Detractors are always a part of our life. They could exist in the office, social circles or even in our own homes. Basically it is very important for each one of us to learn about how to identify detractors and move on in life. People who can be labelled as ‘detractors’ are those who are most of the time negative, laugh at our dreams, chide us and say it is never possible to kick our bad habits or even aspire for a better quality of life. What would have happened If APJ, Mahatma Gandhi or even closer home our very own Bangalore Auto driver venkatalakshmi The woman who cleared her LLB on auto mode who will be an Advocate by this month end, listened to their detractors!
what is important is how one navigates our way with detractors. I had to make use of some of the below mentioned points especially when folks around me got to know about me giving up my full time job and living my passion.
First learn to identify them:
When people do get to know about what you intend to do they either react positively or negatively. A lot depends on their environment and their upbringing. Someone might not agree with your thoughts but that does not necessarily make them a detractor. However when they are negative and doubt your willingness to go the extra mile even though you are realistic then it is better to flag them as a potential detractor and avoid them or better avoid discussing your important life changing decisions with them. The thumb rule over here is to listen to them patiently and if they make you feel worthless then it is time to move on.
See if they have a valid point:
There many times when we are not realistic about our actions. We might decide to book a flashy car or a bigger apartment even when we have a mountain of uncleared debt. At these times take one step back and look at situations objectively or better from a third point of view, you will find the answers. When you realise that your inner voice is strong and you can feel it deep down in your gut, go for it else it’s time to move on. Believe me when you want something very deeply then you will figure out a way to fight any obstacles.
Insulate yourself from any negative thoughts:
Sometimes when people get to know your goals and dreams they have an uncanny habit of transforming their negative thoughts into you and planting a seed of negative doubt in your mind. This can, within no time become a huge Oak tree and break your grit and determination. The best thing here is to insulate yourself by moving on or better talking to someone who is more positive. Telling yourself that you do not want to allow their negative thoughts to enter your mind also works and does the trick. Important thing over here is in not allowing them to overcome you in any circumstances.
Realize that there will always be detractors:
No matter which part of the globe you are in, there will always be people around you who will cherish moments of putting down other people (sounds familiar right). At times we can’t change them, so it is wise to avoid them in the first place but if its your spouse or family then best is to listen to them, smile at them and continue what you are doing. There is always a certain magic when you smile at some one. By not allowing their words to influence you the detractor will eventually lose interest in you. Just like the fox and the sour grapes story he/she will move on to their next unfortunate victim.
Confront them and make them your ally:
Sometime the detractor will be your spouse or close family members. It is best to confront them, talk it out and discuss the things you are planning to do- be it relocating to another city or adopting a child or anything else which is important to you and win them over. This is best done at an early stage so that the detractor will eventually become your ally. Sometimes by just being truthful and conveying to the other person how important these goals/ideas are to you will do a world of good. Most of the times they will walk with you. The best strategy especially with spouses/family members is to make them your ally and then move on.
Laugh with them
Sometimes people will make a joke about you and tease you just to make you feel unworthy. It is more to do with their discomfort to your change which they do not know how to handle. The best strategy here is to be with them and laugh it off. This might not make them stop criticising you completely but the criticism will not be as intense as before.
Be informed and have counterarguments ready
It is better to be prepared rather than cut a sorry figure later . With knowledge comes power and it is no less in any dreams which each one of us have. There is nothing wrong with being over informed and being ready with a counter argument strategy. The best, end results will be in convincing the detractor(especially spouse/close family members) and eventually winning them over. When you have enough knowledge and passion in your goals, you will succeed most of the times. I have experienced that by being sincere and positive we can make our detractors align with our goals and make them our guiding light. I do hope this article has impacted you positively and you have many positive takeaways for your life.
I would love to hear your experience of dealing with detractors or how these thoughts of mine impacted you. Do feel free to share with me.