The Social Stigma Of Solid Decisions...

WorkingItOut
By WorkingItOut on Sat, Jan 9, 2016 - 4:53pm

I am in the process of moving from my old home (semi suburban, not really sustainable and mortgaged beyond my means if the economy should take a downturn) and moving into a new home multiple states from my current location. 

In the end, the new home is in all ways better... 

  • We are able to pay cash for it.  Possibly the biggest plus!!!
  • It has enough acreage to both feed and support our family.  The land is fertile and already in good pasture and crop land.
  • It comes with a huge and sturdy barn.
  • The house while small and far from impressive is sound and comfortable.
  • The location is in a solid community of farmers while close enough to larger cities to allow us to continue our business successfully without being so close that we have overflow problems related to urban crime etc. should things deteriorate.

I would be completely thrilled except for the reaction of friends and family.  It is beginning to feel as if we have a social disconnect that I cannot breach.  Any attempts to further explain why this is a positive decision would only be taken as lecturing.  That is quite obvious at this point. 

This is not a spur of the moment decision and was made with a lot of forethought because I knew I would be taking a huge hit selling the house and not realize a good return on my original investment much less the improvements made to the property. My perspective was that it was better to take a hit now instead of risking a much larger one in the future or potentially even lose everything if the mortgage were to drag me under should my business hit a dry spell due to an economic downturn.

If I am completely honest with myself many of my friends and family are not very wise when it comes to economics and bluntly are determined to hold tightly to their illusions.  Worse they seem to see it as a personal affront that we are moving further from home instead of towards them. 

I know this has to be a common problem and I was wondering how others handle it. 

 

11 Comments

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2833
*Sigh*

Sounds like you are brushing up against (deeply) embedded parts of their belief system. Your actions stand out as examples that do not comport well with their idealized left brain model of reality (e.g. the status quo is the way to go). The negative reactions you are receiving are consciously rationalized verbalizations of the subconscious cognitive dissonance your actions have stimulated in them. I'd posit that they know something is wrong (subconsciously), that your actions stand as confirmation and that it obviously bothers them. You are "getting under their skin".

The truth is that the reactions you are getting from friends and family aren't really about you at all. It's about them. What you are doing conflicts with their belief system.

Based on personal experience, a person's belief system is not a separate "thing" from that person. It is an intimate part of who they are. I find this to be one of the most fascinating parts of the collapse process. Watching, time and time again, as really intelligent people faced with ever increasing piles of evidence that something big is wrong - culturally, environmentally, spiritually - dig deeper into self imposed mental cages.

I've struggled mightily with how to handle this with those I care about. Some do come around, eventually. Not all will. For some, it's all just simply too much. And so sitcoms, Prozac, wine and Facebook. And trying to convince them otherwise just pushes them further away.

Truth is, you really can't save them. They have to save themselves. More importantly, they have to want to save themselves. Trying to push the matter and convince them is a non-starter, don't waist your time - you will just drive them away. I lost what was once a wonderful marriage trying.

Advice? If they are not ready to hear your reasons just say to them "It hast nothing to do with you, it's me - this is something I need to do for me, no hard feelings". Know that the truth of it is, what is bothering them is not about you. It is about them. And figuring their own way through this is ultimately their responsibility.

When they are ready to listen, be ready for them.

Until then let go and do what you know is right.

Wish you the best.

PrivateJane's picture
PrivateJane
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 10 2016
Posts: 1
Social Stigma

You seem to be making right decisions for you and your family for all the right reasons. You are taking the risks and enduring the changes now for the benefit of stability over the long haul. That is simply wisdom, and those nearest and dearest should recognize it as wisdom. The fact that they don't is commentary really on their own denial of everything our larger economic world screams at us. We will go through the changes of the times whether it fits our ideal or not. You seem to have faced those facts and resolved to create a good plan for your family. Good for you!

Several times in life I have faced similar situations that challenge the traditional thoughts of my family. I have suffered years of silence from disapproving parties. So, I know it can be hard, especially emotionally. Make no mistake about it, you will grow and strengthen emotionally from their shunning. If you are a spiritual person, then seek solace in those avenues. Your situation will demand introspection, but do not let it trap you into destructive self-condemnation or anything like that. You are not wrong, you are simply making smart changes.

