As cliche as it sounds, friends are the family you choose for yourself. But, sometimes, those friends can prove to be unsupportive, leading to stress and anxiety. You can get lonely when you’re a digital nomad, but friends can provide comfort. If you’re not that lucky and your friendships seem to be taking a turn for the worse, these ten tips might help you navigate the situation.
1. Explain the Why
Most folks adversely respond to any kind of change, especially if it doesn’t follow the traditional lifestyle. Since that response is built-in, it’s often difficult for people to understand why you’re choosing this life in the first place.
The solution is to sit them down and explain what it is, why you’re doing it, and what perks it gives you. This might just help them look at it from a different perspective.
2. Sympathize With Them
For a lot of us, leaving our home country can be a challenge, with family and finances holding us back. This automatically fosters a sense of jealousy amongst people who have friends traveling the world and working remotely.
Tread this subject carefully, but do sympathize with those who can’t follow in your steps. Chances are, they might feel more heard, which can help clear that thick fog.
3. Find Relatable Things
Distance can be fatal if you become entirely different people and can’t even recognize each other anymore. You don’t necessarily need to have the same mindset. However, you can find little things that are common among you. Whether it’s a show, a love for reading, or a shared dream, finding relatable things can really help ease the tension.
4. Confront Them
Confrontations scare me to death, but to preserve your friendship and bond, sometimes it’s just pivotal to take that step. If they’re really your friends, they might disagree, but they won’t throw you out of their life for bringing up something that is really hurting you. Any genuine friend will realize their mistakes, and if they don’t, just show them the door.
5. Accept That You Can’t Change People
As much as it hurts, all good things must come to an end. When people refuse to be supportive of your choices, it’s time to move on and let them go. Friends are supposed to make you feel accepted and wanted, and if they’re simply not doing that, then you don’t need the extra pressure they bring to your life. Always put yourself first.
6. Don’t Encourage Them
Whenever they pass a comment that doesn’t sit well with you, it’s important to not agree with everything they say. Encouraging them will further reinforce the behavior that will make them repeat it more often. State why you need to do this and ask them to respect what you’re doing. Hopefully, they’ll end up coming around.
7. Maybe They Just Miss You
People have unhealthy ways of coping with distance, and being unsupportive might just be one of them. If you’re absorbed in your life and can’t find the time to stay in touch with them, maybe it all boils down to them missing your presence. Taking out some time from your day to make them feel important might help them open up to you about it.
8. Lessen Your Attachment
Image Credit: Shutterstock.[/caption]
While we’re all fond of our childhood friends, too much attachment can take a toll on your mental health. If you’ve explained your situation to them, and they still find it difficult to digest, then some space might be what you need. Reducing your attachment to them will lessen the impact of their words and help you move forward with your life.
9. Talk About Your Happiness
Seeing someone you love with all your heart traveling the world alone might cause you to worry about them excessively. Suppose this is the case with your loved ones. Talking about the positives you’re getting from the nomad life will help alleviate their anxieties, allowing them to become more supportive of your career aspirations.
10. Find New Friends
As you’re experiencing a whole new life, there are plenty of people for you to mingle with abroad. Go out, explore, and find people with a similar mindset to yours. You never know what friendships are brewing right around the corner. All you have to do is take a leap of faith.
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