Table of contents:
- In words, we all take comments calmly. We, after all, are not children, to be offended because of nonsense. "Let them think and say what they want, it doesn't bother me much." But in fact, the overwhelming majority of people overestimate their "critical resistance"
- Helpful support
- 4 reactions to negative comments
Video: How To Respond To Criticism? About The Right Feedback - Society
In words, we all take comments calmly. We, after all, are not children, to be offended because of nonsense. "Let them think and say what they want, it doesn't bother me much." But in fact, the overwhelming majority of people overestimate their "critical resistance"
A little girl draws a wonderful bouquet, bright and colorful. The younger brother comes running, examines the picture and declares: “Ugh! Some kind of blot! " The girl runs to her mother in tears, handing her a drawing: “Mom, look at the flowers! Why is he teasing that it is a blot ?! " Mom (apparently, not in the best mood): “Yes, it turned out somehow vague, it doesn't look like flowers…” The girl runs away in tears; brush and paints are abandoned indefinitely. Maybe forever …
Now imagine yourself instead of this little girl. Suppose you want to demonstrate the results of your creativity to the general public or inform others about some of your project, new idea, achievement. How do you feel about criticism?
For many years I have been conducting psychological trainings in which communication skills are developed. A standard exercise in these trainings is group discussion. We record the discussion on video, and then watch this recording several times in order to analyze the participants' remarks. Do you know what discovery was one of the first to be made by the training participants? The discovery is that any negative reaction to the words of a participant permanently excludes him from the work of the group.
For example, a participant expresses his opinion. You can nod your head, you can say "Yes, interesting", you can comment in detail and continue his thought. But you can simply not notice his statement, not react at all to it. You can grimace and raise your eyebrows in surprise, making a grimace of displeasure. You can wave your hand and turn away. You can say "No!" or something sharper: "What nonsense?", "Some kind of stupidity!" etc.
The videotape convincingly proves that those participants who received positive responses in response to their cues became more active. They were inspired, were interested in the overall result, continued to put forward new ideas, supported and developed the statements of other participants, and radiated positive emotions. Participants who faced negative reactions, or "disappeared" (closed in themselves, kept silent, withdrawn from participation in the discussion), or began to actively defend themselves.
Such a defense, as a rule, is of little use, since the participant tries to prove his own righteousness to others, while forgetting about the goals and objectives of the group
A dispute arises that easily escalates into a conflict. The result is predictable: the group is always stronger than one member and will always find a way to "shut him up". But firstly, such a conflict is a waste of nerves and time, and secondly, the group is not always right.
When making group decisions, the opinion of the “independent loners” can be very valuable, even if it is not liked by most other members of the group. In business psychology, there is a well-known pattern according to which the most effective and successful teams are those that are able to accept and agree on extremely conflicting opinions and interests of their members.
4 reactions to negative comments
As a rule, our reaction to criticism is precisely "childish", that is, automatic, unconscious. We overestimate our "criticality". When faced with a negative assessment from the outside, three stereotyped and one unconventional reactions may arise:
Consent, acceptance of a negative assessment.
This reaction is bad because it damages our self-esteem. We lose faith in ourselves; “learned helplessness” develops (“Why bother trying to do / say anything if everything is so bad for me?”).
The willingness to accept other people's assessments (including negative ones) is characteristic of the dependent personality type. Such people often become easy prey for manipulators, falling for the reception of "emotional swing" (when the manipulator alternates between praise and criticism in order to achieve the desired behavior of the victim in response).
Leaving, dodging, avoiding.
This is an attempt to avoid meeting critics through social isolation. A person decides to become "invisible", hiding his opinion / ideas / achievements from others. He does not renounce his beliefs, he simply becomes a "lone wolf", independent of other people's assessments and opinions.
At first glance, such autonomy seems attractive, but it also has its risks. The lone wolf may have difficulty in establishing close relationships and will not be able to find support from other people when it is needed.
Active resistance, "riot", self-defense.
This reaction manifests itself in open confrontation with critics. A person gets involved in a series of endless disputes and conflicts, trying to prove his own righteousness to the “whole world”.
His behavior becomes actively offensive, demonstrative; a phenomenon of stigmatization arises (a person no longer strives for mutual understanding, but plays out the role he has taken on as an outcast, a sufferer, an unrecognized genius). His whole life turns into a struggle and self-affirmation, and sometimes it is a struggle with windmills, when the image of a critic is projected onto each person he meets.
Rational perception of criticism. In any critical remark, as a rule, there are three intentions:
• the desire of the interlocutor to assert himself and express himself;
• desire to help us;
• striving to resolve the issue, achieve a result.
When we respond emotionally to criticism (using any of the three patterns above), we are acting under the influence of the first intention. There is an unconscious collision of two egos: “Who is he to criticize me ?! And what right does he have? " If a person is not familiar to us or is simply unsympathetic, then we interpret his intention negatively. It seems to us that he is trying to assert himself at our expense, and nothing more.
Try a simple experiment: instead of an unsympathetic critic, put his words into the mouth of someone who is very close and authoritative for you. That is, just imagine that the same critical recommendations are made by a person who does not have a negative intention (who does not seek to assert himself by belittling you). Emotion aside, does the criticism contain ideas or recommendations that are useful to you?
Criticism, stripped of emotion, is already a perfectly acceptable form of feedback
For living beings, the presence of high-quality feedback is a key condition for learning, adaptation and, ultimately, survival. Therefore, the question of the need for feedback can be considered far-fetched - it is vital!
The only problem is that a person is a complex creature, and there are a lot of sources of feedback. Which ones are important and which ones to ignore? I am afraid that this question will become more and more urgent in the era of hypercommunications. For the “man of the future”, the ability to receive / give feedback will be one of the key social skills that will most likely be taught not only to managers (in managerial soft skills programs), but also to schoolchildren.