First, congratulation! You are part of a very unique group.
There are hundreds of possible reasons why you want to take a break from your everyday life to travel or live abroad. Whether it’s to reconnect with your Vietnamese or Scottish heritage, go back to school, write a book, start an Internet business or spend a year in France like us, YOU all have one thing in common.
YOU want more out of life. More than a nice set of dishes and a big house. More than a 2 week vacation. You want to do something BIG and less common while travelling or living abroad.
Some people call it a Gap year, or life sabbatical. This concept is nothing new. It’s been going on for ages but it’s been gaining more and more popularity around the world. It’s exciting and I bet you can’t wait to get started on your journey and tell everyone right?
I Have Some Bad News
Don’t kid yourself. Just because you see unicorns and rainbows on the other side of your plans, not everyone will be cracking open the champagne for you. Some will see your plans as somewhat radical and maybe even subversive.Don’t get me wrong, some people will be supportive. Just be prepared for push back from naysayers who will try to point out all the reasons why you should not leave your life behind even for only a year.
The Naysayers and Energy Vampires.
- Maybe it’s a loving friend or relative who says what they need to say to protect you from what they think is a big mistake.
- Maybe it’s a co-worker who wishes they could do what you want to do but has convinced themselves that they can’t and therefore think you shouldn’t either.
- Maybe is’t a parent or sibling who thinks you are being selfish by leaving them to travel thousands of miles away..
It’s ok. It’s their job to talk you out of it. They are just trying to be the voice of reason. Listen to them and hear what they have to say but in the end, only you can make the final decision. I hope it is based off what is best for you not based of what others are telling you, you should do.
If you really want to keep the waters calm and also pursue your dream of travel then you need to learn to deal with them because their negativity can literally suck the life out of your plans leaving you with nothing but a deflated dream and full of regret.
Here are are 10 tactful ways that I have personally used to handle Naysayers or as I like to call them “Energy Vampires”
10 Tactful Ways: How to Deal With Naysayers & Energy Vampires
1-Make Them Feel Heard: Listen
The first thing you should do when someone questions your decision or ideas is LISTEN. Chances are they are just concerned. It will not only make them feel heard but they might actually bring up a good point that you hadn’t thought of.
Arguments are draining and take the focus away from your main objective and goals. Instead smile, nod your head, thank them for their thoughtful input just don’t argue.
3-Let Them Go: Disengage: Avoid
Some people will not be satisfied with the fact that you won’t argue with them. These sneaky naysayers might even resort to criticizing you in non constructive ways by making you feel bad or calling you names. If you encounter this type of person and discussion just excuse yourself from the conversation. In extreme cases you may need to avoid the person all together.
Never react or show anger. If you do not react to their naysaying ways, than they have no power over you. The best you can do is agree to disagree and walk away. See point number 3 about disengaging.
5-Protect And Safeguard Your Plans
What would happen if you created a beautiful ice sculpture and left it out in the sun? It would melt right? Think of your goals and dreams to move abroad as a beautiful ice sculpture. If you tell everyone about your plans at once it can be like exposing your ice sculpture to the direct sunlight.
Instead, assume you will get a lot of negative feedback and be selective who you tell.
6-Change The Subject
This doesn’t always work but it’s worth a try. Just change the subject. It may work best with co-workers but not so well with someone very close to you like your siblings or parents.
7-Refuse Money and Help
If you are living under your parents roof, if someone is supporting you or helping you then chances are they might feel like they have a say in what you do with your life. You have two choices,
- keep accepting their help: You may be obliged to listen to them.
- Stop accepting their help: Yes it will be scary but if you really want to do something and someone is not willing to support your ideas then maybe it’s time you show you can take care of yourself.
8-Surround Yourself With Supportive People
Have you ever felt drained of energy but after a good nap or a good nights rest you feel a renewed sense of energy like you can do anything? Surrounding yourself with positive people or people with the same goals as you is like that. Just like negative people can suck your dreams dry. Positive people can fuel your ideas.
If you can’t find anyone around you then go online to find people. Look for groups, associations and forums where people like you hang out. Contact them and start interacting with them.
9. Let It Fuel You!
I have no idea why this works but when I have an idea or want to do something and someone tells me I can’t or shouldn’t do it I get a fire in my belly that drives me. It gives me so much satisfaction to prove someone that I can do something especially after they tell me I can’t. Maybe it has something to do with overcoming challenges. Whatever the reason, negativity as a fuel rather than a deterrent is a great way to look at naysayers and energy vampires.
10. Ask Them To Help You
What if you just straight out asked someone to help you accomplish your dream of living abroad? It doesn’t have to be monetarily although that would be nice wouldn’t it? Let them know how much it means to you. If they respect you and your good judgment than they might just help you. It’s not forever right? It may even give them the satisfaction to see that you are making the right choices. Once they are involved, they have a vested interest in your success.
Just accept the facts: If you are going to do something “DIFFERENT”, something a little less safe then expect the people around you to chime in and try to change your mind.
I truly believe that if you have a dream, something that could potentially bring you a lot of satisfaction, happiness and success, you shouldn’t let naysayers stop you.