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Many people are afraid to say how they really feel and they will sometimes say it’s because they don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. Well, why would I wish to say something that could hurt someone’s feelings?
If it’s not going to be helpful to my relationship with the person, do I really need to say it?
These are the questions that I ask myself.
There are many times that I’m tempted to point things out to people, because that’s what I wish people would do for me. I consider it a gift when someone can give me feedback – even if the feedback is a misperception or a criticism, I can handle it.
Sometimes I get some honest feedback that’s truly helpful – and I appreciate it.
I used to feel quite defensive.
I used to feel very critical of myself, so anyone else’s criticism was too much for me. It put me over the top and my teetering self-esteem would collapse. My defensive reaction was that indicator that I felt weak and insecure.
My own experiences of feeling unable to handle criticism have helped me to be much more compassionate in offering feedback to others.
And here’s a BIG BONUS – I’ve learned not to take things personally – even when they’re meant personally. Other people’s opinions are like dust in the wind. As are my own opinions.
When people attack me with their opinions, I can say “thank you for taking the time to share your opinions with me.” And leave it at that.
I’ve also found that the less bothered I am, the less I seem to get attacked.
And still, there are people who walk in the world being attacked in the most vicious ways who don’t ever defend themselves by countering with an attack. I think of the Dalai Lama. I aspire to have that much strength.
I appreciate people’s honesty, and I don’t need anyone’s opinions.
Since I don’t need their opinions, I can take them and put them in the round file where they belong.
We can learn to model what we’d like to experience.
And isn’t that a blessing?