Over the years, I’ve been disappointed by a few people I felt should have supported me, but didn’t. They never shared my happiness in victory so I never shared my defeats with them. They weren’t always too mean; but in times of my successes they might say something like, “You must be so proud.” Folks, a person saying this isn’t proud of you. They’re saying you must be proud of yourself. There’s no reaction to this comment that makes you feel good, especially when you want to hear, “I’m proud of you.”
Never good enough
I hope you don’t have someone in your life who’s even more overt in not being your fan. If you win an award, they may say, “I’ve never heard of that award,” or “Everyone knows it’s all politics.” Supposedly, no one watches the TV program or listens to the radio station where you were interviewed. If you make a bestseller list, they’ll ask you to let them know when you make a bigger bestseller list. And when you do, they’ll set another goal for you.
They can help
Speaking of goals, naysayers can often be helpful because they may motivate you to meet the goal they set for you. Then again, they won’t be happy for you and will keep moving the cheese. But the joke’s on them when you meet and exceed those goals!
Denial doesn’t help
It’s disheartening when someone who should be on your team abdicates. You want to deny their lack of enthusiasm and think you misunderstood their remarks. Perhaps you did, but listen to your gut. Frenemies are nothing new. The trick is to identify them early and not to focus on them.
Find your supporters
Thankfully, we have a large, supportive Christian community in this tiny industry. This community includes faithful readers of this blog. Otherwise, no doubt you have at least one person who thinks you can do no wrong. This person, or people, cheer you when you win and offer tissues when you lose. Focus on these people to share your journey with you.
Is snark a good thing?
That’s not to say we should ignore all criticism. Our enemies can sometimes be the only people who feel free to share negative feedback with us because they surmise they have nothing to lose. Some people feel inferior and therefore take pleasure in cutting down others. Pity them. They need our prayers.
When you’re their target, don’t overreact. I’ve even heard people say, “Thank you,” to criticism. Maybe their voice took on an edge, but that’s still better than throwing a temper tantrum. After the conversation, take time to recover from the hurt. Then, in quiet moments, consider their input. Is any of it valid? How can you use that contribution to improve? Be sure to talk to your supporters for discernment if you need help.
I’ve been blessed by people willing to praise me and literally say, “I’m proud of you.” When my daddy died, I lost one of those people. My mother still says she is proud of me. My husband and daughters are also supportive. These people can criticize me without any sugarcoating because I know those sentiments come from a place of love. I treasure them.
I don’t know of any successful person with no detractors. In fact, you may be a detractor of some people whose success you don’t appreciate or understand. Life is too short to dwell on derogatory people. It’s certainly too short for any of us to be detrimental toward others. Let’s keep our focus positive.
How do you deal with detractors?
Who is your most significant source of support?
What is your favorite way to support others?