How To Respond To People Who Misunderstand What You Do Without Underplaying Your Accomplishments

H Hub for Alexis Bittar

It can be hard to explain your lifestyle and career when working in a creative field. You probably often get asked the question,

“So, what is it that you actually do?”


“Wait, I’m confused, are you sure that you can make a living from that?”

These types of questions and comments can be hard to get used to. And, it can be exhausting to constantly explain your career path and choices. It’s not that you don’t want to talk about your passions, but these types of responses can make you feel as if you shouldn’t.

When talking about your career and explaining it to your family, friends or acquaintances – you may be downplaying your accomplishments. In fact, if you’ve been hit with the confusion or misunderstanding of your professional path – you most likely have found it easier to diminish yourself for the sake of others.

You find yourself saying, “Yeah, it’s not a big deal – it’s just like any other job.” 

But, it’s not like any other job. In fact, what you’re doing should never be placed into this category of sameness. What you are doing is different and it’s worth talking about.

Instead of downplaying the truth – that pursuing your passion and doing what you love every day is the best job you could ever have – you need to embrace it.

If you’re facing people who don’t understand, who make you feel small or cast judgement on your choices – you need to understand how to respond in the most positive way.

You Should Always Want To Talk About Your Achievements

Newsflash, you’re allowed to be proud about what you do and be able to share it. You should never see this as rude or excessively flaunting – you’re allowed to be happy for what you have achieved. In fact, don’t worry about being the person who is humble bragging about their work – your achievements are yours to be shared and expressed openly. 

We are afraid of showcasing what we do and sharing the things we have accomplished in our lives. But, why is this? Maybe this is because once you have achieved success, people will downplay it. They will try to pick you apart to make themselves feel better. You can’t let this affect your personal and professional journey. 

Let people think what they want about what you have done in your career. You have every right to share that you are successful. If someone wants to tear you down or act as if your success isn’t important, then you don’t need them in your life.

Realize That Some People Aren’t Meant To Follow Your Creative Journey

Some people will never understand the creatives of the world. That’s just the cold, hard truth. You’re always going to encounter the people who think art is frivolous. Or that doing what makes you happy is unrealistic.

You may have friends or even family who don’t want to be positive and supporting of your professional career. And even though this is hard, it’s something we have to accept.

Not everyone is meant to follow your creative journey. There are some people who will never try to open their minds to the concept of what you do and find the strength to be supportive. It’s a part of life, that some people are who they are, stuck in their ways and refuse to change. Don’t let this hurt your spirit.

Respond to these types of people with compassion. Be kind and understanding, but know deep inside where they stand in relation to your creative journey.

If they aim to cause tension, respond calmly.

If they try to ignite a fight or interject their opinion, keep yourself level-headed. The last thing you should do is start or engage in a negative discourse.

You know who you are and what you want, don’t let someone else’s lack of understanding cause you to abandon your beliefs.

Be Ok With The Fact That Not Everyone Will Understand

The final way that you can respond to people who misunderstand what you do is to just be okay with it.

You can even say, “It’s ok that you don’t understand. I’m happy and that’s what is important.”


“I know it can be hard to understand, but no worries. I found what I love to do and I’m pursuing it.”

We have to realize that not everyone will understand our personal choices. But, we can’t blame them for it. Instead, we need to see that we each have our own thoughts and ideas about what life is about. We can decide to be understanding and accepting, even if we are faced with opposition.

When someone misunderstands what you do, don’t downplay your achievements or make your accomplishments seem irrelevant. There is always going to be someone who questions your path and doesn’t quite see eye to eye with your choices.

Yet, with this you have to remember that your life is your own. So, pursue the career of your choice, create the art that you love and be proud of the strides you have made in crafting the life you have always wanted.