People love to give us their opinion on things. Some call it feedback, others are more honest and call it criticism. It doesn’t matter what they call it, if it’s about you and it’s negative, it can hurt.
But here’s the thing. You don’t have to take any notice. Whatever someone else says about you, it’s their opinion, not a fact.
Your Aunt Eileen doesn’t like what you’re wearing – so what? When did she become the arbiter of all that is good in the world of fashion? You’re wearing it because you like it, because it makes you feel good. Isn’t that what really matters?
A couple of years ago, I cooked a lamb tagine for my partner and my mother. The following day, my mother asked me to sit down, and in her most serious voice said, “I need to tell you something, and I don’t want you to get upset.” I was worried. I was really worried. “What’s the matter?” I asked her. She gave me a very sorrowful look, before saying, “That tagine you made. It was very nice … but … I don’t think you should serve it to anyone else.”
I have my mother to thank for my cast iron self-esteem!
But seriously, I could have been deeply upset by her veiled insult towards my culinary abilities but I chose not to be. I thought about what she’d said, and considered whether there was any truth in it. My conclusion – I liked my tagine, and if she felt it wasn’t good enough to be served to other people that was fine. It was her opinion and I didn’t have to take it on board.
But sometimes, other people have a higher opinion of us than we do of ourselves. We think that something we’ve done is not very good, then someone comes along and tells us how brilliant it is. Should we ignore them then?
No we should not. If someone tells you they like your hair, or you did a great job, or your garden looks lovely – smile and thank them. You’re better than you think you are, and someone just took the trouble to tell you so.
You don’t have to take any feedback as truth. Don’t automatically disregard it either – just take a moment to consider whether it’s justified. If it is, go ahead and learn from it, if not just let it go.
But if someone says something good about you, why not accept it? It can only make you feel better about yourself.