Why you don't need THEM to take you seriously #motivationmonday
Why you don’t need people to take you seriously
Although most of my friends are in the fashion industry, I sometimes feel awkward around those who either aren’t, or don’t entirely ‘get it’.
What does that mean? Well…
I was at a gathering a month ago, and I was being introduced to new people. Upon introduction, each person usually asked the infamous ‘what do you do for work?’ In each conversation, I explained that I’m a press and web assistant for a luxury fashion brand (and fashion podcaster – of course).
Interestingly, I noticed a pattern amongst this crowd. When I said ‘press and web’ they were interested. When I said ‘for a luxury fashion brand’ they seemed to mentally check out. When I mentioned podcasting, they seemed interested. When I said it was about fashion, they checked out again (or made a dismissive joke).
From that point on, I began to feel awkward. Instead of naturally sharing my story with others, I slipped into interview mode. “What do you do?” I would ask. “What are your hobbies, interests?” “What are YOU all about?” In doing this, I subconsciously deemed my own work too uninteresting to discuss – all because they deemed it so.
While I do ask questions of my creative industry friends, I believe that conversation is like a game of tennis. Ideally, there’s a smooth back and forth, and one person doesn’t blather on for too long. When the conversation turns from tennis to squash, however, the interaction adopts an element of anxiety.
Instead of human conversation being good for your health, it becomes exhausting. When other people dismiss your passion, the result is a dialogue where you must accept a degree of inferiority for conversation to continue.
In the past (and sometimes even today), I would allow these conversations to crush my soul. When you work long hours, read a lot and create a lot, it can feel like your work doesn’t exist (or mean anything) when others dismiss it.
If I’ve learned anything within the last couple years, however, its that these people will always exist. Unfortunately, you cannot open their eyes to the merits of creative professions, or simply living a life with passion. What you can control, however, is how much time you spend with these people– and if they become your friends.
So, where do we go from here? How can we deal with those who don’t ‘get’ your passion?
Well, I have a few ideas…
1. Ride out the awkward silence: don’t subjugate yourself for a person who has zero interest in engaging normally. See how long their monologue, or the awkward silence, can last before they start talking.
2. Find your tribe: Podcasts, books and Instagram got me through 4 years at a non-creative university. Consciously seek out cool people and ask them for coffee. I dare you – email that cool Instagrammer in your town who you would DIE to be best friends with. Even if these like-minded people don’t become your best friends, their light will make a world of difference.
3. Bring your Kindle: If everyone at that party is boring, feel free to crack open your kindle– or just leave.
And most importantly..
4. Keep creating! Often, these people trigger us for a reason – their boredom resonates with our deeper insecurities. Am I good enough? Is my work going to help or inspire others?
From experience, I have found that the more I keep creating, the less seriously I take indifferent people. To reaffirm your creative confidence, I dare you to collaborate with people from your #2 communities.
Moral of the story? When you have a passion, not everyone will understand it. While I let this bug me at times (I’m human after all), I look to my amazing experiences and tribe – they’re the two things that keep me going.