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in Life AWARENESS Rss

Typical Reactions to Feedback

Posted on : 16-03-2012 | By : Cathy | In : Uncategorized

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When given difficult feedback, most of us find that we do one or more of the following:

Pretend. We say little, disguise any hurt or humiliation, push the feelings way down and eventually act like it never happened. Thank you so much for sharing that. 

Defend. We justify our actions, give explanations, point out reasons. There was so much happening last week, I didn’t end up with nearly the time I needed to prepare. Oh, and the microphone wasn’t working so well today.

Deny. Denial automatically makes the other person wrong. I didn’t see a problem; I’m great at what I do.

Interrogate. We ask for proof that there is any truth to the feedback. Well, if you want me to understand what you’re trying to get at, I’ll need some specific examples.

Lash out. Anger is the first reaction for some. Get off my back, will you? How dare you criticize me, you of all people! I thought you were my friend.  

Criticize. We go on the offensive through blame, innuendo or other unsolicited comments. I never believe anything those hotshots have to say. You know how it is in that department.

Self-destruct. We turn all our negative reactions inward against ourselves. I am such a loser. I’ll never get it right. I’m never doing another presentation. 

All of these reactions serve to distract us from painful feelings of not being good enough, as well as the notion that we need to change in some way. But adapting to feedback—which inevitably asks us to change, and sometimes significantly—is critical if we are to succeed in our jobs, our marriages, our family relationships.

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