Well, that is something I believe we all would have experienced atleast once in our lives. The situations where parents don’t completely approve or understand of what we are doing and the reason being pretty simple – they care a lot about us and don’t want to see us get hurt. After all, we are their little babies – no matter how old we get.
Here is a post dedicated to disapproving parents and 5 tips to deal with them
1) Why are they disapproving?
I understand that it is pretty hard for us to do something new when there is very little support. For instance in my situation, I left my well paid engineering job to work on a business idea which was about guided tours. And naturally enough, I met resistance at home because they thought that it was a stupid idea which wouldn’t work. Not that I gave into it or understood my disapproving parents very well, but in retrospect, I realise that maybe there was a better way to handle it. I could have been a little mature about it and tried to understand “Why” they are saying this. And it may be about taking the high road and taking the responsibility to convince them that even if it is a mistake, we are going to take full responsibility of it to turn things around for ourselves.
2) Why are they wrong?
The moment they disapprove of us, don’t support us, the immediate response is to lash out at them or draw ourselves into a shell assuming that things will be better with time. Maybe they will, but is it worth all that pain on both sides or is it simpler to actually go and talk to them and convince them. If you are doing a new business or moving into a relationship they don’t approve of, then why do you think it will work. You got to convince your disapproving parents or relatives before you convince a customer to buy your product or a VC to fund your business. It will be a good practice to make our business plan or success plan more convincing – it can be a safe practice environment.
3) If they don’t listen!
Well, that is always the last option. We may know that they won’t listen or they may completely disapprove of it. But it is still worth talking to them about it. It is like this – you can always go ahead and do what you want in life. But it will be really nice to have your people by your side, it will act as an amazing support. Naturally they are worried sick about you and they will not comprehend completely as to how you are going to do it. We never promised you that things were going to be easy – they will always be very difficult. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t owe them an explanation. We get very few people who are genuinely concerned about us. Making them also the enemies just gives us very few factors in our favour
4) Prove it with small successes!
Most of us have the habit of surprising our parents with that one big news that will jolt them into a shock. For us, we have had this idea for so long in our mind that it becomes a part of us and we know how much it means to us. Our disapproving parents usually know very little about it. Talk to them about it, let them know what you are thinking about and why it can be a very successful venture, let them know what drives you. They are thinking about this whole thing from their perspective and their own shoes – draw them into yours and show them your world. That will help them understand what is going on and why it is very important to take that plunge. Keep them involved in the process, show them the small successes you have achieved and they will join you eventually. They will not remain the same disapproving parents for ever – after all they love us and they will come around.
5) If Nothing works!
Well, this is always the last resort, if none of these works and they are constantly criticising what you are doing – then the best answer you can give is NOTHING. Don’t expend too much of an energy on an argument. After your due diligence in these first 4 tips, it kinda boils down to this. You need your energy for the important stuff and less for the arguments. An argument might make you feel better for a moment, especially when you win it, but the after effects can prove a little expensive. Just ignore and smile about it – you know what you are going to do about it. You don’t even need to be very direct or belligerent about it. Just listen and nod and go ahead with what you do – after all, it is your life and your priorities sometimes.
6) You cannot always please everyone.
This is perhaps an untold tacit truth. There will always be someone who is going to be disappointed with you. The agenda is not about making everyone feel happy either. You need to feel happy and satisfied and then you can make people around you happy. There is no point in trying to please the entire world when you yourself are going through hell in your own personal world. Step out of that bubble and organise your priorities. If people are not happy about it, it is not your responsibility always to keep them so – let that go and focus on what is more important to you than your disapproving parents. The other things have a way of coming around.
7) Source of Energy
Through the process, it is really important to maintain what drives you. When you are doing something which most people don’t approve of – it does not need guts, it needs patience and understanding as to what makes you tick and what your source of energy is. When we are doing this, we reach a phase of self doubt as well where we question our actions. Knowing what drives us and the reasons which made us take this action in the first place can come a long way to deal with a constant opposition.
8) Building character.
I am usually weary of saying that something builds character cos it is usually countered with a question – SO WHAT? Not many of us want to care about the philosophical aspect of it, but it doesn’t just build character, it makes life more bearable. It gives us the knowledge of looking at things from a bigger picture and enables us handle things more mature way.
9) You may say it is all theory.
Knowing what we write about, it is a common question we find – It all sounds great in theory, but does it work. And we come back with a question – It depends on how badly you want to make it work. Things rarely work on themselves, we have to drive our results and outcomes. Or else everything leads itself to entropy.
Now, we can sit and complain about how unfair the world is or how unreasonable our disapproving parents are or just go ahead with what is more important. After all, it is a game of choices!
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