Have you felt the need to put off chasing your dreams because you thought your family wouldn’t understand?
The benefits of a supportive family and friends are amazing. You can make plans for your life and trust they will be there to support your decisions.
You can talk to them when you need opinions, and draw from their strength in times of trouble. Simply, you’re assured that supportive loved ones will catch you if you fall.
If you’re blessed with supportive family and friends, be thankful! A lot of people are not so lucky. While most families are, at their core, loving and only wanting the best for their loved ones, not all are able to express support in a positive manner.
Some families struggle to accept and support high-risk changes.
You probably understand first-hand how hard it is to pursue a dream outside of what your family expects you to do. Without meaning to, they may hinder you from being the best you can be.
Unsupportive people can zap your energy and drain your enthusiasm, making you question your decisions instead of working towards achieving your goals.
The big question is: how much can you let them dictate your future? Should you forget your dreams? Of course not! But how do you deal with difficult family and friends?
3 effective strategies to deal with unsupportive friends and family
1. Don’t waste valuable time defending your decisions.
It is expected family and friends will ask questions about your decision to venture into the ‘unknown.’ You have to be prepared to answer them, if only to prove to yourself that you know what you’re doing.
If you’re leaving a well-paying job to doing something you love, you may raise a lot of questions, but it’s important that you know where you stand. Explain why it’s best to follow your dreams.
Make them see your point of view, but know they may not accept your decision.
Acknowledge their stance, but try not to argue or get dragged into repeatedly discussing the same points. There’s no use continuing to defend your decision if they are not open to your reasons.
2. Temporarily tune them out.
A little criticism is bearable, but if your family and friends are constantly dragging you down by pointing out endlessly that you’ve made a mistake in leaving your job to pursue a ‘smaller’ idea, all you can do is tune them out.
You don’t need to take them out of the equation or permanently cut ties. They are, and will continue to be, family – but you can spend less time with them and focus more on your goals.
Limit the time you spend with unsupportive friends, and skip unimportant gatherings where they will comment on your plans.
Once you have established yourself, your success will speak for itself and all your naysayers will come round.
3. Surround yourself with supportive people.
Don’t feel bad if your family and friends are not yet ready to support your decision to be an entrepreneur.
There are other people who have experienced the same issues as you. Connect with like-minded people by joining professional organisations and networking with others who are also starting.
You can draw strength and inspiration from their experiences – you’d be surprised how people can understand and support your dreams better than your family and close friends.
In pursuing your passion, you may meet criticism. Don’t let them get to you – instead, use their criticism to fuel your determination to succeed.
Remember that those who love you are worried about your future or financial security. When you show them your new venture is bringing you real happiness, you might even encourage them to go for their own dreams!
A great venue to get away from negative thoughts and immerse yourself in positivity and a can-do environment is the Hub, Australia’s coworking community for growing small businesses.
If you want to be surrounded by a truly supportive family of small business owners and creators making a difference, pop in for a visit at Hub and meet our wonderful community.