Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dealing w/ Negative Reactions to Your Creativity

Alycia wrote a great post the other day about how non-crafty people can sometimes imply that crafty people must have way too much time on their hands in order to create all the crafty things they do, like it's somehow a bad thing. I've definitely had this reaction from people and it always makes me feel a little weird.

I mean, have you ever tried explaining to someone what you do, only to have them exclaim, "Wow... you must be really creative! I could never do that!!" or "Huh, wow... I'm far too busy to learn how to knit!" as if implying that you must be some sort of super-human to be able to do these things. I never know whether to smile and thank them, despite feeling like I was just severely patronized, or to console what appears to be deep insecurities in them by pointing out that they, too, have talents to be proud of!

Maybe they can build houses or grow a garden really well. Who knows? There are tons of things people can do that I can't. I usually opt for pointing out something of this nature, while trying not to be patronizing myself, though this can get really awkward if they further insist that they have no talents whatsoever. I'm never sure if they're trying to implement a little false modesty, or if they really believe that. In either case, it makes it more than a little awkward to agree that, "Yes! I really am very talented!"

I also try to remind myself frequently that (at least my) creativity is influenced a lot by introversion. Whereas the extroverted people that I find myself talking to may frequent bars and parties and generally not have enough free time to do crafty things, I often have loads of "free" time because I tend to find to stay home alone with my thoughts quite a bit. Not that either tendency is bad; that's just the way we were designed.

So I guess my point is... don't apologize for yourself or your craftiness. People are going to get awkward around it sometimes. Try to be gracious, but don't over-think it. Even if they see what you can do and don't quite understand it, that's okay. Just smile and accept it as a compliment.


  1. I bet those people don't think of all the tv they watch and the internet they browse as being "hobbies", so they wouldn't even consider that we stop doing those things to take time to craft instead. People don't believe me when I say "I don't really watch TV". Anyway, I basically just tell people that I make time for my art, and they kind of get that.

    Of course, I'm unemployed so right now I have all the time in the world in my hands to craft and paint and photograph and blog and on and on, but that's not the point lol.

    1. That's a really good point! TV is totally a hobby. I do watch a lot also, but I bet most people don't think about how much time they'd save if they put some of that time towards something else! ;P

  2. I like your comment about going to bars or something, because I'm sure many extroverts spend their free time talking to people, either on the phone, in person, online, etc. And THAT is their outlet for stimulation. Introverts need non-social stimulation, which often manifests itself in creative endeavors - even if it's just crossword puzzles or playing games on their phone or something.


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