Raise your hand if it’s felt like a punch in the gut when feedback is so willingly shared. Yup, this gal right here. Hand raised.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a believer in constructive feedback. It’s how we grow and become aware of the possibility to become better. If I want to grow into the person I’m meant to be I have to be open to it, but that doesn’t eliminate the sting.
It makes sense, constructive feedback typically contradicts how we like to perceive ourselves, which hurts. We also all know people who happily give their opinions based on a whole lot of notta. Below are a few techniques to help you objectively consider others’ opinions while not letting it define you.
It’s a Subjective World
Everyone’s opinion is just that, their opinion. Constructive feedback is important, but at the end of the day it’s ourselves we answer to. This can be difficult when the opinion is from someone we respect, admire, or is seen as a superior in our career or life. In those moments remember, it’s an opinion, which means it’s subjective. It’s open to interpretation. They are making a judgement based on selected information from past experiences, their values, and fears (yeah, it just got deep).
Hurt People Hurt People
Anger is a secondary emotion used as a protective shield to hide the true source of pain. When people lash out in anger or negativity it comes from a place of hurt and a place of fear. It’s not yours to take on. It is not yours to bear. It’s based on previous experience and fears they’re bringing into this interaction.
Before considering someone’s perspective ask yourself,
What may be influencing this person’s reaction? Fear? Hurt? Joy? Love?
This leads to our next step, ask the why.
Curiosity lets you look at things through an objective lens and not make the comment or situation about you. You own your self-worth versus freely giving it away to the first person who accidently looks at you wrong. Instead you see the comment or situation for what it is and choose to not let it define you.
- What experiences may have lead that person to this point of view?
- What underlying pain or fear may they be projecting rather than addressing?
This openness helps remove judgement. It doesn’t make their comment right, but provides understanding of why they may think the way they do. This helps you separate the comment or behavior from the moment and most importantly yourself.
Do the Work
In the end our happiness is not someone else’s responsibility. It’s ours. During the next seven days take note when you receive constructive feedback or when you begin to take someone else’s opinion personally.
- Everyone’s opinion is open to interpretation. It’s subjective and based on past experience, personal values, and fears.
- Anger and negativity come from a place of hurt or fear.
- Asking the why makes it clear how the other person’s behavior is more about their point of view than you as a person.
When we have true peace with ourselves, nothing someone says or does can shake us. In the next post 3 Tips to Remain in Control, we discuss ways to better understand why we immediately react the way we do and techniques to remain in control. Read it now by clicking this link!
Keep Yourself Accountable
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