Created on Friday, 01 March 2013 00:00
Written by Dan Foo
I admit it. I care a lot about what people think of me. I go mad reading between the lines of comments people give me. I am downtrodden receiving negative feedback. Over time, people learn not to bother share their thoughts with me. Perhaps it is because they know how upset I could get or that I get all defensive at times. But really, feedback – whether solicited or not – is a great way for us to grow. Here's why.
Constructive feedback, when looked upon objectively, will save us from unknowingly and needlessly repeating the same mistake or simply becoming better what we do. Wouldn't you be even more mad at your close friends if you realise they didn't point out a mistake you have been committing continuously over the years, especially if it is important?
Criticism also gives you the opportunity to become a better person. Useful feedback are great opportunities for you to be still and listen, instead of getting all defensive and sully. On the other hand, if it is pure personal attacks disguised as feedback, it is also a chance for us to practice forgiveness.
One thing that I learnt and really appreciate about criticism is that it helps me focus on problem solving rather than my emotions. Keeping your eye on the issue waiting to be resolved is a bonus on top of avoiding the emotional act. It saves us all time and wasted efforts.
The really surprising thing that got to me was that criticism exchanged with my good friends actually strengthened our relationship. There were a few friends who got a little upset and started backing off but those who stay are the ones you truly want to keep. One thing we should always remember is that these people we trust they sprout their words with good intentions.
Another thing that I would hate to admit about feedback or criticism is that they are usually spot on, whether or not the guy just got lucky hitting on the right insecurity we have got. For example, my mom once got a nasty reaction from me just because she got my hot button issue of losing interest in things quickly or giving up easily. If you get so worked up, you must feel some truth to it. If it is true, then do something about it!
We cannot decide what others say to us, whether their feedback is constructive or malicious, put across in the right way or not. However, we can learn how to perceive that piece of information, learn (or not) from it, and move on (or let go). Learn from the great philosopher Aristotle, who once said, "Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing".