The Friendship Doctor

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Friends Who Squelch Your Dreams

Don't give up on your dreams because your friends are jerks!

QUESTION

Hello Irene.

I am a 34-year-old man who had a dream. It sounds silly but it was to make a film.
When I told my friends about this (which was in March) they were extremely supportive of the idea, which I found surprising as I thought they would laugh at me (I must point out at this point I have known these people for several years.)

They asked if I needed help, to which I replied that I had done a lot of the work but to make it a reality I would need a cast and crew to help. Again they agreed, and I finally began to realize that my dream could come true. So I spent the past several months saving money, buying equipment, etc. During this time, they've all been asking how it its coming along.

I finally got the last piece of equipment a couple of weeks ago (the total cost of the project had gone to £2900 or about $4500-5000) so I proudly announced that we would soon be able to begin filming, only to be deflated as I was told by several people who initially agreed to help, and who knew I was purchasing equipment, that they didn't think I was serious and didn't have the time or inclination to be involved. These were the same people who were asking me how it was all going over the a period of months and who had even been at my house when some of the equipment had been delivered.

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I was at a loss for what to say at that point and just said (at the time) it was fine, and that well if it came to it I could always sell the equipment so I could recoup some of the money I had spent out, to which one of the "my friends" replied, "Yes, that's a good idea."

I went home that night and actually cried. Then I just felt complete anger at being made to look a fool. I am at the point now that I just sit indoors watching television, or sleeping. I'm man enough to realize that I know I can never forgive them. But I feel so badly hurt that I don't want to socialize anymore. It's not about the money, as I can sell the equipment to second-hand stores or on eBay. It's the fact that the past several months of my life seem to have been turned into some enormous joke for everyone I know.

I know I sound childish but I really don't know how else to fell at this point. If you have any advice, it would be welcome.

Thank you.

Andrew 

 

ANSWER 

Dear Andrew, 

I don't think your dream is silly at all; you didn't think so either until your "friends" deflated your spirits. 

Neither you, nor I certainly, can really be sure why this happened. It may be that your friends just don't want to be involved and never thought you would actually go through with it. But this doesn't excuse their insensitive behavior and gang mentality. 

They may actually not think the idea is silly at all. Can you try to reach out to each one (or at least some of them) individually and ask for their support for your venture? Tell them you want them to play a role in its success and explain what you would need from them. 

If they don't respond to your coaxing, you may be able to find other people who would be interested. Aspiring actors are always looking for opportunities to be on camera; you can usually find cast members online or from a film school. 

If you are not socializing and getting out of the house like you used to, you are very likely feeling depressed. Speak to a physician or to a mental health professional who can help you through this trying time and assist you in regaining your energy, enthusiasm and self-confidence. 

Don't give up on your dream simply because your friends are jerks! Find new ones who really believe in you and support you. It won't happen overnight but you would be going in the right direction. And you may not wind up making a movie that shatters box-office records but you may find a satisfying way to express yourself creatively and to feel the satisfaction of fulfilling a dream. 

Hope this helps.

Best regards,

Irene

 

Have a friendship problem of quandary? Ask The Friendship Doctor.

Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., is a psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine. Her latest book is Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend.

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