This week’s topic “Art of giving and receiving feedback” has given food for thought for me. My friends have already written so well and that almost nothing is left to write about. Kudos to them. But still I am making an effort to contribute something on my part. Hope I can put forth a point or two.
We all are bound in a complex web of relationships. Some are like passing clouds, few are like mirror, very fragile. And how we receive feedback/ advice/ criticism in fragile relationships play a pivotal role in deciding our happiness. Let me explain with this simple example:
- When my husband says there needs to be some more spice added to a particular food that I have prepared for him I take it as an advice and do the needful to make the food delicious and enjoyable. That’s a positive way of taking feedback.
- But when that particular feedback is given as a comparison (especially with food prepared by other 🙂 ), I would fume at first ( you know why) but would definitely try to improve so that there would be no comparison in future 🙂 This is also a positive frame.
- But problem sets in when I am not only envious about others’ culinary skills but refuse to give a second thought about the feedback that I got. Instead start blaming my husband for not being considerate.
Now talking about the third angle, this is a pure example of “EGO” commonly mistaken as self-respect. Aforesaid is just a small and simple example. In our long journey of life we come across various halts and different situations where we receive feedback, some from relations which are like passing clouds and some from relations which are like mirror. And when I say mirror I mean those special but fragile relationships of our life. Be it between friends, husband-wife, lovers, family members and so on. These are all strong relationships in face of hardships but “EGO” slays them. It’s our ego that makes us turn our face from reality check that we get from our close ones. ” Why should I listen to them?”, “I know everything, I don’t need any advice from anyone be it anyone” is general reaction when ego takes over our thought process. This is where cracks develop in a relationship. When ego dwells in heart, every feedback seems to be criticism. And when feedback seems to be criticism that gives way to misunderstandings, arguments which turn into fights that result into permanent damage to relationships. Therefore its really important to understand a simple fact that there is a very fine line between “self respect” and “ego”. A person with self respect would never take feedback as an insult to his or her intelligence but would seek it for self betterment. But ego would always search for negativity.
A lot can be said about this critical issue. Critical because if went unnoticed a person’s ego could be devastating. A perfect example is that of “Duryodhana” in epic “Mahabharta”. So great was his ego that he never paid heed to anything positive and good in his life and that eventually resulted in the war of Kurukshetra which left behind it a trail of blood.
If relationships matter to us, if people matter to us then we should let our “Ego” go. Two tips for happy relationships:
- Just “ME” & “I” spells boredom for sure, more “WE” means more happiness.
- If speech is silver, silence is golden. It’s really important to put our ego aside and listen first. There can be no discussion if two people talk at a time. That’s only an argument.
So just let “E” go and be happy.