It’s important to accept constructive criticism, but some folks didn’t get the memo about how to give feedback to people. They grab any opportunity to lob negative attacks, often doing so to satisfy hostile feelings they secretly harbor about you. Push back on funky feedback. Consider the source and reject unhelpful criticism designed to push your buttons about things like the following:
Looks and general appearance are popular targets for biting comments. Funky feedback is most likely to come from critics who spend a lot of time around you, but strangers can offer unsolicited critiques too. Don’t waste emotional energy on rude people that you probably won’t ever see again, but do feel free to respond to those you know. Associates who hurl zingers like “You look a mess!” or “That suit doesn’t do a thing for you.” when you change your hairstyle or sport new clothing have questionable motives. Don’t just let their discourteousness go. State proudly that you like having the courage to try something new, but that if they can’t be constructive about what doesn’t look good in their opinion, you don’t care to hear any more of what they have to say. Thankfully, those who are promoters of your success will give you feedback with tact, finesse, and a genuine effort to be helpful.
People who know something about your personal life may offer unsolicited advice about your mate, your kids, or other relationships. Telling you that the person you’re dating “is a dog” or that your relatives “are all messed up” is more hurtful than helpful since their comments don’t make clear why they’re weighing in and what you’re supposed to do about it. Don’t let folks just drop these bombs. If you value their opinions about other things, ask them to explain themselves. But when they’re just making a dig, let them know that you don’t need their approval and are free to enjoy relationships with anyone you please.
Invite constructive criticism about your work so that you can continuously improve, but understand that some may use your openness as an opportunity to blast you. If a colleague says “Sorry I fell asleep during your presentation” or “Your memo was gibberish,” don’t take the bait. The primary goal of folks who start their remarks this way is to put you down, not to strengthen your public speaking or writing skills. In the workplace, as in your personal life, some may be in competition with you and take pleasure in seizing opportunities to zap you. As a high profiler, always remember that you spark considerable envy simply because of your success, much less when you say and do things that keep you shining in the spotlight.
Expect lots of criticism throughout your life and remain open to learning from those who offer their opinions to help you improve no matter how successful you become. Include these folks in your Success Entourage, but kick funky feedback givers to the curb.
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About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant specializing in Success Psychology.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Your Success Psychologist!
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317