How to Deal with Negative Friends & Family

This week on Chill & Prosper, we’re talking about a common thing that derails entrepreneurs all the time and that’s how to deal with negative friends and family.  (And I’m talking negative in a money sense.)  

Maybe you’ve read my books, you’re feeling great about your life, you’re doing your abundance affirmations, manifesting money and your business is doing great.  Then suddenly someone says something that really bursts your bubble and you come crashing down. Often it can come from the people who are closest to you - people who should be happy for your success and should be happy that you’re making money.  But sometimes these people have so many money blocks in their lives that they just don’t realise how negative they’re being.

Let’s dive in and I’ll give you the good news and the bad news!


I talk about ...

  • My experience dealing with negative comments
  • Getting validation from appropriate sources
  • What to do when someone goes out of their way to be negative
  • How to steer the conversation in an elegant way


Hi! Today we are talking about such a common thing that derails entrepreneurs all the time, and that's how to deal with negative friends and family. And I'm talking negative in a money sense. So we've all had it happen. Maybe you've been reading my books. You're feeling good about your life. You're doing your abundance affirmations. You're making upgrades, you're manifesting money. Your business is going great. Then suddenly, someone says something that really bursts your bubble and you come crashing down. And it could be just a simple sentence. It could be just one little thing, but the effect is really huge. And often it can come from the people who are closest to you. People who should be happy for your success and should be happy that you're making money. But sometimes these people have so many money blocks in their life that they just don't realize how negative they're being and it can really, really suck.

So this is probably one of the most common things I get asked. Do you want the good or the bad news first? All right, let me just say the good news. The good news is it happens to everybody. It happens to absolutely everyone. I don't think I've ever met an entrepreneur who had 100% of everyone in their life be a cheerleader all the time. Okay. So, that's the good news. The bad news is this isn't just a one and done thing. You're going to find that over your entrepreneurial journey, over your money journey, this is something that's going to come up again and again, in different ways. Especially if you're someone who moves fast, if you have more and more success over your life and business, it's going to happen. So that's the bad news, but the good news is, again, this is just normal, like anything, and we can deal with this together.

Okay. So as I said, this is probably one of the most common questions that I get asked, but everyone's got that person in their life. So it could be, "How do I deal with my negative partner, my boyfriend, husband, wife, girlfriend?" But often and then it comes from my best friend, "My best friend's really negative about my business." Or, "My best friend's always bitching about money and feeling sick about money." Or it could be other family members like your parents or even your uncle. And I mean, it could even come from strangers. I know in my first year of business, I was so starved for somebody to talk to about my business and success that I would often just kind of inappropriately share business details with people. And I would say to my chiropractor, I'd be like, "Oh my God, my business is doing so well. I made a thousand dollars this month."

And because I was just trying to just get a pat on the back. I just wanted people just to go, "Oh my God, that's so great!" And sometimes they would say that. And sometimes I would say something that would just deflate me. So I remember one time... Oh God, so random that why we share... But this guy I bought some antique furniture from. I'm just an over-sharer in general. And he dropped some stuff at my house and he was like, "Oh, really nice house. What does your husband do?" And I was like, "Well, actually I have a business myself." And I was just sharing and I was really happy and excited. And I was like, "Yeah, I write books and I help blah, blah, blah." And he goes, "You're quite the confident young lady, aren't you?" And it wasn't even negative. It wasn't even negative. But it really crashed me down to earth that I went, "Oh my God. I'm too big for my boots. I shouldn't brag." And it really burst my bubble.

So I want you to reflect on some things that maybe have happened to you like that. So maybe your best friend has said something like, "Oh, you charge that much?" Or your mum was like, "Oh, are you really qualified to do that?" Or your uncle Bob has said something like, "Oh, I remember when you pooed your pants at the Christmas party and now look at you. How do you think you can make money doing this?" All of those things just make you feel so bad.

And I don't want this to derail you. I never want this to be an excuse where you go, "Oh God, I've got to hold myself back. I've got to hold myself small so I don't have this happen." Okay, so here are a couple of tips. Number one, you have to make sure you have people around you who can celebrate and hold that success. Okay. So this is getting validation from appropriate sources. Okay. So this could be making sure you have a really supportive coach around you, making sure you have peers that are at the same level or around about the same level as you so they're not triggered by your success and they can actually hold that space and go, "Yeah, well done.", making sure you've got a community. For example, my Money Bootcamp has an amazing supportive community. We celebrate people making their first dollar, we celebrate people making their first million dollars with the same level of enthusiasm.

