Freelance writers need support, and they want it from the people close to them. The problem is your friends and family members may not be the best people to offer you that support. They just don’t understand the freelance lifestyle.
Some family members and friends do it by accident. They don’t realize that you’re working, and will try to call you or meet up with you during the day. And it happens every day.
Other times they’re unsupportive maliciously. Some of it is jealousy and other parts are belief that you just can’t do it.
So, how do you deal with unsupportive people in your life? Here are some tips to help you.
Explain Your Job to Them
It’s time to make it very clear that this is your job. Tell them what you do, and give them your business hours. Make it clear that you are unavailable, unless it really is a dire emergency—as in someone is on their way to the hospital.
Sure, you can take days off for holiday. But tell them when those days are.
If you don’t, you’ll have people dropping their kids off onto you or calling by unannounced. They’ll just assume that you sit around the house all day in your PJs!
The idea of working from home is harder for older generations to get. The possibilities weren’t really there for them. I remember my grandmother really being confused at the idea that I could work from home. But she was at the point where she just let people get on with things.
My mom wasn’t really that supportive until she saw me working over New Year one year. I was pregnant with my daughter and my husband was helping them paint the house they were moving into after New Year. It was an extra week off that I hadn’t planned, so I set up my office on their kitchen table. My mom soon realized just how much I did and I really did work at home.
Stop Giving Them Mixed Messages
You tell people that you need to work, and then you share that cute cat video on your Facebook. What does that tell people around you?
You’re not working!
Don’t give them these mixed messages. Keep your social media posting for your five minute break or for after work like your friends have to do.
If you give mixed messages, you’ll find it very hard to deal with unsupportive people in your life.
Accept They’ll Remain Unsupportive People
You can’t change the way everyone thinks. When I used to work at my in-laws’ house, my sister-in-law just didn’t get the idea that I had to work. She would spend time chatting to me, or telling me about the latest TV program on the Disney channel.
Maybe she’s changed now that she’s grown up, but I just learned to roll with it. My way of dealing with it was by putting earphones in and drowning out the talk.
You just have to accept that some people will remain unsupportive. Even when you prove that you are working and bringing money in, they may be unsupportive. If you keep letting it bother you, it will just lead to excess stress.
Surround Yourself With Supportive People
The best way to deal with unsupportive people is to surround yourself with the opposite. Find the supportive people, who will help you get on with your job.
There are a few options here, and they may not necessarily be friends and family members. Try writer forums, groups and websites to help you find likeminded people. A writing mentor may be a great way to find support, and a mentor will have been through all this in the past.
You can deal with unsupportive people in your life. It’s time to put your foot down and make it clear you are working and you will succeed at this.
Do you have unsupportive people in your life? How have you learned to deal with them?