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Negative Self-Talk Eliminator


Handle It – Dealing with Criticism and Negative Feedback (Part 3)

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(…continued from last week)

Prompts for Criticism

Terry Cole-Whittaker once wrote a book called “What You Think About Me Is None Of My Business”. I love the title of the book. It was actually a very good book.

Most of us don’t like to be criticized. How’s that for an understatement?

Criticism though is unavoidable. The only way to live your life without criticism is to hide away in a cave and never see anyone. If you are around people sooner or later you’re going to receive some negative feedback. It’s going to happen.

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Criticism really tells us how someone else perceives us personally. In many cases, the difficulty with this perspective is that it is usually tinged with the other person’s emotions. It’s hard for us to see ourselves and be totally honest about how we are doing. We don’t know if our work or messages are having the intended impact.

Feedback can help us understand how we look from the outside. This criticism input from others is like a mirror showing us to ourselves from another person’s perspective. Although this is all very well and good there is a problem. Unlike a good mirror, criticism quite often gives us a distorted or inaccurate picture. The negative feedback can be distorted by the other person’s emotions and their slant on the situation. There may be a grain of truth in it, but the distorters cause issues.

Some of the factors that can distort this are mood, unrealistic standards, control behaviors, jealousy, competition, frustration or fear. Let’s take just a moment to look at these one at a time.

Mood Distortion

If the other person is having a bad day or the person has been upset by something, sometimes this comes out as an emotionally loaded statement directed toward you. This criticism often has more to do with the other person’s emotional state than it actually does about you. Now that doesn’t mean that you haven’t done something inappropriate or that something wasn’t done incorrectly. This feedback though, is a form of emotional expression and contains relatively little useful information normally because of the negative mood and the way the person presents it.

Unrealistic Standards Distortion

Some people expect us to be perfect. A standard by its nature is an external way of measuring something. You may or may not choose to live up to the standards set by someone else. When we turn out to be merely human the other person gets upset and lets us know we are not living up to their expectations. Of course no one could always live up to another person’s expectations when they are grandiose and over the top, that’s not possible. So this revelation isn’t all that helpful. Standards are a good thing, yet are they really that helpful? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Watch out you don’t get caught up in the trap of another person’s standards and having to live up to them.

Controlling Maneuvers Distortion

Sometimes a person who criticizes you secretly wants to control your behavior. If they say you are not doing a good enough job they feel entitled to seize control. The negative feedback is just a preface to a power grab. Often people will try to control just so they can feel more powerful. They manipulate or work to put you down a notch so they gain power over you. Watch out!

Jealousy Distorters

When you feel inadequate, criticism is one way to bring the people around you down to your level. Jealousy most of the time is someone trying to drag another person down. The critic may feel jealous of you and may be trying to restore the balance in their favor. Their feedback may tell you what they are jealous of, but it doesn’t tell you about your own behaviour. It just tells us what is going with them emotionally.

Competition Distorters

If someone is competing with you, they may want to impair your confidence or your performance. If they can slow you down enough they may win the race. Negative feedback may just be a competitive tactic to try and stop you or block you from achieving what you can, because they get more control out of it.

Frustration Distortion

Many people hold back negative criticism until they are just about bursting. At that point their anger and frustration make the message an unhelpful one because they explode. Have you ever known an exploder? How fun is that? They lose the ability to think and express themselves clearly and all you receive is this emotional smack.

(to be continued…)

Has this program caught your interest? Just can’t wait to hear the next segment? Or perhaps you’d like to download the entire program to your phone or tablet and listen during your travels? You can purchase and immediately receive this entire program as a digital download. Order Now: Dealing with Criticism

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