I guess I'm lucky in that I come from a family of gamblers, and the place where I used to work was full of gamblers as well (they actually got me into poker). Comment from my father: "Yeah, maybe when you're out of college you can play poker for a living." Haha.
Friends though - different matter. No one really gets it, but hey, that's cool. I stopped talking to anyone (kids at college, etc) about online poker because I always get "Yeah dude, I used to play online all the time!" Response: "Oh, what stakes did you play (or did you end ahead, blah blah)?" Them: "Whaaat? No, play money man."