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Protecting Your Creative Recovery: Detecting Poisonous Playmates

2 min

It's important to protect your creative recovery from a special type of person that Julia Cameron calls, "poisonous playmates".

"Not surprisingly, the most poisonous playmates for us as recovering creatives are people whose creativity is still blocked. Our recovery threatens them."

-Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way

And often they'll do it in passive aggressive ways, such as:


Demanding or implicitly expecting your support and public acknowledgement but not giving it in return


Making" funny" or passive aggressive comments about your creative work that you share, as if it's the butt of a joke or with the intention of being "comedic" (which is about drawing attention back to themselves and not about supporting you whatsoever)


Failing to actually read or look at what you've created and then making comments that prove as much


Offering unsolicited "critiques" when they don't actually do the thing themselves (armchair experts are the most notoriously blocked creatives out there)


Making passive aggressive accusations towards others (often aimed at you) while posting their own work, instead of letting it speak for itself


Is suddenly supportive when they've otherwise been radio silent, because they want to benefit from your hard work in some way

There's more, but I digress. Beware the fair weather and "well meaning" supporter who makes you dread their attention or feel bad after you see their comments or talk with them. Your gut is not wrong. Protect your precious creative self.


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