One of the downsides of being an entrepreneur is that sometimes the people around you get negative. Sometimes family and friends just don’t understand how or why you would choose to work for yourself. From the fitness realm to the business world, this negativity from those around you is normal. What are some tips for dealing with these negative comments?

When a toddler falls, which happens frequently, they get up and look around. They want to know who saw them and what the reaction is. If a parent comes running and picks the child up, the child will likely match their emotion and cry. If a parent acts like a fall was not a big deal, the toddler will typically not act like it either. People don’t change much and this still occurs in the adult world. We still look around to see what people’s reactions are. When people are being negative, they are actually looking to you to see if they should continue or if it’s time to stop talking. Don’t feed into their negativity.

Let people know the reasons you are doing what you are doing. For example, if you are a philosophy major and people are constantly asking why you chose that, give them the truth. Tell them that when you began college, you were filled with questions and you needed to learn more about philosophy. Tell them that you stuck with it because it is fulfilling for you. This could go for anything that you choose to do: opening a gym, becoming a small business owner, etc. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and relatable.

If you are taking an unconventional life path, it is certainly not guaranteed to go great. But if you express why you are doing what you are, people will respect that. If someone is being negative, let them know that you make decisions that make you happy, and they should do the same. When you do this, you communicate the fact that you don’t need anyone’s approval. Secondly, you let them know that you may not be impressed with their life path, but you don’t let them know. If you follow these tips, you’ll rid your life of negativity in no time.