Friends of  like-mind will help validate you as well. This is also a time of making new friends in your new environment. Several years ago, we moved our family out of a major city and off the grid (we drink well water). We found out that there are more like-minded people outside of the city than in it - for sure. Today, more than before, there are more educated people out in the sticks, too. So, you will have a wider variety of people to meet and get to know than you think.

You do not need to explain yourself to those that love you the most. They will still love you at the end of the day, even if they disagree. [And yes, even the hard-headed members of the family - love will get past the silence.] Remember, an explanatory style of communication usually creates social disaster because it turns you into the child/the prey, and is only good for instruction or counseling.

My guess is that the very fact that you are taking action on what should be obvious to anyone is scaring them. Their fear can cause them to create distance. For your own mental health, stay open to them without defending yourself or your decisions. Kindly tell them that if they become interested in what you're doing, you are willing to share your books or other resources that support what you're doing.

Remember, the pain will pass. In a few years, some may thank you for opening their eyes, and some may apologize to you for their actions. And I'm sure you will know what to do.

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1893
Congratulations WorkingItOut

Boy, that sounds really good.  Especially a house and barn that are paid off.  Great time to get OUT of a mortgaged house, from what I can see and hear of what the near term housing market is likely to do.

My family and friends don't get it either.

:-)

 

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
Status: Peak Prosperity Co-founder (Offline)
Joined: May 26 2009
Posts: 3082
You May Be Surprised...

Working -

First off, hearty congratulations on the transition you've managed to put in motion for yourself! Your plan makes a mountain of horse-sense to us here at Peak Prosperity. And it sounds like you're happy with it -- and at the end of the day, that's all that really matters.

But don't fret too much about the reactions of your friends and family. You may be surprised at what happens when they come out to visit your new life.

My wife and I moved our kids out of Silicon Valley 3 and half years ago, re-settling in a rural farming region 2 hours away. My peers thought I was nuts. They couldn't understand why I would voluntarily leave the Tech industry (faith in its ability to generate ever more wealth is a religion out here), and leaving Silicon Valley Techtopia for the boonies simply didn't compute for them. Our extended family didn't get it either, and visibly worried about the decision.

Flash forward a bit, and once we were moved in, our first guests started arriving. When they saw the open spaces, the breathable air, the orchards and livestock, the great food from local farms, the strong community and healthy living -- they suddenly got it. Over time, a number have stated that they are now openly jealous of our decision and wish they had the flexibility/vision/courage to do something similar.

I came to realize that much of the criticism of our move came not from the plan itself, but from its challenge to the beliefs held by those whom we were leaving behind. They have hitched their wagon to a narrative that says "Tech is everything", part of the price of which involves cramming yourself into soulless faceless suburbia, paying for an outrageous cost of living, and being divorced from Nature for all practical purposes. When they see someone reject that narrative, it creates an internal (often subconscious) anxiety that worries: What if the sacrifices I'm making for my belief system are misplaced?

Now, we host a regular string of visiting friends who use our place as a weekend haven from the stresses of their 'regular' lives. They tell us they love have a "country escape" to come to. And as for family, in the years since we moved, most of them have eventually decided to relocate up here.

So, be aware that the social pushback you're experiencing is likely more due to the internal worries of others. Don't let it bother you unnecessarily, and have compassion for those who (consciously or subconsiously) yearn to find the happiness you are creating for yourself. My bet is within a short period of time, after they see you in your new life, you'll find them switching from criticizing your move to praising it.

cheers,
Adam

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1616
Fantastic Adam and Working!!

I'm very happy for both of you and your stories, and respect your ability to do the right things in spite of the opposition of people close to you.  Looking forward to the same kind of move myself, though without the doubts and criticisms of family and friends.

I looked up in The Dictionary of Modern American Phrases "Be the change you want to see," and I saw both of your smiling faces on that page. Yay!!

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
Congratulations

Hi, Workingout. Good for you. Getting out of debt is incredibly important, even if it means taking a paper loss now. The property sounds wonderful. Not sure if there is a farmer's grange near you but see if there is one, because they're awesome for new farmers. If not, try the Virtual Grange.