So it might be that you have to upgrade the people around you, who you talk to about that. Okay. So, the famous personal development guide, Jim Rohn, he was the one who started that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Your income is the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And so that doesn't mean you get rid of your friends. It just means that when it comes to business and money, you're surrounding yourself with people who are in the game with you in the arena, as Brené Brown talks about. Or they're just not going to be triggered because they're doing the work. Okay? So you don't have to turn your partner into your business coach.

                                                You hope that they're your cheerleader for sure. But you don't have to turn them into your business coach. You don't have to still try and get the same validation from your dad as you did when you were six years old. It's okay to look for appropriate sources for that. Now, what do you do though when there's someone who just goes out of their way to be a dick to you. And I had this in my first year of business where I had a friend who was so... I don't know if she was triggered or jealous or that, I think it wasn't even jealous of my success. She was actually probably jealous of the time that my business and my new business buddies were taking from our friendship. And so she would kind of say narky kind of things.

So again, that's upgrading the people around you so you don't just have one source to tell those exciting things to, you have other sources. And to really kind of protect yourself and make sure that you're not getting deflated, especially, especially if you are at a stage of business where you're feeling really vulnerable. So, that could be right at the start of your business. At the start of your business, you're a newborn baby in terms of the thickness of your skin. You haven't had any bad stuff happened in business. You're just innocent and pure and you feel so vulnerable. That's when you have to be so careful about who you're talking to about your fledgling business idea. Especially if you're not making money very much at the start.

And you have a friend who just goes, "Well, how much money are you making out of that?" And it's like, "Oh my God." You'd never asked her how much she's making out of her job. And so people really feel entitled at the start of your business when you're really vulnerable. It could be at other times, maybe you're about to launch a very symbolic or emotional project for you. Like you're about to publish your book for the first time. That's another point where you're feeling extremely vulnerable and you just have to be so careful about who you talk to about those things and who you're spending time with. So when you're in those places, your money mindset really needs to kind of be impeccable, so you have to crowd out those negative voices. So that's launching time or just times when you're just feeling if someone just says one thing, you're just going to cry. It's like, "Well, what am I going to do?" So that's really normal.

So here's a tip for that. So one is those friends that you know are going to say something negative, when you're feeling vulnerable, blah, blah, blah, do something that is not going to require a lot of talking. So this is what I did at the start of my business, where I had some negative friends. I would just go to the movies with them. I loved going to the movies anyway, but I just did activities where we wouldn't just sit around and I'd be interrogated about my business. So we'd go to the movies together and then they wouldn't be able to say those things. The other thing is to be able to change the subject and to steer it away in a really elegant way. And I've got a really cool process that I'm going to share with you, and I will share it with you after the break. All right. Let's take a second. And I'll be right back with an amazing tip for you on dealing with those negative friends and family.

Hey, my name is Cate Butler Ross, and I'm a writer and a content coach from London. And I have a couple of small kids, three and seven, Eddie and Alana. Yeah, I joined Money Bootcamp back in January, 2020. I've read all of Denise's books, loved her work. And I've been in business for a couple of years and I've had some success, but I had some major issues around money blocks around starving artists. "Writers can't make money. You can't be a successful writer and make money. Creatives are poor." All that kind of stuff. And so I joined boot camp for that reason, because I knew I had to break through that. And actually I ran through boot camp for the first time and within a few days I had my first, not quite five-figure months, but very, very close. And that was... I cannot tell you that was enormous, that was huge for me.

And then, so I was on a real high and then of course COVID hit and homeschooling, no time to work, no childcare. Life is stressful. So I suddenly realized I had to shift to this kind of passive or semi-passive income model. And I'll tell you what came up for me was that it was wrong to make money without working hard. And working in boot camp and being surrounded by these incredible women made me realize that I can do that and I do deserve that. And so now, I've spent the last few months building my business and turning it into separate semi-passive income and focusing on the things that I love and I'm passionate about. And I've never would've done that without boot camp and the support I get there. Join, join, join. It's amazing.

Okay. Welcome back. So we're talking about dealing with negative friends and family, especially when it comes to your business, especially when it comes to talking about money. So Money Bootcampers already know this tip. I share this as one of the lessons in Money Bootcamp, but it was a game changer for me. So the tool is bean dipping. Bean dipping. Now, if you've been around forums for a while, BabyCenter has a really great forum called Dealing with In-laws and it teaches bean dipping as a way of deflecting, awkward conversations. For example, you're at a party and your uncle Bob asks you a really inappropriate question like when you're going to have a baby or how much your business is making, you can say, "Oh! Great, thanks. Would you like some bean dip?" And it's just a way of deflecting the conversation around.

