It’s a sad fact that whenever we choose to engage in behaviours that fall outside of the “norm” there will be people that not only disagree with our choices, but who have no qualms about telling us so… loudly. Although polyamory has become more mainstream in recent years, it’s still a choice that seems to carry a certain “ick factor” for some people. It’s often misunderstood or labelled as an illusion that will lead to misery for at least one if not all partners involved. Sometimes it feels like an endless battle to stay positive in the face of criticism, but there are things you can do to help yourself stay strong.
Remind Yourself of Why You Made the Choices You Did
What life path led you to consider the poly lifestyle? Chances are it’s one that you travelled knowingly and with purpose, or maybe you stumbled upon it after lots of soul searching and failed monogamous relationships? Either way remember that you’re where you are because of choices you made that suit who you are and what you feel you need in life. No one else can make those decisions for you and as such, have no say in the way you choose to structure your relationships. Let them say what they will. You know you’re doing the right thing for you.
Surround Yourself with Love
This point relates back to my post “Advice on Coming Out as Poly.” If you’re feeling under attack for your choices, it’s best to seek out the company of like-minded people. Join a poly support group or talk with friends who are understanding of your lifestyle. Constant negativity can really eat away at your self-esteem and happiness. Try to balance things out by spending time in a happy and supportive environment. If you don’t have a lot of supportive friends, consider speaking with a poly-friendly therapist. He/she can give you some tips for how to cope with the criticism and judgement that might be coming at you.
Meet poly people at PolyamoryDate.com!
Grow a Thicker Skin
I know this one is easier said than done, but working on your self-esteem and feelings of self worth can help you to care a lot less about what people might be thinking and saying about your choices and more about your own needs. Who cares if someone thinks you’re a degenerate, or a commitment phobe for preferring more than one partner? You know the truth and that’s all that matters. Questioning the accepted monogamous model of relationships and making the decision to do your own thing takes a lot of courage. Be proud of yourself for taking the chance.
Accept that not Everyone Will Agree with You
As social creatures it feels safer and more comfortable when the people around us agree with the ways in which we do things. Going in a different direction than the group can make us feel vulnerable and insecure, yet it’s an unavoidable reality that not everyone will choose to travel in the same direction all the time. If your current group of friends or family are standing firm in their monogamous beliefs while you head off to explore your poly side, don’t worry about it. Going your own way leads to strength of character and a greater sense of happiness that comes from being your authentic self.