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When People’s Feedback Matters and When It Doesn’t

Since we live around people, we get all kinds of direct and indirect feedback from them. This feedback is about how we act, what we feel, and what we think in relation to their own values and worldview.

Now, because human beings’ perception of the world is subjective and limited, sometimes some aspects of our worldview and some of our values can be skewed or invalid when compared to reality. As a result, the feedback that we give and receive can be meaningful, helpful, and honest, or pointless, manipulative, and damaging—and everything in between.

So when does people’s feedback matter and when shouldn’t we take it to heart?

6 Comments to
When People’s Feedback Matters and When It Doesn’t

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  1. Thank you for such an informative article. It feels very validating

    • You’re welcome, Russell. All the best!

  2. Thanks for this article. It’s helping me understand the way I’ve felt and (over)reacted for most of my life. I had a lot of 3. and 4. in childhood from my family so I started hiding my true feelings from other people at a very young age. I felt I couldn’t trust anybody who tried to get me to open up so I’d lie and say ‘I’m fine’ (which I wasn’t). When I reached adulthood I had serious girlfriends and I opened up to them only to find them doing 3. as well. Once was bad luck but the second time – that was it for me. I decided to never reveal my true self to anybody ever again. I’ve not had an emotionally intimate relationship for more than twenty years. Twenty years of numb isolation, as you can probably imagine.
    It makes me seethe with rage when I think that I’ve been robbed of any potential for happiness by a handful of selfish idiots; the very people who were supposed to nuture and care for me. I don’t want to be angry because it’s exhausting and futile.
    So here’s the big question: How do I overcome my hardwired mistrust of others so that I can seek therapy?

    • Hi Eric,

      To briefly answer your question, I think it starts with self-trust and self-responsibility. At some point you will have to accept that you need to trust yourself that you can make a decision and deal with the consequences, whatever they are.

      So regarding seeking therapy, if at some point you decide that you want to do that, then you will have to trust yourself with the decision. It doesn’t necessarily mean believing that your choice will be perfect or even good, but rather trusting yourself that you will endure the consequences whatever they will be. For example, that you are strong enough to start working on yourself and face whatever is bothering you in therapy; that you can look for other helpers if if the helper (therapist, coach, mentor, counsellor, consultant) is not a good fit; that you can try to take a better care of yourself, build healthier habits, socialize more, and deal with both outcomes: success and failure; and so on.

      All the best,

    • Dear Eric,

      Dont give up my friend. I agree with Darius you must be willing to take chances, willing to accept both successes and failures in life in no discernible order. If thats a bit too much right now why not try friendship online first?

      Maybe you will go further maybe you wont however its a good start.

      You sound self aware and seem to be a relatively intelligent person. Youre approachable in the fact that you are capable of emotional awareness.

      By the way you’re here on this website reading, learning attempting to understand yourself and others. That says alot about you as a human being.

      Id say there is more than just hope for you. Im betting if you keep this up you may be well on your way to relationship success in some form whether that be simple friendship or something deeper.

      By the way there are no laws stating that you cant share this website with others and see how they react. Maybe youll find a kindred spirit you never know.

      Again like Darius said you must be willing to face both failures and successes. Something tells me youre strong enough Eric. Best of luck out there!

      • Thank you for your beautiful comment, Joe!


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