Dealing with Unsupportive People.

“You have to support your children to have a healthy relationship.” – Connie Sellecca

I stumbled upon this article today in my Facebook newsfeed from and felt it was worth a reshare on my FB page and on my blog here.

I have struggled with this challenge in my own life and know a lot of people my age who have also struggled with feeling less than supported in their ideas, especially if they were creative outlets or ambitions that veered from the norm. Given a lot of young peeps these days do have some entitlement issues and the need for more emotional validation, but every human needs to feel loved and supported. The lack of support and even discouragement can do a lot of damage.

One of my biggest “grasshopper leaps” (you’ll see the reason for the language after you read article below) was deciding to move to Costa Rica in 2009 and live there for an entire year. I was extremely supported by so many people, in fact, I was helped in fund raising, packing and researching my trip by countless friends, family members and people in my hometown. I was and am so grateful for this life experience.  But still, even though I had such support, my human negativity bias continued to see those who did not understand what I was doing or who were less supportive of my dreams. Perhaps I really am being strange and wacky, I thought. Perhaps my instinct and inner voice telling me to pursue this dream was not correct. (I see today that this was wrong and living in Costa Rica was the best thing I have ever done.)

Throughout my childhood and young adult life this unsupportive mentality has come from one specific person and I have always brushed this aside and strived to find understanding of her and with her. I have tried to be the bigger person – to open my mind and to know that misery loves company. If someone was striving to make me miserable, then it was because they were miserable. I told myself they could feel what they felt and say what they wanted, but it wouldn’t get to me or affect me. For the most part, it hasn’t, but not dealing with the root feeling of being unsupported had been leaving a secret residue of  shame and guilt inside of me for most of my young adult life.

The difficult part about this was that this unsupportive person was a family member and Christian. So I learned a lot about “what it meant” to be a Christian from her and what it meant to be a happy and healthy woman. Needless to say, I wasn’t learning in the best way. I equated service with suffering and womanhood with weakness. But in my grasshopper gut I knew there was more to the story and there was more to the world. I knew serving God and loving God could be tough, yes, and produce hardships, yes, and even cause stress, yes. The Christian life is not all rainbows and sunshine (but this is what my protagonist in this blog would have you believe all the time.) What I learned as I grew older is that the projections, questions and insults of unsupportive people were less about me and more about them. They were about their own pain, their own limitations and their own baggage. The deflecting attitude of the unsupportive person may come from a genuine sense of care, worry or protection, but when it strives to hurt, deflate your dreams and discourage your God-given passion, then it’s time to step back and ask more questions. Seek more understanding.

I still love this person dearly. I respect her. I admire her. I can see with compassion some of the struggles she has faced and still faces. These things are points in her journey that may not allow her to have supported my leaps and bounds, but she was still always there – ready to give me a hug. Ready to speak a sassy word or just to ask, “Stephie, what in the world are you thinking?” But we have, I believe, built a better relationship today. But it took a great deal of understanding, perseverance and talking. And it took a lot of releasing hurt and pain at the cross of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 3:13

But encourage one another daily,
as long as it is called “Today,”
so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

4 Lessons in Dealing with Unsupportive People

by Hope Zvara

September 25, 2012

Nothing in this world is the same. Nothing in this world is constant. Everything in this world is an opportunity to change, leap forward and grow.

Once, I was driving with my mom and kids in the car with my moon roof open. Out of nowhere, a grasshopper leaped into my car and sat on my thigh as I was driving. My mom, kids, and I squealed in excitement for different reasons. My kids thought a grasshopper in our car was silly. My mom and I instantly thought about leaps forward in my life. The grasshopper hung around for a while, then I cracked open my window and it sat on the edge for a few minutes. My mom commented, “Hope you teach us in yoga to meet our edge, honor it and see what you can learn from that view.” With the thought of sending it home, I gave it a small tap. Out it flew and back in it came. We all laughed, and my mom and I said at that moment, “Remember to trust. Big leaps forward in my life are necessary and present for me right now.”

