I want to talk about something today. Dream-destroyers. Dream-crushers. That’s who I want to talk about today.
Who are they? They are people who either unintentionally or intentionally try to destroy the dreams and goals of others. I mention this because I am dealing with one at work. Someone I once thought was a friend. These people can be destructive forces in your life if you allow them to be. Whether you have a creative endeavor you are trying to start, a business you are trying to get off the ground or anything that seems out of the ordinary, a dream that you are trying to achieve, here come the dream crushers trying to cut you down to size. They often they use harsh negativity to “put you in your place“.
There are two different types that I have noticed. The first type are those who mean well and are coming from a place of love and care. They might tell you things like: “Oh, that won’t work because its too risky! Too foolish!” or ”Are you sure this is a wise decision you are making? This doesn’t make any sense. How could you even think about doing this when you have this, or that. . .” or whatever. Usually with this first type, they think they are trying to help you. I think I can understand where they are coming from even though I think this is misguided. Then there’s the second type – which is what I’m dealing with. The type who are petty, mean-spirited and rude when you tell them what goals you are planning to fulfill. The most upsetting aspect is that in many cases dream-destroyers and crushers are family members or friends.
At work I have a man whom I thought for years was a friend who turned out to be a mean- spirited, petty dream-crusher. Or a would-be dream-crusher because I don’t pay him any mind. Back in 2011 I started self-publishing my stories and a year later I set up my own business as an independent publisher. I made the mistake of telling him because I was so excited over this opportunity. You see, I’ve always been a writer. I’ve been writing for a number of years; since I was a kid. I’m no Tolkien, Hurston or Dostoyevsky but I can weave a tale. I know what I’m doing in that regard. I understand some folks don’t like indie books. And that’s fine. They may not like my books. I’m not interested in foisting anything on anyone if they don’t want it. But this guy looks for opportunities every time he can to put me down. When I first told him about my plans in all innocence this guy starts telling me how he has this friend who is self-publishing and how his stuff just sucks to high hell and he gets no sales and he has no talent and he’s an awful writer. Hell, I don’t know, maybe the guy is bad. Maybe some think I am. Won’t change anything. I have no idea what this guy’s work is like and I am starting to believe that maybe this guy is a decent writer and the “friend” feels threatened by both of us. The whole situation feels pathetic to me. On his part. Why would you talk like that about a friend? Why would you talk the way he talks to me if you were a friend? I wonder what this other guy would have to say if he knew how badly he talked about him? Anyway, I knew I had made a big mistake telling him my dreams were finally coming true about writing and possibly owning my own business. Now, whenever he sees me, it becomes a trial for me not to say something out of turn. He ridicules me and makes fun of my goals to be my own publisher and to make a living as a writer. He suggests that I’m a failure because I chose to self-publish (after nearly fifteen years banging my head against the traditional publishing route and not getting anywhere) and he tells me how all self-published work is bad and self-publishers do what we do because we have no talent or the intelligence to be legitimate and get a proper book deal. It doesn’t occur to him that many of us have made a choice that works for us. Nope. This guy rarely picks up a book to read, by the way, yet he knows that my stuff is poor and I have no talent for writing. He hasn’t read my books either ( I asked.) :/
But this is what a dream-crusher is folks – someone who is going to have something useless/negative/downright foolish to say when you mention you are trying to make something of yourself. Even poisonous. I thought he was a friend. I know now that a true friend would never do what he does.
This is the thing. For a long time I never could understand people who degrade, insult, ridicule or nay-say another person’s goals of achievement until it dawned on me that some people have never achieved anything that they wanted and instead of making an attempt to achieve something or trying to be content with their lot in life, if you mention your goals in life – going back to college, switching careers, starting a business, some creative endeavor, the claws come out! Watch out! They will try their best to stomp all over your dreams and tell you how your plans will never work out or that these plans are stupid, foolish, unwise and waste of time, or whatever. I’m not mentioning this because I want sympathy. I’m doing just fine but two days ago he was at it again, telling me: “I see you’re still here so I guess your book thing didn’t work out. Not making any sales, huh? I knew it! See, I have a friend who does that too and his stuff is just awful! No sales at all, blah blah blah!” Taunting me like he always does. I should have kept my big mouth shut.
People like that don’t want to see anyone around them do “better” as they perceive it, than them in life. However, its just their perception. Some people are content to be janitors or gardeners. Others can have a high-powered job and lots of money and be very unhappy so it is all in the mind. Dream-crushers and dream-destroyers walk around with a burden of negativity and unhappiness that is unreal. They can be nice people until you reveal your dreams to them. Don’t let them unload their negative junk on you! The lesson I learned is that not all people will want to see you succeed. They feel threatened by it because they don’t have any dreams of their own.
But whose fault is that? It ain’t mine. I’ll tell ya that!