*Gasp!* How dare she! But bare with me here, there’s more to this argument than you think (and than what I thought too). So a bit of context. Last month, I saw a tweet from a nameless person who suggested that we should reconsider the relationships with our friends and family if they don’t actively support us. Be that with our blog, our writing, our side business, our Etsy shop – whatever. That if they can’t like our work, buy our work, share our work or arse lick our work then what? We show them the door? That’s basically the gist of the tweet and unsurprisingly, it got quiteeeee a lot of reaction.

I rarely do reaction pieces but this one really ignited something in me which made me desperate to talk about it and see what everyone else thought. Some people agreed with the original tweet – which is fine, each to their own – and said that YES DAMN RIGHT OUR MATES SHOULD SUPPORT US. And on the surface, they’re right. We should all be in stable and supportive relationships with friends, family, partners, pets and know that you’re there for one another. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not disputing that part of the argument.

But it’s not as straight forward as that is it?

And this is where I stand on the question, “are our friends and family obligated to support us?”

Short answer: no.

Long answer: No. I don’t think such a black and white statement can apply here. This blogger was obviously referring to blogging as the thing that our friends and family need to support (otherwise what the heck were they on about?) and I think there’s a few reasons that it’s a dangerous thought process to have.

Firstly: nobody is obligated to do anything. If you spend your life doing things because you feel like you have to do them, then you’re going to plod along and be very disappointed. Trust me, I know, I’ve been there. It took me attending an entire Yoga Retreat to work that one out.

And even within relationships of any kind, what kind of relationship is it if one or both parties just do something because they feel like they have to? We’re treading into dangerous territory here but you get my point.

Secondly: blogging is a relatively new thing for a lot of people. Despite the media and brands becoming more and more accustomed to working with bloggers and highlighting the talent of content creators, the fact of the matter is, not everyone understands it. Especially older generations who might not even use a computer at all!

Just because you have an online life, doesn’t mean everyone else does which goes for friends of the same age as you too. Not every millennial is into this big old blogging and social media thing. And it’d be silly to lump us all under the same umbrella and assume otherwise.

Thirdly: people are busy. People make it sound like others have absolutely nothing better to do than to sit there and read our blogs and share our posts. You’re mad at your mate who’s recently married and has a new born baby for not liking your latest blog post? Hun… seriously. Get a grip.

People have stuff going on. Just because they’re your friends or even your family, doesn’t mean that they should drop everything to come online and make sure they’ve liked and commented on all your content.

Fourthly: I don’t know about anyone else but I wouldn’t want support for the sake of support. I wouldn’t want fake comments and fake shares from friends who have no freaking clue what I’m doing telling people to “go and read Jenny’s online diary forum thing!” If it’s not your thing, that’s cool hun, I don’t mind. Don’t sweat it.

I don’t want people pretending to like my blog, my photos, my writing or anything just because they feel like they have to. I think that’s wrong on so many levels. Am I going to buy from a mate who’s just started working on a pyramid scheme selling weight loss tablets? Fuck no. Are they still my mate? Yep. Who’d have thunk it.

This got a bit heated but I hope you can sort of, vaguely see, where I’m coming from. I’m all for supporting other bloggers and creators that I love and I always have been and I’ve been so incredibly lucky to have met and even made friends with so many talented creators in the time I’ve been blogging.

But in my “real life”, I rarely get any support from anyone and all my support comes from those people I’ve met online, my online friends, my blog readers and those that follow me on Twitter. Do I care? Not really. My Mum and Dad ask me things occasionally. So will certain friends. But I know these are all people that aren’t into the “online” thing and probably, quite honestly, don’t know what I’m talking about anyway.

I adore what I do. I do it every single day and I never get bored but I never ever get down at the fact that I spend most of it without the support of my closest friends and family. I love it. Why should it matter? So I’ll just save my breath and talk about something we both enjoy.

