Friends who squelch your dreams

Published: September 24, 2011 | Last Updated: September 25, 2011 By | 11 Replies Continue Reading

QUESTION

Hello Irene.

I am a 34-year-old man who had a dream. It sounds silly but it was to make a
film.
When I told my friends about this (which was in March) they were extremely
supportive of the idea, which I found surprising as I thought they would laugh
at me (I must point out at this point I have known these people for several
years.)

They asked if I needed help, to which I replied that I had done a lot of the
work but to make it a reality I would need a cast and crew to help. Again they
agreed, and I finally began to realize that my dream could come true. So I
spent the past several months saving money, buying equipment, etc. During this
time, they’ve all been asking how it its coming along.

I finally got the last piece of equipment a couple of weeks ago (the total cost
of the project had gone to £2900 or about $4500-5000) so I proudly announced
that we would soon be able to begin filming, only to be deflated as I was told
by several people who initially agreed to help, and who knew I was purchasing
equipment, that they didn’t think I was serious and didn’t have the time or
inclination to be involved. These were the same people who were asking me
how it was all going over the a period of months and who had even been at my
house when some of the equipment had been delivered.

I was at a loss for what to say at that point and just said (at the time) it
was fine, and that well if it came to it I could always sell the equipment so I
could recoup some of the money I had spent out, to which one of the "my
friends" replied, "Yes, that’s a good idea."

I went home that night and actually cried. Then I just felt complete anger at
being made to look a fool. I am at the point now that I just sit indoors
watching television, or sleeping. I’m man enough to realize that I know I can
never forgive them. But I feel so badly hurt that I don’t want to
socialize anymore. It’s not about the money, as I can sell the equipment to
second-hand stores or on eBay. It’s the fact that the past several months of my
life seem to have been turned into some enormous joke for everyone I know.

I know I sound childish but I really don’t know how else to fell at this point.
If you have any advice, it would be welcome.

Thank you.

Andrew 

 

ANSWER 

Dear Andrew, 

I don’t think your dream is silly at
all; you didn’t think so either until your "friends" deflated your spirits.

 

Neither you, nor I certainly, can
really be sure why this happened. It may be that your friends just don’t want
to be involved and never thought you would actually go through with it. But
this doesn’t excuse their insensitive behavior and gang mentality.

 

They may actually not think the idea is
silly at all. Can you try to reach out to each one (or at least some of them) individually
and ask for their support for your venture? Tell them you want them to play a
role in its success and explain what you would need from them.

 

If they don’t respond to your coaxing,
you may be able to find other people who would be interested. Aspiring actors
are always looking for opportunities to be on camera; you can usually find cast members online or from a film school.

 

If you are not socializing and getting
out of the house like you used to, you are very likely feeling depressed. Speak
to a physician or to a mental health professional who can help you through this
trying time and assist you in regaining your energy, enthusiasm and
self-confidence.

 

Don’t give up on your dream simply
because your friends are jerks! Find new ones who really believe in you and
support you. It won’t happen overnight but you would be going in the right
direction. And you may not wind up making a movie that shatters box-office
records but you may find a satisfying way to express yourself creatively and to
feel the satisfaction of fulfilling a dream. 

Hope this helps.

Best regards,

Irene

 

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Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I was just wondering how you were doing.

  2. Irene says:

    So happy you are doing something that makes you happy! That film may come to be someday too. Timing is so important in life and relationships!

    Warm regards, Irene 

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that although the film I planned has not gone ahead, I have just had my first professional acting audition. I believe it went well, but time will tell, however I do have a few more in the running to attend. so this is just a big thank you to you and the members of the forum, I’ll let you know how it goes.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Andrew,

    Glad to hear you are going through with the film! I hope you’ll shoot Irene an update at some point and let us know how things are going. 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    For your motivation. They were obviously just giving you a surface “Go for it!” and their willingness to commit based on their thinking you’d never get that far. They maybe wanted to be verbally supportive, and maybe thought that you were just dreaming, but didn’t want to say so.

    Be careful about asking or expecting others for free or lowly paid work. I am a creative person who tries to be supportive to friends endeavors, but at the expense of my own. Right now, I’m turning down all offers to help, in favor of focussing on my own. I am very careful about what I ask for others.

