When The People You Love Don’t Support Your Dreams

I know it can be a little disconcerting when the person that you care about the most or the people that you love don’t seem to be invested in your professional career.  

They don’t seem to care about the work that you’ve been so passionate about your entire life.  

We have our own passions, and the people that we care about have other passions. 

It can feel very lonely and even debilitating.  

You can feel unsupported. 

This can lead to isolation at home. 

You feel like you’re in it by yourself and start to think, “Why do I even need to have them in my life if they don’t care about what I do?” 

You’re trying to build a future for them.  

You want them interested and invested, but they can’t see the forest before the trees. 

This can make you resentful and break up your family in ways that you never thought it could. 

How do you address this situation?  

1. Tell your loved ones that you love them. 

Tell them that you care about them. 

Take some time to explain that you are who you are and you do what you do because you care about them.  

They still may not understand.  

But you have to say the words “I love you” and “I care about you.”  

They’re probably going to find 15 reasons of why this isn’t true. 

They may say, “If you care about me, you wouldn’t spend so much time in the office.”  

“If you care about me, you wouldn’t volunteer for so many projects.” 

“If you care about me, you wouldn’t be chasing the corporate ladder.” 

Don’t take it personal because it’s not personal.  

It’s not about you.  

It’s about how you see the world differently than they do.  

2. Listen 

Stop talking and listen. 

Ask, “What can I do to be a better supporter of you?” 

Ask what you can do to be a better partner or a better parent. 

Then listen.  

Listen with intentionality.  

Don’t listen to respond. 

Just listen and take it all in.  

You may even need to have a piece of paper and write down what they’re saying. 

Be intentional to document what they’re telling you. 

Make a list and start making an effort to do the things on the list. 

You may not be able to do them all at once.  

It may take you five years to get to the second thing on the list.  

But you need to stop and listen to the people that you care about. 

Be intentional about what they need you to do to support them. 

When you start to put forth the effort and show that you’re trying to do your part to be a good parent, a good spouse or a good partner, that’ll create space for them to want to understand more about what you do.  

3. Reevaluate your workplace priorities. 

This is something you probably don’t want to think about.  

You probably haven’t thought about this in the 25 years that you’ve been in your career. 

You need to reevaluate your workplace priorities. 

You’re putting in all of that effort, kissing up to a CEO who won’t give you the time of day and won’t pay attention to you.  

Is it really worth it? 

I don’t think it is.  

Are you spending too much time dealing with a staff person that you should have found a way to manage out of the organization five years ago? 

But because you didn’t then, now they’re sucking up all your time and energy. 

That’s why you can’t invest in the people that you care about. 

Maybe you need to start looking for a new opportunity.  

I know you love your work.  

You love your career.  

You’re passionate about it.  

You can still be passionate about it.  

You can still stay in your career, but you don’t have to stay in an organization that is creating a toxic environment at home. 

That’s not a good environment to be in.  

You’ve got to find a way to get out of that environment. 



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