So if someone's like, "Oh, how much is your business making?" You can go, "Oh, it's going great. Thanks. Would you like to try the hummus?" So it's not literal bean dip. He might not have access to bean dip in your life at that exact moment. But the concept is to deflect away from a potentially awkward and potentially triggering conversation for you where you might come away feeling like crap about your money. So it could just be like, "Oh yeah, that's great. Where are you going on holidays?," "Oh, what a funny question. How's your business going?" And it just puts it right back on them. Now this works all the time because people like talking about themselves, so you can always deflect it back. Whenever they're asking you those negative questions that are just going to go, "Oh!" And then you go home and you just cry.

So it will get easier over time. You will choose your topic of conversations really carefully if you know that it's going to make you feel bad. But here's a really a great one. Every entrepreneur, it doesn't matter how long or short it is, but write a book. Write a book, even if it's just a little ebook, because then when Nana's asking you, "What's your business again?" And you're like, "Well Nana, I help people on the internet do blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." It just doesn't make any sense to them. Whereas you can go, "Well, I'm a writer, I've got a book." Even if you're not so, "Well, I've got a book. "And so then your relatives can be like, "How's your book going? And you go, "Great, grandma. Have you tried the bean dip?"

And they can tell their bingo friends that their daughter, their son, their nephew is a writer. Okay. So I find that just writing a book is just such a great way to deflect questions, because this is what I used to say. Someone will say, "How's the book going? And I'd go, "Well, actually my book is just one little piece of my overall marketing funnel. What I really do is help people with their money mindset in my Money Bootcamp." And their eyes would just glaze over and now I just go, "Yeah, my book's great. Thanks. It's great. It's great. Thanks for asking." So yeah, write a book that really helps with some of those nosy questions that come up around your business and how much money you're making.

All right. So how do you deal with a negative partner? What if the person who is derailing your money stuff is your loved one, your significant other? Honestly, it's one of the biggest things I say at the start of my Money Bootcamp. And it really breaks my heart because that's the person who should be in your corner the most. And I've got again, good and bad news for you. So the bad news is that you cannot use your partner as your excuse for why you're not making money. It is your responsibility for your thoughts and feelings about money and it's not theirs. So, unless you want to completely declutter relationships, which actually happens a lot. I see this, I don't want to scare you, but I do see it happen. But the good news is that I have seen so many negative partners really turn their mindset around with just a couple of tweaks from you.

So if you are in my Money Bootcamp, there's a whole assignment around this. So you can go... I think it's in week five or six, go and watch. I've got tons of tips for you. And of course, come and join my Money Bootcamp when you're ready, if you haven't already. But knowing that it's your responsibility, you have to put up your shield around some of this stuff and realize you have to protect your little heart. So sometimes that means not sharing everything about your business with your partner in real time. So it could be that you process some of your stuff with your coach, with your community, with us in Money Bootcamp, with me as your money mindset mentor. And you just share what you're learning about yourself in a top line way. We find this in Money Bootcamp that sometimes people just share little nuggets from Money Bootcamp. And it really does sometimes shift the partner's whole mindset around money without them having to do the course at all, because you're taking responsibility and you're not letting it impact you anymore.

I've even heard from some people that they just put my audio book on in the background, my book Get Rich, Lucky Bitch, and their partner just starts to just soak it in. It's just subliminal. I've even had someone just put my book on the bedside table, on their partner's bedside table and for some reason that had this weird, energetic effect. I'm just telling you what they said. And so just those little subtle things. Or come at it from a place of curiosity, some of the stuff you're learning from me and my books, my courses, and this podcast, just come at it from a place of curiosity. Not "Denise says you have to change because you're being too negative."

It could just be like, "Hey, I learned this thing. That pocket money, for example, it can really impact your money mindset as an adult. Tell me about your pocket money experience as a kid." Just come at it from a place of curiosity and you can really start to shift things in your dynamic. But I actually said to my husband Mark, at the start of my business, I was like, "Hey babe, when you say that, it makes me feel so bad. It really triggers my fear and my money scarcity. I'm creating this business because I want us to have a future together. I want us to have an abundant life together. And you might not mean it but sometimes when you say this one thing, it really makes me feel bad." So I just came from a real place of vulnerability and was just like, "Hey babe, I need your help here because I'm vulnerable. Is that okay?"