Phew. I’m glad that’s over! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic? Do you expect friends or family to automatically support you and your blog? Are you okay with them not?

120 Comments

  1. Absolutely agree, especially with the last part. I love the online community as an extension to my real life one and don’t need the validation of others. We all need supportive relationships in our every day lives but it’s important to think about how we, and even if we should be, benchmarking them. Geat post x

  2. I don’t think it’s necessary to make it an obligation for family members to read my blog, let alone comment. I rather they do it if they are indeed interested in what I have to say. Gaining the genuine support of readers that actually like what I have to say-is far better than false applause that have no idea what i’m saying online.

  3. I’ve started my blog recently, but have had others in the past. No one I know personally has ever been interested. In fact, I quit sharing it to my Facebook page. I don’t think they have to, however. The Followers I get are fellow bloggers. Some read my posts, others just want to share their link. To have peace of mind, I now think of my blog as more of a journal, which allows me to share my thoughts, then keeps the expectation of being seen low. I do want and long to have interaction with people, as most do, and it can be disappointing when that doesn’t happen. It only makes those who are really interested, all the more special. 🙂

  4. I am always one of those people that plays devil’s advocate, I guess. You’re right no one has to do anything, but I think our friends and family should show support, the same way we have gone to important events they put on. For example, a lot of my friends sing so I try to go and support them when they are in a show or are putting on a play.

    Blogging is my thing. Granted, I do it more frequently, but it’s nice to have your friends and family support you. However, for me, a lot of those people I’m close to don’t. And like you said most of the support I have it from online people or sometimes it’s from people who I am acquainted with, like someone I know from college but weren’t close with.

    Secretly, I love when people in the community tell me they read my blogs. It’s really sweet.

    1. I see where you’re coming from. But I do believe there’s hundreds of ways we can be supported, if someone were close to doesn’t read our blog it doesn’t mean they don’t love and support us 😌

  5. I agree with your points. I found it hard at first to accept that I had family and friends that were just not interested in the blog. But I also never had strong support as a teacher from them either. Now, I just try to be true to myself and do not let the support or nonsupport I receive affect my choices to be supportive. I am also intrinsically motivated with my blog, and hope to forge online supportive relationships like you’ve described over time.

  6. I think the concept of obligation restricts us. Both the people who you supporting and the people who are supporting you. Sometimes it can be beneficial to a relationship, but also can be a bit of burden, to be honest.

  7. I agree with what you’ve said, it is nice having support from people you know but you want it to be genuinely interested support. There’s nothing wrong with those that aren’t reading your blog.

    Additionally for those that have blogging as their career, it’s somewhat hypocritical to expect it too. I have friends who are teachers – should you only send your kids to their school in show of support? I’ve worked in a supermarket in the past – do you expect friends and family only to shop at Sainsbury’s for instance for the duration of your job? You could go on and on. If you want unwavering support it arguably works both ways.

    Of course you do need a good support system but I don’t think you should be obligated for that to cross all aspects of your life.

  8. i completely agree with your stance on this jenny! i’ll gladly share my posts on my personal platforms and send posts to certain friends who i think would enjoy them but it’s not a criteria in being my friend. i believe they can support you without having to read all your work. i think it’s more about if you don’t know your friend supports you without constantly having to show you, that’s when you need to re-evaluate. i know my friends support my blogging endeavors regardless of if they read one, none or all of my posts. great post! xxx

    mich xx
    simplymich.com

  9. I think your friends and and family can support you, whether that be your hobbies or goals, but they’re not obligated to. My parents and a few friends know about my blog, but they don’t read it. They’re supportive enough to help choose between three featured photos because my eye sight is poor or go on day trips with me, but I don’t expect them to. Great thoughtful post.

