How to have a Conversation with Well-Meaning People
by Samantha Bennett

We all have our family of origin, and then we have our family of friends.

It ’s one of the great perks of adulthood — you get to pick a second family of friends who love you.

While it ’s likely that both these families love you and care about you and want the best for you, you may have noticed that most of them neither know nor care much about your work.

They don’t understand what you do. They don’t understand why you do it. It probably even seems kind of crazy to them.

That ’s okay.

Your family is in your life to love and support you as a person — they are not here to be your audience, your clients, or your critics.

Do not expect anyone to have any understanding of what you do or why. After all, do you understand why firefighters actually choose to run into burning buildings? Or why neurosurgeons elect to put their hands inside someone ’s brain? Of course not. We’re just damn grateful they do.

Same with art. People who are not artists haven’t got the faintest idea what it’s like to be you.

And people who aren’t parents can’t really know what it’s like to have kids, and people who’ve never suffered from depression can’t imagine how bleak life can seem — you see where I’m going with this?

So if your family bums you out by saying ignorant or disparaging things about your work, just keep your head down and your shields up and change the subject.

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