    I’m also a big fan of Julie Cameron — I’d deal only with other working artists, who are serious.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Check out all the books by Julia Cameron from your library. She has loads of advice and observations on this …and also a lot of encouraging ways that you can get your creative energy moving again. She talks about these negative types of people and the toxic effect they have on your dreams…and how to deal with them in the future…

    Also read about other directors and the challenges they face. George Lucas had his screenplaywriter pull out on him at the last minute and he had to write it himself.

    The point is YOU have to push through this and be thankful that you found out what kind of people they are sooner rather than later.

    One thing I am learning is don’t expect certain “friends” to understand or help you with your creative life. If you are that affected by their lack of support it could be that you are suffering to an extent from a “Need to Please” and some of the friends you’ve made whilst in this mindset are not friends after all.

    Every creative person needs a peer group of other creative people to bounce ideas around with. You can find yours on film making forums. Meetup.com also has filmaking groups. Your local adult education center will have courses too.

    I don’t want to disagree with Irene but I personally wouldn’t even bother re-asking these people for their help… why suffer rejection twice? READ Julia Cameron. She will really help you build confidence.

  7. Anonymous says:

    thank you all for your supportive comments. Reading through the replies has made me realise that I can do this. I think the initial shock was the whole ‘we’re not going to help now’ attitude, which initially knocked me for six. I’ve decided, I am going to do the film, I’ve spent so much time invested in it, I’m determined now its not going to sit in the corner gathering dust.
    I wondered why I was so blind to the alternatives, but as people have said, never give up. I will let you know how its all going and hopefully, one day, you can all see the film 🙂

  8. Anonymous says:

    Some people are Jealous of other’s creativity and will do anything to quell it out of pure spite. Remember that your real friends will be there for you. The creative spirit is kooky to some.
    I hope we can all enjoy your film sometime soon.
    Please keep dreaming and doing

  9. Anonymous says:

    Andrew, I am sure the film world is filled with people who had friends like yours who pooh-poohed their dreams.
    Make that film! Like Irene said, find aspiring actors. Place ads on places like craig’s list or at the local schools. You can do it! If you are lying around watching TV and if you have cable, watch some of the indie films such as on IFC. That will inspire you when you see how much can be done with low budgets. You don’t need those friends for your dreams. I am very sorry for what you have gone through, but do not take it personally, do not listen to their negativity, and don’t let them stop you. Please keep us posted here, okay? We are your Friendship Blog Friends and we care.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m still steamed after reading your story because I identity with it so much. I just want to add that if you give up your dream, your ex-friends get what they want–for whatever reason they are trying to discourage you and so please don’t give them the satisfaction. Pull yourself together, put a smile on and tell them that there are scads of people who would be thrilled to get to work on a film and then don’t bother with any of the naysayers again until you are ready to screen the finished product. Even if they can’t work on it because of time constraints or other reasons if they were true friends they would still brainstorm ideas with you around how to find other people to help rather than encourage you to return the equipment. Ugh! Jealous, selfish people!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Andrew,

    Don’t ever give up pursuing something that you want to do because someone else is negative or unenthusiastic about it! Never, ever! Very often people will try to discourage you by saying the odds of your succeeding are slim. Some of those people may actually be afraid that you will succeed and it makes them feel badly about themselves for not trying something challenging themselves. Don’t underestimate envy as a powerful force when someone responds with negativity to a positive event in your life.

    It’s very hurtful when you realize that the very people you thought you could count on let you down, but don’t let that stop you. Irene offered some good alternatives to having your friends work on the film with you, dig in your heels and go for it!

    I had a very similar situation where I was pursuing a very difficult creative goal and was told that I would never achieve it by a few of my so-called friends. Their negativity irritated me and made me try all the harder. I did achieve the goal and they were stunned. I don’t see these people much now for obvious reasons, but when I do it amuses me that they absolutely refuse to acknowledge my success–never ask me about it and pretend they are deaf when someone else does. Sad for them, but not for me and don’t let it be for you! Good luck and go get em!

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