Lipstick on my teeth
My father told me a long time ago, that a smart person is one who comes into a situation, observes what is going on, takes notes, get everyone's views and gradually introduces change.
In fact, he told me that this rule even applies when one is invited to view a movie that he/she would have seen before.
Undoubtedly, if my father was here, he would conclude that this world is filled with "unsmart people."
Everyone seems to have the answers to all questions.
Feedback is a great tool. There are generally two thoughts that determine how receptive people are to feedback; the relationship one has with the giver of the feedback and one's openness and readiness to receive.
In other words, feedback from a spouse or relative is more likely to be accepted, than information given by the man on the bus.
Moreover, one who perceives himself as "having arrived," is less likely to accept much from another.
People often say that they are grateful for feedback, but sometimes you can sense defensiveness or resentment in their voices.
Sometimes, the feedback is viewed as an attack on our competence.
Let's face it no one wants to be criticized. We all enjoy accolades and hope that others can only see the good in us.
We must be cautioned, about believing any one of us knows everything.
Personally, I think that the least among us can sometimes make the most sense.
I recall attending an official school function, a few years ago, where I was the guest speaker and also asked to bestow prefect pins on several students.
I spent several hours at this assembly and was even interviewed by the media.
It was toward the end of the ceremony while pinning a badge onto a petite girl that a pleasant voice said, "excuse me mame, but you have lipstick on your teeth."
I was completely disappointed in all adults around me, that no one was willing to give me this necessary bit of information.
A third thought about the receptiveness of feedback, is fear. People, who can't accept feedback, are more reluctant to give feedback.
"If I don't speak ill of you, don't speak ill of me."
This view is distorted, as feedback should be constructive, meaning it should be given to build up and edify.
Therefore, the way that it is presented, should convey these sentiments.
Feedback that is presented in a destructed manner can still be considered for its content, but the receiver should be aware of the motive.
Feedback is essential for healthy growth and development.
No one should view himself above reproach and unable to hear how his behavior impacts another. By the same token, we have to be able to decipher what is helpful and what is damning. Let us all examine ourselves and determine how often we receive feedback, and do we really use the information to self improve, or avoid others.
POINT TO PONDER: Look into the mirror and see who you really are.
Your letters and comments are encouraged. You may email your letters or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Askdoctorpam P.O. Box F43736. Dr. Pam is a Clinical Psychologist trained in all areas of mental health.
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