Once you start living your dream, or taking steps to better yourself and your situation, you’re likely going to get negative feedback from some people. I lovingly call these people, Haters. Haters can be anyone from people you don’t even know, to your closest friends and family.
If your able to do the things that other people say they would like to do (because you’ve done the work to get to where you are), you’ll likely hear a lot of, “I didn’t get to do that when I was your age, why should you”, “I just want to save you some heartache in the end”, or my favorite, “well it must be nice”. How do you deal with people who are jealous, people who want to try to tear you down to make themselves feel better, people who are bitter about not having gone for it themselves?
Why do people act like this?
I’ve said this before, misery loves company. If you stay with those people and complain about your situation then they can say that’s just how life is, but if you do better for yourself then they have to face up to the fact that it can be done, they are just choosing not to do it. This makes people uncomfortable. People don’t like to be uncomfortable and it often makes them lash out.
Some people around you genuinely want you to do and have better, but they just don’t know how to express it. They aren’t used to seeing people actually accomplish their dreams so they don’t really know how to act when someone does. Your way of living becomes so uncommon that it takes them some time to adjust. I know this may sound odd, but it’s true. When we meet people who are doing what they love to do, who aren’t constantly complaining about the job they hate, etc., it’s different. So many people just accept the fact that they have to do a job they hate to make money. So many people stay in relationships that they aren’t happy in because they think they have to to please others. They lay their own happiness to the side and do for everyone else.
When you start doing better, your world will change. The people around you will change. This is true if you are losing weight, getting healthier, quitting a bad habit, going for your dream job, or taking steps to live life your way. Your shift will cause others to shift. It may be towards you and it may be away from you. They may be inspired by what you’re doing and want to do better for themselves. Or they may eventually fall our of your life because they aren’t people that need to be there anymore.
Does this mean we’re destined to be alone forever?
It may seem that way at first, but no. As you keep doing what you are meant to do, what you love to do, you will attract people to you that are more in line with the things that you want in your life, and your new ways of looking at things. Just because there aren’t people in your immediate world who want to live the way you do, doesn’t mean they don’t exist; you just haven’t met them yet. Give yourself time, and you will find your people, your group of friends. You will connect with these people on a level that is deeper than you ever thought possible. You’ll be able to have conversations with them discussing the things that you actually want to talk about, positive, uplifting things, and not be caught up in the constant drain of complaining and negativity.
How do you handle those around you that are being negative about the positive changes you’re making in your life?
1) The biggest thing that you can do for yourself is to understand that their reactions are about them, not about you.
As I said above, people will be affected by your decisions to do better for yourself. Some will be positive about the changes and some won’t. There are plenty of people out there who will try to keep you where you are because they don’t want to move. They don’t want their world to change so they try to keep you from changing yours. They will say that you’re going against tradition, you’re being snobby, you’re trying to be someone that you’re not, or the age old…”you’ve changed”. It all means the same thing; you are moving out of your comfort zone and it’s shifting theirs. Whichever way people choose to react, it’s their choice, it’s about their own fears and insecurities, not about you or yours.
2) Work on dealing with your own insecurities and fears about moving forward.
I was one who, for most of my life, felt bad for doing better when others chose not to. I felt like I was somehow being greedy for wanting more. I would feel bad when I got to go somewhere and someone else didn’t. I actually felt bad if I didn’t have things to complain about like other people did. Until I realized that these other people were making choices to keep themselves where they were. The people who would say, “It must be nice”, when I told them I was going on vacation were the same ones who had spent a fortune on a new car or a new house. They were the same ones who ate out all the time, or bought new clothes all of the time. When I wanted to go on vacation, I would save money, cook at home more, and not spend on things that I didn’t absolutely need. The ones who always complain about hating their jobs, were given other opportunities and didn’t take them for various reasons. And on and on. So now, after some inner work on my part, when someone says “it must be nice”, I say “thank you, it is”. Not in a sarcastic, mean way, but a sincere, I’m enjoying the life that I’ve chosen kind of way. I don’t look down on those people that choose differently than I do, but I also don’t look down on myself for choosing differently and I don’t allow them to do so either.
We all have our own insecurities when it comes to stepping onto and moving forward on that path to our dream life. Do the inner work and it will make that path much more smooth.
3) Understand that just because you’ve been friends with someone your whole life, or just because they are family, doesn’t mean that the friendship has to continue in the same way.
Too often we try to force people to stay in our lives. If your inner knowing is telling you that it is time to let someone go, or to spend less time with someone for your own mental well-being, you need to honor that. Those people don’t resonate with you anymore and if you try to hold onto them, it will just make the relationship more strained. They will be more and more negative about your choices; you will be resentful because they aren’t trying harder to understand you. I’m not saying that you can never see them. If you can see them in small doses and still make the relationship work, while still holding onto yourself, then that’s great. I just want to warn you that not all of your relationships will be that way. There are those around, yes, family included, that will move out of your life completely. This can hurt, it can be hard to understand why they don’t want to work harder to make the relationship work, but it will be better in the long run. (Refer back to #1)
For more insight on all of this, Victor Oddo and his wife Pattie have two great podcasts that you could listen to. One is called “3 Keys To Healthy Relationships After A Spiritual Awakening” and the other is called, “Loneliness After Awakening (& How We Finally Made Friends)”. They are available on ITunes and Spotify under The Awakened State Podcast.
Just remember, haters will hate, but you don’t have to let them derail your progress. Love them where they are and love yourself enough to keep making forward progress.