I believe that life is constantly giving you signs and constantly telling you things helpful to your life; if you choose to listen. My little grasshopper friend was a confirmation to me that everything I am currently practicing and living is all part of my leap forward. Like a grasshopper, sometimes when you are leaping forward or are about to, unexpected things come into play to try to throw you off. How many times in your own life have you been confused for something you are not? How many times have you been confronted with someone who won’t let go of your past persona and see you for as you are? How many times have you said one thing and because someone is unhappy with their own life, they turn it around to try to stop you from leaping forward.

Maybe you are a little like me: you go to the beat of your own drum, not like the norm, see purpose and a learning opportunity in everything, and want to continue to change. You want to grow. You notice that when the growth is very prominent, on the cusp of leaping from well-cut grass to tall grassy hillside, then into a sunny place; that there are people and things in your life that come out of nowhere, to try to steal that away from you. You are the kind of person who tries to be honest. Sometimes, people confuse that honesty with judgment (and usually because those people don’t want to hear the truth). They try to stop your leap in mid-air because they don’t want anyone else around them leaping if they aren’t going to. Like a grasshopper, what works for others will not necessarily work for you. Even more so, what works for you will probably not work for anyone else.

So how do you be like that grasshopper and not get squashed in the process?

1. Like the grasshopper, it is important to understand that at times you may need to stay still. take it in, not say a word and just let other(s) do the talking. At other times or at a moment’s notice, you may need to take a huge leap into the air and land somewhat blindly and just trust that it’s right.

2. Trust your inner voice. Like a grasshopper’s inner ability to sense sound with their legs, sense the sound of your inner voice and trust that your navigation is on par.

3. A grasshopper has an inner sense of knowing when to make its leap. Your progress is made in the form of mostly leaps, rather than steps. Likewise, your progress will most likely not be slow and steady, but a playful combination of leaps, hops, bounces and strides. Like a grasshopper, those can sometimes be misunderstood. Know that your hop will only make sense to you, and it is not necessary for you to try to get others to understand.

4. Finally, a grasshopper can leap up to twenty times its height. Our grassy friend can only leap up or forward never back. So sure, glance back and see how far you have come, but for you my friend, the only way is up and forward by leaps and bounds. Not everyone will understand it, but other grasshoppers will. When you need it most, you will know to leap to a sunny mound and meet your fellow grasshoppers there, so that you can glance back again and see what you were able to overcome.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I like number 4 “Leaping forwards and never backwards !” If we all could do that we would be able to leave the past behind. . . but for most they take the past with them and end up “heaping” on others their negative thoughts and unforgiving attitudes. Keeping leaping forward . . . God has great things for you to learn about Him! ~ Blessings ~

Comment by theywhoseek

This is so true, but often so difficult. I find my issue with this is when I work so closely with people with diagnoses and families who talk about the past and their trauma or experiences, I have to have the ability to go there with them and sometimes empathy can take us back to hurtful times in our own life or resurface old stuff. For me, I find true healing is occurring or has occurred when you’re able to look back and not feel the same hurt and pain you once felt and realize how far you have come and how God has been working and will continue to. I’m able to address certain things from the past with an honesty and freedom that I couldn’t always do. This definitely takes time and moving forward. I know this means God has been working and healing my heart. Everyone copes differently. For some people, never looking back again and never talking about it will be the most comforting thing. But you are so right – holding onto the past and holding on to a negative attitude can turn people off and keep God from moving in our lives. Thanks for this message 🙂 God bless!

Comment by simplyenjoy

Very nice. I love you and your maturity. 🙂 I gives me great joy Joy, that you are walking in the truth.

Comment by John

You and mom are two of my happiest thoughts, Dad. I’m blessed by your faithfulness and love!

Comment by simplyenjoy

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