On your journey to tiny house living you are going to meet a lot of people that have something to say about your tiny house dream. Some of these people will help you achieve your goals, others will think you are crazy and ask lots of questions and some may even try to dissuade you from pursuing your downsizing goals. It is important to recognize these people on your journey, because while some of them are vitally important in helping you succeed, others will try and crush your dreams. In my experience, you will meet three types of people on your journey…
Skeptics, Critics and Cheerleaders!
Skeptics are the people who haven’t heard much about tiny houses, or just aren’t sure if tiny living really works for “normal” people. They will ask you things, like “is that a good idea?” “how does that work?” “are you sure you want to live in such a small space?” Most of these skeptics aren’t bad people they just don’t know anything about how tiny living works and they are genuinely curious about your journey and or concerned about your well-being.
Skeptics are useful because they often bring up questions or concerns that you might not have thought of yet. I encourage you to respond to skeptics with an appreciative approach. If these are people you know well, engage them in conversation. Explain your reasoning and discuss the questions they have. I always liked to respond with, “that’s a great question,” and then continue with the answer if I had one. If I didn’t have an answer already in mind, I would say, “that’s a great question, I need to do some more research on that topic.”
Skeptics can help you solidify your reasons for going tiny and help you come up with logical and well-thought out reasons for why you really want to move forward with your downsizing plans. I encourage you to find a few skeptics to help you on your journey.
Critics are people who aren’t happy until they have torn down your dream. Critics will sometimes ask the same questions as skeptics, but they will always have a reason for why your answer is a “bad” answer. They will tell you all the reasons your dream won’t work. They will use words like, “stupid”, “impossible”, and “dumb” when they listen to your plan and they are relentless in their questions.
Critics are the negative people that will suck the life out of your dream, and they should be avoided when possible. Surrounding yourself with negative people, particularly those who might be in your normal “sphere of influence,” will cause self-doubt, increase fear and possibly destroy your dreams. Be careful how often you interact with them.
When I encountered critics I would usually try to start with similar responses I used for skeptics. Sometimes, critics became less critical as they learned more about my plan. However, if critics remained critical, I usually would say something like, “I understand why you would think that, but this is the best plan for me.” For the really persistent critics, I would explain my stance and then ask to drop the subject. In a few instanced I simply avoided them when they continued to tell me all the reasons my plan was a horrible one.
The hardest variety of critics to deal with are the people closest to you. I was very fortunate in the sense that my family and close friends all supported my desire to downsize. Some of them still think I am crazy, but they knew that before I started my journey! If you have a critic in your inner circle, I encourage you to try and explain the whys behind your decision and tell them how important it is to you to have their support. At the same time explain, that if they can’t support your decision that you would rather not discuss the issue any more.
Sometimes critics become skeptics and then even cheerleaders along the way. If you can’t change their minds, agree to drop the subject. Don’t look for their support, but simply respect the fact that you don’t see eye to eye on this particular decision. In cases, where these critics become too vocal or discouraging, do your best to distance yourself from them. At the same time, realize that critics may be offering you valid reasons why this plan isn’t the best for you. Listen to them before you dismiss them completely.
Cheerleaders are the people who believe in your dream and who want you to succeed no matter what. These are the people in your life that will help you realize this dream isn’t as crazy as the critics think it is. They are the ones that will be on the sidelines or in the trenches with you helping you realize your goals.
Surround yourself with these types of people as much as possible. My biggest cheerleaders on my journey were my family and some of my closest friends. I relied on these people to listen to my ideas, help me identify things I hadn’t though of and to keep me from panicking as I was making my transition to my tiny house. If you don’t have family or friends that are supportive, find other people from the tiny house community to help cheer you on! Share your goals and dreams and let others surprise you with their generosity and helpfulness.
I’d love to hear your experiences with these types of people! Share your thoughts in the comment section below the post and if you enjoyed this post please share this with your friends.
Until next time,