How to tell the difference between cheerleaders and cheerloafters

We all have people in our lives that propel our mindset to positive heights.

Sometimes it is the offering of helpful advice, a pat on the back for an accomplishment, or even a simple smile with a “thumbs up” to encourage you to keep going. I have people like this in my life, and as a result I always try to be the rainbow in someone else’s cloud. I consider myself to be a cheerleader in the non-traditional sense. I may not have the outfit and pom-poms, but my spirit is one who sees immense value in those around me, and I thrive when I can help bring out the potential in others.

Are you having difficulty figuring out who the cheerleaders are in your life? Take a look at my list to help you understand the difference between the cheerleaders, and the cheerloafters in your life…



Cheerleaders will…

  • Ask you questions about your passion projects.
    They ask because they want to stay up to date on your work; and they will ask without YOU having to bring up the topic.
  • Will offer to buy or to display your projects.
    They help you promote your passions to the world without asking for anything in return.
  • Will tell others about your accomplishments.
    Cheerleaders always have your name on their lips because they enjoy telling their friends about how great you are. These people always recommend you as well.
  • Will offer you advice, or materials for your upcoming work.
    Cheerleaders are often thinking about how to help you try new things and deepen your exploration of the pursuit of your passions.
  • Will attend your shows or exhibitions.
    Cheerleaders always show up in person. They recognize the importance of being present at your achievements.
  • Will say positive things to encourage you.
    Cheerleaders believe in you, so their words will reflect the same.


Cheerloafters will do the opposite of everything listed above and…

  • Will never ask about your passion projects, unless you bring up the topic.
  • Will make jokes about the people who like your work, or about your projects. They will accomplish this by comparing your passion to things and people that have little value to them.
  • Will call you stupid or generally imply that you are foolish for pursuing your passion. This can happen covertly, or in a blunt manner. It will usually occur when many people are around so that they can say it was just “a joke”.
  • Will ask you to betray trade secrets or guarded techniques in a clandestine way. They will accomplish this by asking you how you did something in a passive way, as if they don’t care. Meanwhile, they will take the information you provided to make their own version, or simply tell others as if it was their own idea.
  • Will ask you this dreaded question: “How much money do you expect to make by doing this?” This question is usually unfair for two reasons:
    • The people who ask this question are rarely responsible for your finances or your survival. It makes no difference to them how much money your passion will make.
    • Placing a financial value on something you have only just begun to explore will weigh heavily on you. It may even make you feel guilty and want to stop pursuing your passion because you begin to call into question the validity of doing something you love that has an unqualified financial validity.

Do you know anyone in your life that falls into the category of a cheerleader or a cheerloafter? What are your examples of people who have helped you find success in your pursuit of you passions? Leave comments below, and thanks for stopping by.Stephanie

Photo by Anna Shvets on

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