You have an ambition. You’ve pursued it for some time. You even feel like you’re steadily progressing. So you share your accomplishments with your friends and family, and you’re shocked by their responses. “Why are you doing this?” they say, casting doubt. They make you insecure about your choice. “I don’t think you can do it,” they claim. They crush your confidence. “What will you do afterward?” they question. They think you’re wasting your time. You don’t understand. They’re supposed to be the closest people to you. Shouldn’t your loved ones care if you’re happy? Don’t they want to see your life improve and your dreams come true?
When Everyone Tries to Smash Your Dream To Pieces
People point fingers at you when you fail. “Told you so,” they say. You’re being judged. Everyone’s trying to control and manipulate you. You can’t believe people can go to such lengths to rob something from you – something that’s so inconsequential to them, but so important to you. They suppress you until you feel useless and powerless. You feel like crying. The pressure is very nerve-wracking. Sometimes you even surrender and start to believe what they say. When you realize even the “supportive” people aren’t willing to speak up in your defense, you give up your last bit of hope. Then you realize that you’re alone. Worse, you have no idea how to protect yourself from such malicious and targeted attacks.
5 Reliable Ways to Parry Verbal Disapproval
As long as you’re pursuing something worthwhile, people will continue suppressing you. In most cases, there’s no way you can change their minds. This sounds depressing, but you can protect yourself from unsupportive people, and minimize the damage of their disapproval.
1. Blatantly Ask For What You Want
When you share your dreams and passion to someone, what do you want from them? You want their encouragement. However, most of the time, you don’t get it. Why not? Well, you didn’t really ask for it. Before you share your passion, explicitly ask for the other person’s support. Tell them, as specifically as possible, what exactly what you want to hear from them.
“I want you to support me.”
“I want you to be excited for me.”
“I want you to say you believe in me.”
“I want to hear you say you are happy for me.”
When you do this, you’re actually screening this person’s level of supportiveness. If the person refuses to encourage you, you then have the option not to share your ambitions, thus avoiding harm.
2. Exploit Criticisms To Your Advantage
We tend to blindly dismiss our oppositions the way our oppositions dismiss us. You often think more positively than you might want to. Not that it’s a bad thing, but realize that all noble endeavors are inherently risky. A Chinese saying goes, “The spectator’s eyes are always clear.” People can identify risks and impracticalities of your plans better than you do, because they are not blinded by passion. They can think with a clear head. That’s why they don’t seem to run out of criticism. Still, this is good for you. Use criticism to remind yourself of the risks and dangers of your endeavor. Treat them as reality checks. This way you’ll always have an idea about what problems you might face when you’re moving forward.
3. Tell A Captivating story
If you don’t draft and polish your story beforehand, you’ll come off as incoherent and unorganized. People will have a hard time understanding you. Worse, they’ll think you don’t know your stuff. This triggers criticism. Explain things in a language people can understand. Get them excited as much as you are. Show them you know what you are talking about. Consider everything. How important your passion is to you? Why do you think your idea is viable? What are you willing to give up to make it happen?Most importantly, how can they show their support to you? Address possible objections people may raise beforehand. Also, prepare yourself mentally so you don’t get argumentative and confrontational when criticism arises. Always prepare before you make an announcement, and never do it on impulse. Don’t give people more reasons to attack you.
4. Conceal Your Ambitions At All Costs
The easiest way to stop disapproval is to stop seeking approval. Truth is, telling others about your ambitions is a poor way to get validation, because the more you share without discretion, the more people get the chance of talk you out of your ambitions. Understandably, sometimes you might have to reveal out of necessity. Yes, you may have to tell your loved ones, your investors and business partners about your plans. Friends and relatives you see every other week don’t need to know for now though. Always keep your goals secret. Don’t let anyone smother your passion.
5. Read The Hidden Message Behind Their Words
“Are you sure you can do this?” people say. “It’s very hard, you know.” If you hear these coming from your loved ones, most of the time they speak out of legitimate concern. They are not trying to put you down. They compare you to normal people, because being normal is safe. They want you to be safe. They don’t want to see you struggle, fail, and get hurt. They actually want to support you. If they offend you verbally, don’t blame them. Some people can’t articulate their feelings very well. It is possible that you’ve misinterpreted their kindness. Consider the meaning behind their message. Show empathy and understanding, and express appreciation. Don’t argue with them. Instead, gently assure them that you’re okay on your own.
How to Realize Your Dream When the World is Against You
The world is cruel. It does everything to crush your vision and destroy your reality. This is how the world has always worked. It’s not personal. It’s like gravity. No one can escape from it. The world weeds out those who succumb to its force, and those who endured till the end rise to the top and change the world forever. This is how the world evolves. Unknowingly, most people around you become part of that gravitational force. They stand against you, and try to put you down at all costs. They may be well-intentioned. They may be malicious. It doesn’t matter. It’s not their fault. Whether they know it or not, they’re all under the world’s command to put you down. Now you know how to handle these people. Seek their understanding, work on your story, and consider their opinions seriously. Appreciate the people who truly support you and love you. It may not be easy at first. However, with time and experience, you’ll learn to be tactful, and you’ll be able to handle suppression without getting hurt. You’ll have more confidence once you know you have control in social interactions. You’ll learn to not let anyone shake you to your core. When no one believes in you, you’ll have to lead by example. Act, and make your dreams come true. When people see how much progress you’re making, they’ll be inspired. They’ll start to have faith in you.So get moving. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. You can do it.
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Author: Blon Lee
Blon Lee is a Chinese Buddhist who helps people transform suffering into joy with Buddhist meditation and wisdom. Follow his blog and learn how to grow spiritually and become truly happy.