This is a very difficult post to write, but I think it is an important one nonetheless because this is real life and this blog is about the realities of moving to a new state where you know no one, not just the happy and exciting moments. It probably goes without saying, but if you are uprooting your life and moving to somewhere completely new, you’re probably going to upset and/or piss off at least one person in your life. When you share these plans with your friends, family, coworkers, and any other category of people in your life, it’s best to be prepared for the worst. Below are four tips I think can be helpful in tackling the difficult conversations with people who aren’t exactly supportive of your move:
Do your research on your move so that you can be confident about it and can clearly articulate to friends and family why this is right for you. One reason you might run in to unsupportive friends and family is that they are worried you are making a mistake or that you are jumping into this move without truly investigating if it is right for you. The best way to combat this is to have facts on your side. When your friends and family ask questions, having answers where you can say, “Yup, I’ve looked into that and here’s how I’m planning to tackle it” can go far in improving the situation. Now, I’m not saying that everything has to point toward your move being a stellar decision or that you need to have an answer to everything, but being informed about your move is something you should be doing for yourself anyway, and it can go a long way in calming the fears of others. If you are able to do this, you may find that your friends and family come around and that their initial reaction was not that they were being unsupportive, but that they were just worried about you.
Take a minute and really try to understand why the person is not showing you the support you were hoping to receive. This somewhat goes hand-in-hand with the above advice. There are a wide variety of reasons you may be getting push-back from friends and family about the move. Like I mentioned previously, if they are worried about you, how they are reacting is coming from a good place and you have to remember that. But even if their reaction is coming from a good place, it can still be very hard for you to process in this stressful time. This is why if you are getting push-back from someone, you really need to take a breath, step back, and try to figure out what’s fueling their reaction. Are they worried? Are they angry? Are they just a nay-sayer generally? Are they jealous? Once you figure this out, I think it is easier to determine how you will respond to that person in the future.
The people who are giving you flack who are not really a part of your life, cut them out. I’m not talking about cutting off relatives, close friends, or anything that dramatic. Those are important relationships that you need to maintain even through bumps in the road like this. I’m talking about that person on Facebook who is a friend of a friend, you see once a year (if that), and who decides to be the only negative Nancy in a sea of other comments wishing you well on your new journey. That’s the kind of person and negativity you don’t need right now. Don’t feel like you have any obligation to keep this kind of person in your life.
At the end of the day, you do you, baby. You have to realize that, at the end of the day, you can’t please everyone with this move. If you’ve had those knowledgeable conversations explaining your reasons for moving, you’ve been introspective and thoughtful about why a certain individual in your life is giving you push-back, and you’re still not seeing any positive results, then you just have to forge ahead and stay strong. Remind yourself that you’ve done your part, you can’t control others, and you need to do what is best for you. You only have one life – live it the way you want!