I made a transition from exhaustion and barely being able to afford to live on $80-$100K a year in the NYC area to a semi-rural life in a much smaller community. Every last one of my friends in NY said the same thing: "Are you crazy?" followed by a wistful "I'm so jealous." Those who have stayed in touch are happy for me. They're slowly starting to come around.

Adam's right. Those who visit will start to understand. So, the only way to effect change is to show friends and family that it's working out and you're happy. Believe me, those even remotely open to change will watch you to see how it goes. Adam has earned the right to be heard. You will, too.

macro2682's picture
macro2682
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2009
Posts: 555
What makes people happy...

I think people's aversion to simplicity comes from a lack of understanding about what happiness is and where it comes from. I think this is why so many wealthy people are miserable.  Happiness is freedom, creativity, a sense of betterment/progress, and relationships.

In today's world, freedom really just means financial freedom.  There are only two ways to increase you financial freedom.  You can either increase your income, or decrease your expenses. Decreasing expenses is way easier, and also way more effective. 

you make better relationships by giving away time than you do by giving away money.  Although both certainly work. 

Unfortunately I'm not able to practice what I'm preaching here.  Good for you for taking action.  I'm jealous!

 

 

 

epgelinas's picture
epgelinas
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 15 2014
Posts: 6
Congrats!

My wife and I have recently decided to move from NH to rural Tennessee. Downsizing our life live well within our means to where neither of us will need to work full time. Giving me more time for gardening, chickens and goats. Plus it will be a beautiful area for our 4 & 1 year olds to grow up!

We have certainly gotten some strange reactions to our move. My general answer as to why has been, "To get away from the cold and live more self sustainably". While some have looked at me as being a bit crazy, more than i have expected have inquired at least a little deeper and said it sounded like a great idea and wished us luck. At least one good friend would like to join me but his wife absolutely will not move away from her family.

I wish you lots of enjoyment in your move and new endeavors!

Erik

 

hydrodog's picture
hydrodog
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 14 2008
Posts: 22
4000sq ft house with indoor pool

With apple, peach pear, cherry, raspberry, blueberry truck garden on 6.5 acres ....GONE...sold in NH ....Half a megawatt hydro electric plant I built GONE...sold in Vt last year.
Why high taxes, high rules and regulations high living costs... Made the right decision
Wholesale power rates now about 2 cents per kWh.
Combine taxes would of been about 20k for 2016.
Takes time to get out and re_establish.
Purchased small 2bedroom house with efficiency apartment.... Rent the house have efficiency for ourselves.
Fixing boat as a home.
100 kW of solar panels on the way to property in Caribbean.
Total cost of all this about 600k. Outcome Tax bill paid with a small surplus from revenue. No more big heating costs.,.year round growing season.... Potential to fish ...easier living.
Soon to be better portioned for harder times...funner times.

I'm not sharing this to boast but to get the fence sitters moving.
If you like this solution and would like to correspond..,
[email protected]

Oliveoilguy's picture
Oliveoilguy
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 29 2012
Posts: 578
Vacation?

My wife and I have a vacation planned to Ireland. Have not had a real "vacation" in 5 years, but I feel irresponsible to leave my (Texas) property and the gazzilions of tasks and projects that can and should be done. Life always feels like Triage....doing 80% or 90% because the next task is time sensitive like getting potatoes in the ground. The airfare is paid for on Amex points, which we think might go away as belt tightening continues at the corporate level. One reason to go is to visit some working organic farms, and perhaps bring some ideas back to my farm. Also we plan to do training on Irish jumping horses. As much as I recoil at the thought of being a "tourist", I also know that a change can be healthy and that I remember coming home inspired and refreshed after a break......I do feel blessed to have choices, because so many in this world could not even consider a "vacation".

 

capesurvivor's picture
capesurvivor
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 12 2008
Posts: 963
Taking profits is usually good

RE on both coasts is outrageous, I live in MA, just returned from CA visit where the Chinese are all getting their money out of China by pushing CA RE to the moon. Bubble...IDK. Too old and infirm to make big changes but maybe forced to be a snowbird to CA due to much less pain in warmer weather. I hate FL. GLTA.

 

CS

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