Ask Melanie: How do you deal with lifestyle criticism?

Dealing with Lifestyle Criticism

Lately I’ve been receiving a bunch of emails from readers asking specific questions about living full-time in an Airstream. Awesome! I love questions! Ask away! But I do like to address the questions on my blog so a wider audience can benefit from the answers. I also have a FAQs page and a place for new readers in case you were looking for one.

Anyway, today’s question is from a reader who is shopping for Airstreams this week! And she wants to know… “Did you receive judgement and criticisms in the beginning?”

Dearest reader,
The short answer is “yes.” I did receive judgement and criticisms when my husband, George and I shared our plans to live in an Airstream with our family, our friends and the world– through this blog. I still receive judgement and criticisms to this day.

Our friends were very supportive. They understand why we do what we do. They invite us over when there’s severe weather a’ brewing and they know it might be dangerous to stay in the Airstream. We pick our friends and we’ve picked damn good ones.

George’s parents were supportive, as well. They helped us with moving the Airstream to it’s current location and they helped us to remodel it. My parents, on the other hand, weren’t thrilled with the idea. I wouldn’t say they were totally against it, but they did (and still do) want me to live in a “normal” house.

Yes, sometimes that hurts. I want to be the model daughter. But it doesn’t make them less proud of me. I’ve talked with them about it and they know we live the way we do for financial reasons. If nothing else, they understand.

The harshest judgement and criticisms have actually come from people who don’t know me. Those fun, delightful Internet trolls and sometimes even well-meaning people who just don’t understand our lifestyle. But I knew when I created this blog that Internet bullies were out there. And if I’m being totally honest, mean and crude comments about my body, my voice or my writing actually hurt more than comments about my lifestyle. Many of those comments you don’t see on this blog because I don’t approve them. And YouTube can be a straight-up bitch.

That being said, I’ve received judgement and criticisms in the beginning of every project and every life change I’ve ever made. As do most people. I received some incredibly hurtful criticisms before my wedding, before I moved in with George and before I switched colleges after my Sophomore Year. But I wouldn’t have changed any of those things. And I wouldn’t change the way we live either. Our lifestyle is a choice. We are the ones who choose to live in 188 square feet and we are the ones who pay our bills. Our lifestyle doesn’t affect any of the haters. We have to let the hurtful critiques run off of us, like water from a duck’s back.

And if all else fails, I like to watch my favorite advice on haters from Katt Williams (NSFW).

Dearest reader, there will always be people criticizing you and judging you. Don’t let them take away your dreams.

love always,

13 thoughts on “Ask Melanie: How do you deal with lifestyle criticism?

  1. Christine Morris

    My friend and I will do some renovations on his 30 ft. Airstream in April and May. It needs a new fridge designed for towing, and new cushions for the dinette as well as new curtains for privacy in the kitchen/living area. His Airstream has the kitchen where your bed is and the dinette is next to the entrance.

    I have never lived in a trailer and we plan on a trip to S. Calif. in June. I have been reading your blog and can’t wait to cover the interior with white paint!!!

    One question: How long is your Airstream?

      1. Christine

        Thank you for your quick response. I had been trying to judge the size of your Airstream from your great photos and now it helps my perspective. Christine

  2. aspenmarket

    Keep doing what you love! Thank you sooo much for Shari your knowledge and wisdom with those of us that are making the change now. It is hard to have all this criticism about how we want to live. At the end of the day we can NOT be people pleaser sor we would never have a meaningful life. Thanks again for all your hard work on this blog and your ambition to have a smart life style.

  3. Dan

    Hi,my wife and I are renters……after 27 years of owning homes all over the country. We are currently researching motorhome lifestyle and have started selling off unnecessary items. We don’t want to be totally static,but have to earn an income “online” hopefully. We will be in a very cold climate at times,so that may give us the added incentive to “leave our jobs”. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Faye

    Thanks soo much for sharing about the criticisms and judgements you recieved. I completely empathisize as when I purchased for 100% cash a small ( less than 1K square feet) house three years ago I also recieved ALOT of it from friends and family. However, I like you, felt it was my house and my money goals. I qualified for a much larger house…but I KNEW a small house was ideal for me. I am soooo glad that I did not go for a bigger space. I have been able to spend my money as I see fit without a mortgage…Praise the Lord!! You know what is crazy now three years later many of those same people are getting their big houses ready for the market so they can sell and move to a smaller house. I just chaulk it up to , people are crazy, and I have to do what is best for me!!!

  5. lou whitfield

    love your honestly on this topic, i think its brill what you guys have done and i follow this blog as it makes me laugh, smile and makes me pleased that people are just doing what they want to do however they want to do it…keep up this fantastic blog 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Louise in the uk

  6. stephanie crocker

    you know, you really reaffirm that in life, it is YOUR life, and unfortunately, it can be difficult when you share YOUR life with your friends and family and they think that is an invitation to share their thoughts on how they feel about YOUR life. I had a friend whose dad called her in the middle of the night worried about her choice of middle name for her daughter. Friends and family really do mean well, but unfortunately, they do not understand that you are fully aware of the consequences of your actions. I am lucky in that my friends and family fully support my decision to sell my home, my business, and take my husband and cats on the road for an adventure. One friend did not support my decision. I chose to ignore his input, but still value him as a friend.

    1. melanie Post author

      Stephanie, thanks for the input. It’s good to note that you can keep friends that don’t support your decision. Good luck on your journey!

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