Last week we looked at how you could effectively present yourself to a family member who was angry about your decision to be an artist, derided or ridiculed your decision to be an artist, complained that you were not pulling your weight financially, or scoffed at your chances of success.

In last week’s piece I presented one way of effectively presenting yourself, namely by doing a quiet, calm, and compelling job of explaining how you intended to “make it” as an artist. But let’s say that isn’t your intention: let’s say that making money from your art is not only not a high priority for you but not really even much on your mind. What then?

How might you meet a family member’s charges that you aren’t bringing in money from your art when in fact you don’t care about bringing in that money? Here are few possible responses:

1. To a family member (like a parent) not directly affected by how much money you make from your art:

+ “My art is important, meaningful work and I’m making enough money from my other efforts so that I can live. I don’t need much and I’m living exactly as I want to live. I don’t need my art to make me money any more than a monk needs his prayers to make him money. Can you accept my point of view?”

2. To a family member (like a breadwinning mate) directly affected by how much money you make from your art:

+ “I do want to contribute and I know that it’s fair to contribute. But can I contribute in ways other than monetary ways? Can I contribute by being a good friend to you, by loving you, by being available, by doing things that need to get done, and in all sorts of ways that aren’t monetary? Is there a chance we can make that work?”

These are two reasonable approaches. But what if they don’t do the trick? More on that next week!


What can help you deal with your difficult family? Purchase Dr. Maisel’s Overcoming Your Difficult Family: it’s a low-cost, pick-your-own price class that recently went to #1 on dailyom.

Share This