Feedback–Being Gentle With Yourself

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There are times to be stern with yourself and Eat Your Peas as I said a few days ago and then there are times when you need to put away all the "should’s and have to’s" and be gentle with yourself.  Sometimes our expectations can lead us down a path of despair.  As I said yesterday, we all are human.

One way we can be gentle with ourselves is in the area of feedback and criticism.  It is inevitable that at different times we are going to get feedback from others that they didn’t like something we did or said.  We can handle this information in many ways, we can get defensive, we can use it to beat up on ourselves because we aren’t perfect, we can get mad or we can listen and give ourselves time to evaluate what of the feedback is valid and what of the feedback is not helpful.

Telling someone, "I need time to process what you are telling me before I can respond" is an option. Many of us faced with criticism especially, criticism we feel is unjust,  lose our ability to think on our feet.  But there is no rule that you have to respond the minute the feedback is given. 

Setting time to sort the truth from the emotion and reaction can help us be gentle with ourself and have better relations with others. 

Carol

2 thoughts on “Feedback–Being Gentle With Yourself

  1. The opening to Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” has a very powerful message. And evidenced properly through a series of examples, the message is to never criticize people as you will only create resentment.

    Granted there is such a thing as constructive criticism which is essential to developing one’s self. But for there also exists that resentful criticism. And it’s this kind of criticism that one needs to shy away from.

    And for those subjected to it, you’ve provided some excellent advice. And that is to say, “I need time to process what you are telling me before I can respond.”

    Best,
    Ricardo Bueno

  2. Ricardo-

    Thanks for commenting. I learned when I was managing employees at the law firm that giving correction or feedback is an artform. And often no matter how hard you try to make it helpful or constructive many of us are wired to first be defensive or hurt by the comments, even when they come from the best of intentions. I love The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz. One of the agreements is to not take anythng personally. That is a challenge for most of us but I find it helps when we realize that badly delivered feedback is more a function of the discomfort of the person giving the feedback than anything we did or deserve.

    Have a great day!

    Carol

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