“Watch out for the joy-stealers: gossip, criticism, complaining, faultfinding, and a negative, judgmental attitude.” – Joyce Meyer
What’s the Difference Between Feedback and Criticism?
Is there a positive way for receiving feedback and criticism?
Is handling feedback and criticism a sore spot for you?
Perhaps you could learn how to use it to your advantage.
There is feedback, there is criticism, and there is critical feedback.
It is all about the way the feedback is presented to you that matters.
Is the feedback done in a loving, integrative way?
Or is it done in an unloving, careless fashion?
First let’s define both Criticism and Feedback for the sake of this post; I got these definitions from Dictionary.com.
1.the act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything
2.the act of passing severe judgment; censure; fault-finding.
3.the act or art of analyzing and evaluating or judging the quality of a literary or artistic work, musical performance, art exhibit, dramatic production, etc.
4.any of various methods of studying texts or documents for the purpose of dating or reconstructing them, evaluating their authenticity, analyzing their content or style, etc.: historical criticism; literary criticism.
1.a reaction or response to a particular process or activity: He got very little feedback from his speech.
2.evaluative information derived from such a reaction or response: to study the feedback from an audience survey.
3.Psychology – knowledge of the results of any behavior, considered as influencing or modifying further performance.
So what’s the difference between feedback and criticism.
That’s easy. Intent and state of being.
The way I see criticism is that it is feedback done from a place of non-love and lower vibration. That’s it. It’s basically feedback done in a non-loving way.
My inspiration for this post on Feedback vs Criticism
I was over at John Chow’s blog yesterday and he had changed the design theme of his blog.
In the comments section, one of his long time commentators stated that he didn’t like the design and that he felt “lost” and didn’t know where to go.
What was John’s response?
Get lost buddy, take a hike, if you don’t like it than go somewhere else.
No. John’s response was, “Thanks for the feedback. We’re still tweaking the front page based on what people are saying.”
Wow! I was impressed with John’s response to say the least.
He took the comment as mere feedback and nothing more than that.
How about you? How would you of responded to the comment about your blog’s new design or any other type of perceived criticism?
Especially from a long time commentator.
What I am saying here is that your perceptions equal your reality.
From what I recall about John Chow, he had always stated that all comments are welcome, even “negative”ones.
Are you there yet with feedback in regards to you and your blog or any area of your life that you have a vested interest?
Perhaps with a friend, colleague, boss, lover, etc.
I will be the first to admit that I haven’t always responded to negative comments on my blog that well.
But with that being said, what I decided to do about “negative feedback” has become epic in my life experience.
Being that I am all about personal growth, I had to learn to overcome one area that I considered a weakness of mine; Criticism!
Criticism was a “sore spot” for me, and before I made the mental adjustment, I would go out of my way to avoid it.
People pleasing comes to mind here, and not speaking my truth as well.
It’s a slick way to avoid criticism, but not very good for the soul, who only likes to deal in being authentic (real). So what we often get is a dispute between your mind and your soul.
My mind wants comfort, certainty and to avoid conflict.
But my soul wants to say what I mean and mean what I say, and that means learning to be comfortable with discomfort and uncertainty. Yikes!
What a dichotomy I have here.
What I taught my mind was that it’s better for me to “be real”, to “be authentic” than to have to hide any part of me that may receive negative feedback.
I don’t know what your childhood was like but for me, I learned that expressing my truth was not welcome or appreciated.
It was better to keep what I think and feel to myself, much to the detriment of my authentic self.
I am not blaming anyone from my childhood here; it was the “way of the times” back then.
Luckily, consciousness has grown and expanded so much, especially in the last 20 years, that many have been able to recognize the hurt of not allowing another to express themselves and be who they really are.
Do you allow others like your children, or even your spouse to say what they mean without you getting angry or hurt?
Can you take it?
If not, you better learn to because the “Authentic Way” is making a comeback. No more masks, no more “shallow personalities” that hide who we really are.
My old beliefs about criticism
What I learned and carried with me was the belief that feedback, especially when it was critical (low vibes) was “bad;” whether I was at the giving or receiving end of it.
If you don’t have anything nice to say than don’t say anything at all. What I would add to the end of this sentence is; at the expense of you authentic self.
Yes, we are allowed to be moody and experience low vibes, it happens to the best of us.
Not me though. 🙂
Taking the John Chow example – we can tell that John’s perception was that the commentator was merely leaving feedback and in no way was he being critical of John or his new blog design.
The commentator was a long time visitor of John’s site and had no interest what so ever in causing John any type of distress with his comments.
It was meant as mere feedback only.
When you are criticized do you feel bad or take it personally?
Let me explain why you do.
You think you feel bad because they misunderstand you and are judging you incorrectly.
The real reason that you are feeling bad is because you are judging them, about their judging you.
Let’s say that someone is having a bad day and you are interacting with them in some way.
Now their bad day is flowing over into your experience and now your day is negatively affected because they are flowing their energy your way negatively.
And now you are not having such a good day anymore because this person has affected you negatively.
The reason that you feel bad is because you have just given away your power to the negative person.
Since this person is having a bad day and you are now left feeling powerless until they feel better. Don’t do this. You will feel like a seesaw going up and down and back and forth.
Own your power, don’t give your attention to the negative nature of others, well, that is unless you are such a generous soul that you like giving your power away to others.
Where do you stand here?
Do you let others bring you down to their level? Or do you say, “Hey, if you want to come into my World than you better clean up your act?”
I am okay with receiving constructive criticism from someone who seems to be an authority in that area.
Let’s say I was learning how to become a carpenter. Let’s pretend I have minimal experience, however, my teacher has been a carpenter for over 30 years.
I would be totally fine with receiving constructive criticism from him because of the 30 years of experience.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to receive criticism from someone who I believe is less experienced, or less knowledgeable than I am. I wouldn’t be able to validate it from them.
Kitchen Nightmares Episode – Amy’s Baking Company
I don’t know if you watch or saw the Kitchen Nightmares episode that featured Amy’s Baking Company?
That episode created a huge stir on the internet and was the most watched episode of Kitchen Nightmares history.
Kitchen Nightmares is a reality show where 15 Michelin Star Master Chef Gordon Ramsay comes in to critique and hopefully improve the restaurants business.
Some of the restaurant owners are open to Gordon’s suggestions for improvements, while others are totally resistant to it.
The owners of Amy’s Baking Company was one that was extremely resistant to Gordon’s feedback.
As Gordon stated in the episode; “You can’t take criticism!”
Gordon was so frustrated in fact with the owners that he had to end the show. It was the first time ever for Kitchen Nightmares.
Kitchen Nightmares also did a follow up show with Amy’s Baking Company which was just as popular as the original.
My Advice for giving criticism
Do it gently, do it lovingly, but the best choice, don’t do it at all if you don’t have to.
Many people grew up in critical environments, with overly critical people and they only perceive criticism as negative and not at all useful.
Criticism is usually given by critical people whose perception about life is to find things that are “wrong”.
It’s all about perception.