Positive and Negative Feedback

I’ve been thinking about how I feel in response to feedback – how people respond to things I say or do.

I react badly to negative feedback – criticism, put-downs. It’s not that I think I’m perfect or infallible, it’s rather that it triggers my insecurity and anxiety. I feel as if I’m being attacked and I react defensively, without conscious thought. I feel as if I’m in trouble and I don’t know where I stand with that person. I lose what self-confidence I had in the situation and struggle to handle it – I get confused and don’t know how to react. It all to often leads to a shutdown.

How different I feel when I receive positive feedback – a simple thank you or even praise. It makes me so happy and boosts my self-esteem. I feel so invigorated – it’s like a surge of pleasure and excitement. For me that is more than enough reward for having helped somebody, no matter how much trouble I might have gone to.

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4 thoughts on “Positive and Negative Feedback

  1. I am right there with you – it is so hard to bounce back from anything that I perceive as criticism. It colors so much of what I do and don't do in my life.

  2. Ben, I understand what you're saying. I feel like that too. Sometimes it comes in the form of teasing from other people and that really confuses and upsets me. It's weird to me for someone giving me feedback by being sarcastic or teasing in some way but they didn't mean it to be negative, they meant it to be funny and making light of what I said. I am not sure how that is funny or helpful in any way because it doesn't feel like that.I don't know how to handle those situations, either. I'm a bit better with it now but I'm rounding on 45 and I think that age helps it out a bit? I'm not sure but I don't get as upset or sad as I used to, at least not every time it happens. But encouragement, thank yous, kind responses help me so much more. They make me feel good, stronger, build me up because I can get torn down really easily. I understand what you are saying about that. I'm really nervous right now because next week I'm seeing my aunt over at my Mom's place for a small get together. I have no idea what she'll say or do, if anything, and so all the scenarios are going around in my head as I try and prepare myself for it. I know if it gets highly negative from her I'll probably just leave so that there is no scene and I can retreat from the stress. Her words can be so cutting and I may go into a shutdown then too. I think the shutdowns happen due to the emotions that well up inside and it overloads my system.I really liked your post today because it tied in to what I'm facing right now.(I never leave a short comment, do I? LOL)

  3. I know. I also react instinctively with defensiveness and sometimes even aggression – I cannot process and think on my feet when I am criticized, it is just too overwhelming. It is as if there are no filters, criticism or negative feedback feels like a wave hitting me.

  4. Thank you all for your positive feedback 😉 It's such a help to know that it's not only me that finds it difficult.Bird: hope things go well when you encounter your aunt and that it's not too stressful.

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