  10. I love it when friends and family show an interest in my blog stuff, but no, i do not expect them to support me. I am probably old enough to be your momma LOL and have had alot of life experiences that have taught me that life is short, Live It! Of course its not that easy either, but when you have the opportunity, by God follow the road, you just never know where you’ll end up. What. A. Journey. it will be too❣

  11. Exactly! It’s not a big deal if they don’t. In the same way that they are also hussling with their own work and hobbies, I won’t be able to promise that I’d be liking and sharing every single thing they do. My mom for instance shares a LOT of political posts on Facebook and sometimes I wonder what if she shares my posts in the same intensity, haha, but I know that what I blog about is nothing she is interested in, and it’s my way of “supporting” my mom when I accept the fact that she’s all into controversial political stuff.

  12. Seriously could not agree with you more!!! This is a very reasonable & rational take to have, and it’s far better than the tweet this was in response to. It seems pretty ridiculous that someone would actually think that way in the first place!

    twinklexthoughts.blogspot.com

  13. Great post and a very interesting topic! I’m with you on this one to be honest, I know my parents read my blog, and sometimes my close friends read my blog posts occasionally but it doesn’t bother me that they don’t always have the time to. Like you said, everyone has busy lives and also not many people have much knowledge of the blogging world! It’s nice to have the support from loved ones of course, but I wouldn’t want anyone to force it!

    Chloe xx
    http://www.chloechats.com

  14. Oh Jenny I remember seeing the tweet you are referring to and I am torn… I see both sides and I slightly agree with your reasons for “no” BUT I must admit and I am not going into too much cus I actually have this planned as my next post which is weird lol but I feel really sad that I don’t feel confident enough to ask my family and friends for their support, mainly cus I don’t have a lot of followers and my blog is mainly about Disney but worst of all, my husband couldn’t tell you the last post he read of mine. Which hurts. I have plenty of support from online friends like yourself but it needs to come from someone like a “husband” I think anyway. I’ll be venting more in my post lol xxxxx

    1. My boyfriend doesn’t read any of my posts either but honestly I don’t care. I think it depends on how we are individually too, some people care, some people don’t. I don’t think we should have to ask for support though, I’d never ask anyone to support me especially if they haven’t before. If my writing / topics aren’t they sort of thing, whatever!

      1. Yeah I haven’t “asked” for support especially to family because pat of them are not active online so it would be asking them to go out of their way. But with my husband it goes beyond just reading or not reading he doesn’t even ask about it. I think he forgets I even have a blog x

      2. I think with people who aren’t normally online and don’t really understand this world, it’s pretty clear because you can try and explain a blog to someone and they just won’t get it 😂 But my boyfriend never asks me either and honestly I don’t really care?

  15. I agree with you. Who wants fake likes or people feeling that they have to get involved?

    I’m lucky – some of my best friends do follow my blog and I appreciate that support. Others don’t and that’s ok too!

    I think it’s different if people are actively not supporting you – trying to bring you down, laugh at your interests, or trying to make you feel bad. That’s not how a friend should act.

    But any relationship that only survives if you regularly tick all the right boxes – otherwise you’re not a good friend – is rarely healthy – if you have to keep proving your loyalty or how much you care it ends up just feeling like a chore.

  16. I wouldn’t expect my friend to share everything I write for the sake of it but if they have privately expressed appreciation for something I have written then a comment isn’t too much to ask. I understand that people are busy but when you factor in the amount of time we all spend on social media I think we can take a few minutes to comment or share a blogpost. Obviously, this needs to be authentic and not done out of obligation.
    http://www.blackpistachio.wordpress.com

    1. I somewhat agree. But a lot of people don’t spend that much time on social media. My parent don’t, my boyfriend doesn’t even own a laptop. They’re so far away from my world that I’m not begrudging them for not understanding fully or actively supporting me.

