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MyselfFeedback: Face to Face

Posted Sep 2009

Why is so difficult to give the honest feedback to somebody? Why people become defensive when somebody is trying to give friendly feedback?


The human being is a social being. It is very difficult to imagine a life without interaction with other people. It in our nature to socialize, communicate, to give and receive information to and from other people. This contact is developing a certain level of connection between people. This connection is varying in intensity and frequency. We develop very close relationships with some people, with our friends, spouse, children or workplace colleagues.

The relations can be very close. But being close to somebody does not mean that you are open and honest to somebody. We can spend an age close to somebody without being open. The hesitation in being open can be caused by you, by other person or by both. Being open can be very difficult.

There are many reasons why people are hesitating in being open to other people. They avoid confrontation and direct feedback to other people, in case that other person takes it in bad way. This is why the communication between people often is not focused to relation between people that are communicating, but is turned to other people ( gossiping ) or toward material objects.

Being honest means being able to give and receive objective feedback from each other. People are afraid of feedback, both giving and receiving. There are many reasons for that, but basically people are not used to receive or give feedback. People do not like criticism. People do not like to give feedback, in order not to hurt somebody, since they do not know how their potential feedback could be accepted. People do not give feedback since they are afraid that they will be rejected, therefore they avoid confrontation. People are afraid even to give positive feedback, since other person could suspect what could be the motivation behind. People do not like feedback, since they may have negative experience in the past. Criticism is often taken too personally.

Hesitation to giving feedback is making people, who seems to be close to each other, in fact not to be that close to each other. It is more that people rather tolerate some things that they disagree, in order to avoid direct confrontation. This can last for a long time. But this hesitation of giving feedback and being open is like time bomb.



Hesitation to giving feedback is making people, who seems to be close to each other, in fact not to be that close to each other. It is more that people rather tolerate some things that they disagree, in order to avoid direct confrontation. This can last for a long time. But this hesitation of giving feedback and being open is like time bomb. Even the best friends can become enemies in a single moment, since they had long time unsolved attitudes, that conflict to blow up during some misfortunate moment.

Since not being honest and open is risky for relationships, feedback and mutual communication is necessary. If you have something that you deeply disagree with a friend, but you do not open the subject, in order not to make a conflict, you should consider to open up. This will take some preparation and choosing a right moment and place.

Make a concept of your feedback, with a right balance of good and bad. Do not point too personally, but point to situations and behaviors. Be ready to listen another opinion. Do not be afraid to be proven wrong. It is not the point for you that you turn to be the one with the ultimately right opinion. The point is to open up discussion and align attitudes and demount time bombs from your relationship.

On the other hand if a friend is trying to give you the feedback, do not become too defensive. Assume that your friend has a positive intention. Consider the feedback for solving of your problems. Listen carefully and ask questions for clarification. Do not forget to thank to a friend for giving you feedback. It is never enough of wisdom. The right feedback can expand our horizon and make us to act wise.

 

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