfied not matter how much I talk to them about my successes and the creative freedom that comes with having my own business.
Dealing with lack of support from family and friends
I’ve come to realize that a lot of people just don’t understand what I do even when I try to explain it to them. Even though blogging, freelancing, and online businesses are becoming more and more popular, many still don’t understand how you can earn a living without having a real workplace. If you have enough patience and carefully explain and even show what you do, you might be able to get your close ones to understand and even support you.
When it comes to naysayers, there’s nothing more important than attitude. If you start to stutter and become defensive, you will always give them the impression that they are right and that you know that they are telling you the truth. But if you are confident and believe in yourself and your career choice, you might be able to persuade them to at least see your business in a different light.
Learning to let go
I do not mind criticism as long as it’s constructive and it also comes with a bit of encouragement, but negativity and mean comments really bring me down. That’s why when I’m dealing with lack of support and know that there’s no way to change their minds, I either try to ignore them or stop talking about this with them. I know it’s hard to ignore when all they can talk about is your job or they always tell you the same things whenever you meet.
I know it’s hard to ignore when all they can talk about is your job or they always tell you the same things whenever you meet. Although there comes a time when you have to accept the fact that some people will never be happy with your choices. That they will always be negative and they will always try to make you feel guilty for not following their advice.
Accepting might not always make you feel happy, but you will feel more at peace with your career choices if you stop trying to fight and surround yourself with people that do understand you.
If you are feeling lack of support, know that you are not alone. And it does not mean that what you are doing is wrong. Continue doing what you do best and draw your strength from people that support you and from your successes.