Art Tip No 9 - How to Deal with Negative People

A long time ago, someone once told me, "You can't make money doing artwork."

So I stopped making artwork.

For years, I bought into the paralyzing words, "You can't," and, "You shouldn't."

Boo on that I say.

My life and artwork changed for the better when I decided to let go of the negativity.

To deal with naysayers, here are some tips that have helped me:

1)  Consider the source.

If someone tells you that you can't or shouldn't do something, what might make them want to offer the unsolicited advice?   

Are they protective of you?  

Are they generally encouraging to other people?  

Is he or she a professional?  

Are they lifelong friends or just acquaintances?

Are they successful in the same field?   

Is it possible that they're jealous?   

Perhaps they're having a bad day?   

Are they just cranky, miserable people?   

Examining the source will help you decide whether to consider their feedback or let it fall to the side.

2)  Examine your reaction.

If a person who genuinely cares about you is offering advice and that advice makes you feel angry, hurt, or defensive, ask yourself why that is.  Is it possible you may feel threatened or jealous?  Are you afraid to try something new?  

Do you feel unheard or not taken seriously?  Honor your feelings;  feelings are good indicators that something needs attention.

3)  Protect your goals. 

Not everyone will want to see you succeed.  Be selective with whom you share your dreams.  

4)  Gracefully thank them for their feedback.  

This one I am working on!  Sometimes you just have to nod your head, smile, and thank these people.  Know who you are and what you want, and let it go.  

5)  Limit your exposure.

Limit the craziness, for real.  Set boundaries.  

6) Surround yourself with supportive people.

These people will want to see you do great things, make you believe you can do great things, and give you constructive feedback to help you do great things.   Ask for their advice.  Be open to their suggestions.  

Cherish them!  These people are incredible gifts.

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

- Mark Twain - 

Who has been supportive of you and dreams?

How do you deal with the naysayers?