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As a speaker, we all enjoy the praises of others. Feedback, positive or negative, has an effect on all human being. Things people say to us, and how they say them, affect our self esteem. Some people seem to take great pride in tearing others down. The problem is, they never take into consideration what else the person might be going through. Sometimes we feel that even the smallest insult is the straw that broke the camel’s back. It is very difficult to ignore that type of comment and move on with our lives.

When we have days with encouraging comments, we can’t help but feel good about ourselves. It helps us to be a positive person. It is nearly impossible for someone to be criticized, but not affected by it. It is always easier to want to fight back. Here are a few tips to help you handle feedback.

  • Determine if the negative feedback can be useful

Just because something is negative doesn’t always mean it is wrong. Determine if the feedback is true and check to see if you are doing something wrong. There is a possibility that you can use the feedback to improve. If there is room for improvement, make adjustments and move on. Learn from your mistakes, and this will turn the negative into a positive.

Sometimes what others say can be only half true. It’s just enough to make you second guess yourself. This will definitely make us think. Rationalize to see if it is only half true and they are putting a negative spin on what you do. If you look at a statement as half true, consider it false.

  • Determine if the person is worth listening to

There’s an old statement that says, “Consider the source.” It’s important that we know exactly what kind of person we want to listen to and what type of individual we will pay NO attention to.

Family and friends will usually be honest with you without trying to hurt you. They might not always be looking at things from the right perspective, and they won’t always give you good advice.

Total strangers are different. Some will give you good advice, because of the lack of relationship. Try to determine their mindset when they’re making the comment. Sometimes it is meant to be helpful, and others, it is just to get a reaction from you. If they are speaking from a negative mindset, they are not someone whose opinion should be valued.

  • Realize you’re not perfect

No one is perfect, and anyone in their right mind wouldn’t claim to be. It can still hurt when our imperfections are pointed out to us in a negative way. Sometimes we spend too much time focusing on the imperfections. It can help us learn from our mistakes, but if you begin to feel discouraged because of it, just realize that everyone makes mistakes from time to time.

  • Take a time out

Letting your pride get involved is not a good thing to do. Don’t let yourself stoop to their level. Don’t over react. Take a break, and review the situation later. You may find out that that the statement is true and learn from it, or decide it isn’t and ignore it. Whichever thing you do, it will be done from a clearer perspective.

  • Be sure of your motivation

Like we shouldn’t let negative feedback keep us down, we shouldn’t rely on the positive to pick us up. There’s nothing wrong with basking in the limelight of encouragement, but motivation should be that we realize we are headed in the right direction. Enjoy the positive, but your true identity comes from within. Your opinion of yourself shouldn’t come from those around you.

When all is said and done, we should realize that we are striving to better ourselves and those we come in contact with. Negativity is a way of life. Sometimes, it’s true, others it’s either half true or false. Learn to handle and categorize your feedback as a speaker will always help you keep your image and motivation in check.


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