      1. If the main people in your life aren’t active on SM then that’s totally understandable. My mother is on SM but isn’t active. But I have a lot of friends who are active, some who support me publically and privately and some just privately. I think because I know it is something I would do without question it hurts a little x

  17. This was such an interesting post Jenny, and I honestly couldn’t agree more with you. My parents are thankfully so supportive of my blog and what I write and any partnerships I get through doing this, but they support me because they want to, not because I asked. My friends however, aren’t massively supportive when it comes to reading posts regularly and that type of thing, but they love that I’ve found something I love to do in my spare time. The great thing is that I have so many online friends that I support because I love what they do, and it’s the same vice versa! I think when you have platforms such as Instagram or WordPress, it’s so easy to come across people who will support you through everything.

  18. I completely agree with you! My mum supports my blog but not because I asked her to. But apart from her, I don’t think anyone else in my family read my blog unless I share it on Facebook, which I don’t do very often! Most of my friends don’t really read it either, but again, I don’t force them to! I’m happy that people read something of mine that interests them, and that’s enough for me!

  19. I totally agree with this! Hardly anyone in my real life reads my blog. A few of my close friends followed me on my ‘new’ social media accounts when I first started to help me grow numbers so they occasionally read a blog post when it pops up on their twitter feed but that’s about it. My family certainly don’t read it. People are busy and they have different interests anyway, it’s not that deep. It’s only really an issue if they’re actively going out of their way to not support you. Great post! x

    Sophie

  20. Love this! You are totally right! I wouldn’t want my boyfriend running around trying to get people to read my beauty blog. It would just seem so forced. And what kind of a feeling would you get from your success? This way I know if I do a good job, it’s because I did good work. Thanks for this. I enjoyed reading 🙂

  21. Great post! I needed this. I still haven’t done any blasts on my personal Facebook page about my blog. I thought I would have by now. But I’ve noticed the same thing. I’ve told quite a few friends about it and initially thought I might have heard more from them about it, but I haven’t. It bothers me a little bit but I definitely don’t want our friendship to change over it. I’ve had the same thoughts about them not getting the blogging world and also just not having the time for it. We are all busy with our lives. Getting together for drinks often takes a lot of planning so I try not to think too much about it anymore. It is what it is!

  22. I agree with you. I don’t think they are obligated to support you/me. If they do that is super nice – even if it’s just an additional like on Facebook – but I don’t think any less of them if they just say it is not their cup of tea ✌

  23. Oh my gosh, I’m with you all the way on this one. Only one of my friends knows I blog, and she has no idea how to even find it. No one around me knows – because I know they aren’t interested! They’ve got their interests, I’ve got mine and they’re going to get pretty annoyed with me if I keep cramming this down their throats. My parents know, but have never quite got it and I’m not sure my siblings remember. Nor would I want them to. My blog is my outlet – I say stuff I don’t have the confidence to say in real life and will suddenly find myself monitoring what I’m writing if I know that certain people are reading it because they feel they have to. Phew, now I’m ranting. This is such a great post!

  24. To be honest I’ve not really given this much thought, as I don’t think my own family reads my blog and I’m not too fussed about it but I know many of my friends do what they can but I don’t expect it per se. I get all points but like you said, no one should feel that they HAVE to.

    Jessica & James | http://www.foodandbaker.co.uk

  25. I completely agree with all the points you’ve made in this post. I’ve seen a few tweets along the same lines posted and it always leaves me feeling a bit off. I’m very lucky that my mum and one of my best friends support what I do for the most part, but that’s because they resonate with what I write about. I have other friends who don’t read anything I write. Do I begrudge them for that? Absolutely not. At the end of the day we’re all different, and I wouldn’t want my friends to feel obligated to comment/like something they weren’t genuinely interested in. Like you said, you can definitely still be friends with someone with supporting everything they do!

  26. I actually agree with you. I don’t expect my family (don’t have any close friends in IRL really) to support my blogging. Do they ask me about it? Of course but it has never even crossed my mind that they should feel obligated to do anything else. I get enough support off them with my health issues and that is more than enough for me. 🙂

    Sarah 🌺 || Boxnip