Where did you get that idea?!
Don’t dream so much, put your feet on the ground.
Are you crazy!?
I do not think it’s possible, but if you want to crash, go ahead.
Forget this foolishness!
If it’s never been done, there will be a reason.
If any of these phrases is familiar to you, it’s likely you met a dream destroyer. They are people who seem to have embraced a single goal in life: destroy the dreams of the others. These are people who have a problem for each solution and seem to find pleasure in defeating the dreams of the others.
These people won’t find exciting any of the goals that you propose and will give you a thousand and one reasons to give up that dream. Their arguments against are usually not solid or come from an objective and meticulous analysis of the situation, they are just darts contaminated with negativity directed against your self-esteem.
The 3 types of dream destroyers
1. The critic
This person is easy to detect since his speech is usually tinged with anger and criticism. It will list all the reasons why your dream is unreasonable, unreal and impossible. You probably already know all those obstacles and risks, but this person will exaggerate them to discourage you. He is the typical person who spreads his negativity at the blow of criticism. If he doesn’t convince you with those reasons, it’s likely that in his “last assault” his speech will become offensive and attacks you personally to make you doubt your abilities, resources and motivation.
2. The silent
This person resorts to silence to express his disappointment. When you tell him about your new project, he probably doesn’t say anything, although it’s also likely that his silence is accompanied by a reproachful look. With that attitude, he lets you understand that your idea is terrible or that it’s not worth pursuing your dream. By ignoring your goals and avoiding talking about the issue, he’s letting glimpse his disappointment, but assuming the role of a resigned victim, which usually generates a sense of guilt. In fact, his strategy is very effective since it will generate enormous doubts in you.
3. The disinterested
If you have a dream, it’s likely that you are full of energy, motivation and passion. And you would love that meaningful people share those feelings with you. The disinterested, however, does just the opposite. He denies you the emotional validation you need: he listens to you, but without paying attention, without emotion. And he does it on purpose, because he wants to show his disinterest. It’s also common he tries to downplay your dreams or make fun of you for aspiring to so much. This person is trying to undermine your self-esteem to make you give up your goal.
A deep inner bitterness
People dedicated to destroy the dreams of the others often experience a deep bitterness, disappointment and frustration, but not always show it. In fact, they often try to pretend a full and satisfying life, although deep down they suffer an emotional vacuum.
Many times that pessimistic view of the world comes from the failure to achieve their own dreams. If a person hasn’t had luck in his relationships, develops a negative view of them and will discourage the others from maintaining a relationship. If he didn’t succeed in a business project, will demotivate those who try to start a new project stating that it’s an impossible or useless task.
Sometime his attitude comes from the lack of courage, seasoned with a dose of envy. They are people who don’t dare to leave their comfort zone and who don’t want the others to do it because it bothers them that they can succeed. In this case, they are envious people who don’t want the others to excel or have a full life.
In other occasions, that attitude comes from hyper-protection. It’s common in parents with children or in couples. With all the good intentions, they want to cut your wings because they fear that you are going to suffer a failure or, worse, that you break the umbilical cord that keeps you tied to them.
How to deal with people who destroy dreams?
1. Listen to them. It may seem a contradiction but sometimes the best advice can come from where we least expect it. Listening is wise, although it doesn’t mean that you have to agree with what they say and much less that you will base your decisions on their opinions. However, perhaps behind their negativity you may find some risk that you had not foreseen, so that you can prepare yourself better to face it. The key lies in using that negativity in your favor, as a weapon to prepare against unforeseen events.
2. Thank them for their opinion. Instead of getting defensive, just thank him for his opinion. Normally this attitude is disarming the person. People don’t expect to receive kind and respectful words when they behave in a critical or derogatory way or try to destroy the dreams of the others. You may say: “I appreciate your opinion, but I’ll keep moving on.”
3. Keep moving on. If you have a dream and a clear goal, don’t give up. It’s very easy to fall into negativity. There’s no doubt that you will encounter obstacles and setbacks, but that is part of life. Make sure you don’t make impossible the possible.