The other day, my mother forwards me an email that her good friend sent her that was intended for me. It contained a long list of job postings in the technology field. My mom added, “Angela sent this to you” in the subject line as if it would take the heat off her if the suggestion of getting a job came from someone else.
Let’s see…I quit my job 6 years ago and have been working for myself ever since. Why would someone send me job listings? Why would people say to me things like…
“You can always go back to being an engineer if you need to.”
“It’s okay if you need to get a J-O-B.”
“Have you ever thought about law school?”
Let’s face it: SOME PEOPLE WILL NEVER GET IT. Period. They just won’t. Plus, it’s not your job to convince them that you know what you’re doing and it’s all going to turn out okay. Most days, you probably don’t know that yourself.
It can be frustrating when you whole-heartedly believe in something and those closest to you don’t understand it. It can make you feel alienated, because not only does it seem as if they don’t value what you’re doing, but also that they don’t understand you as a person.
Here are three ways to deal with people in your life who don’t get it…
1st Way: Ignore them
This is easier said than done, but it’s an option. As a business owner, you have to have thick skin anyway to deal with all the rejection, negativity and hard-times that come with the territory, so you might as well get some good practice at tuning out the noise.
Don’t get caught up in proving anything to anyone except yourself. When you are surrounded by naysayers, there’s a tendency to think, “I’ll show them and prove that this will work!” This attitude can get you into a number of traps and keep you from your destine path to success.
If someone in your life doesn’t get what you’re doing, practice the art of “non-reaction” when they say something negative to you. Many times, these other people can cause such a commotion in your life because you are constantly reacting to them. Practice not reacting. Don’t get caught up in the drama. Imagine their words bouncing off of you as you go along with your life. In the end, keep in mind that what they think doesn’t matter anyway.
2nd Way: Ask them for what you want
When I started dating my boyfriend, we set up one big rule: Each of us will always ask for what we want. This keeps us open, honest and real with each other. Plus, it leaves very little room for drama or “playing games.”
You are entitled to this same thing in any of your relationships. You are allowed to ask for what you want and speak your truth. It’s not your responsibility how someone else reacts to it, it’s just your responsibility to ask.
When it comes to dealing with people who don’t get what you’re doing, try straight-up asking them for what you want. In some cases, you might ask them to stop nagging about getting a job. In other scenarios, you might ask for more emotional support, ask for a loan, ask for them to watch your kids for a day or ask them to stop sending you job postings.
Generally, most people are good people and want the very best for you (that’s why they’re nagging you in the first place), but they can’t read your mind. If you want something that they are not giving you or you want something about your relationship to change, take some time to gracefully communicate that to them. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
3rd Way: Find your tribe
It’s so much easier to deal with naysayers when you have found your tribe. All entrepreneurs need a support system in their lives that includes people who fully understand what they’re doing.
Think about it…if you have a supportive group of peers who love what you’re doing and are experiencing similar triumphs and struggles that you are, who cares what other people think about you or your business? In addition, these people are probably dealing with the same set of naysayers that you are, so you know you’re not alone.
Your ultimate goal should not be to please everyone because that’s just not possible. When you make the switch from working a job to following your true passion, you will lose some friends along the way. That’s just a part of it. But you’ll also add some amazing people into your life at the same time. If you haven’t already, make an effort to go out and find your tribe.