Then other times when I was feeling less than charitable and less than kind and gentle about it, I actually said, "Hey, look, this is my vision for the future. I am going to have an amazing big business. I'm going to be a millionaire one day. You can come with me, you can be on the lucky bitch train, or you can get off the train, but I'm going anyway." And that might sound really harsh, but that's kind of what I had to say. You might not be okay to say that to your friend, but just be like, "Hey babe, I need to really watch my mindset right now. I really need to watch how I'm talking about money." So if you feel brave enough to say that to the person who's kind of derailing you, then that can work. That can work too. Okay.

But let's bring this all around to the final kind of thought around this: how to deal with negative friends and family about money. Ultimately, your money mindset is your responsibility. It really is. So you have to take that responsibility. You have to crowd out the negativity. Make sure you're listening to this podcast regularly, make sure you're reading books to make sure your money mindset is up. Make sure you're surrounding yourself with people who are in that conversation because when you can see it, you can believe it for yourself. So you're crowding out all that negativity because your best friend, she's not going to build your business for you. Your mom, she's not going to be there to have those awkward money conversations with your clients. Your partner, they're not going to be the one to hold that space for your clients and to ultimately make the money.

That comes down to you. And so you have to hold the vision. That is your responsibility. You have to be the one to make that money. And that's okay. That's okay. You've been given the vision. You've been given the tools and you have been born in the exact right time for you to be an entrepreneur and to make money. There are no rules anymore. This is the time. Okay. So if you're feeling this and you're just feel alone and vulnerable with it, make sure you reach out, come and join us in Money Bootcamp. All the details are on my website, DeniseDT.com/bootcamp. Take responsibility for that because I know it can be a really lonely journey. But it really is your time and you are ready for the next step. I believe in you. It's safe for you to make money, even when you're surrounded by negative people. All right, let's take a break and I'll be right back.

I'm Anna Moran, a former journalist and newsreader from England, but I've been living in Australia for the past 10 years, working in oil and gas and mining. My sister's photography business was kicking off back home and she was tripling her income within one to two years. When I asked her what her secret was, she sent me Denise's audio book, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch. And it has changed my life. The first thing I did was to revamp my underwear drawer and I spent hundreds on knickers and socks. Thank you, Denise. I then went into work and demanded a pay rise and then some more when I got what I asked for. Within a couple of months, I quit my job and I'm now using my radio and journalism skills to set up my own business, starting with my Britstralian podcast. And that's all thank you to Denise.

Hi, my name is Beth Blanco. I'm a certified financial counselor. I've been helping people with their finances since 2005. In a few years ago, I really got into energy and personal development and I read Denise's book, Get Rich Lucky Bitch. And I absolutely loved it. It changed the trajectory of how I helped people with their finances, not just the strategy, but also improving their relationship and, and just unblocking all the things from their childhood. And I just absolutely loved the book.

Hey, gorgeous. Welcome back. And here's my final thought for today. So this is another one I talk often about. Jealousy and what happens when you're trying to manifest something and it happens for somebody else like your partner or friend or whatever. So this is another one, I talked about this recently. You can say, "It's my time and I'm ready for the next step." But this one works as well. And it is an affirmation. It's so simple. "Good things are happening to me too. Good things are happening to me too." And I use this as a pattern interrupter and as a gratitude reminder, right? Because it's so easy to look around and think, "Oh God, it's not enough. I need to do more. I need to have more. I need to work harder." And this is a good reminder. "Oh, good things are happening to me too," "Oh, she got that article. That person got that award. That person just got a new client. Hey, good things are happening to me too."

And it will really make you start to seek out and remember and remind yourself that, "Hey, actually I am blessed as well and good things are happening to me too." And then as we know, when you acknowledge the good things, often more good things come, which is really cool. Even more good things come. So yeah, try that one. "Good things are happening to me too." And reach out, tell me some of the good things that are happening in your world so I can celebrate you. My social handles again are at DeniseDT. I celebrate everything. Hey, if you found a coin in a street today, or if you found a spare elastic band in the bottom of your handbag, I will celebrate all the good things that are happening in your world because you deserve it.

All right, lovely. Go forth. Chill and prosper. Peace out for me. And I will see you on the next episode.

About the Show

Chill & Prosper is your weekly dose of money mindset, marketing and humour from best-selling author and entrepreneur Denise Duffield-Thomas.

Denise's philosophy is that there is ALWAYS an easier way to make money and that's what she's here to help you do. Each week, you'll get actionable advice to help you make more money, with less work. There's no need to hustle - let Denise show you how to embrace the Chillpreneur way.

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