Giving me feedback? Think again, my critical friend!

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Image by Erik Wannee via Wikimedia Commons

So you criticize a friend, big deal, get over it. There was a friend years’ back who was constantly criticized by a dear yet critical friend – “why don’t you drink red wine, it’s better for you,” “can’t believe you still live in Los Angeles, the people are so shallow there.” Hmmm… if this’s friend feedback, pass me the Jack Daniels and ice!

If you continually criticize a friend, ask yourself why? You can change yourself, so find out what’s motivating negative or bossy jabs at your friend! “Can’t believe you still live in Los Angeles (with a fun job and friends, but really…) everyone’s so shallow there.” Are you feeling envy, competitiveness, scared, unloved, fear of rejection, jealousy?

Your brain on critical friend overload!

I was reading an “ASK, Don’t Tell” email newsletter from Jon Prattlet, a leadership and team development executive and executive coach, based in Australia. In his newsletter, Jon points out what goes on in your brain when you’re giving someone (good or bad) feedback:

  • You get into fight or flight mode;
  • Blood goes from your brain to your muscles (to prep for the fight or flight),
  • Your peripheral vision goes (focusing your brain);
  • It’s harder to collaborate.

All this brain activity goes on when your friend hears feedback, can you imagine the stress that’s going on inside when you’re criticizing your friend.

Electrifying friend feedback!

Friend feedback is essential for growing and inspiring. So, what works for the brain? Based on John Prattlet’s leadership coaching solutions – check out Jon’s video; we’ll see how we can utilize these questions to find friend solutions.

1. What works for you living in Los Angeles? Listen to their answer – “Love being around media and this’s where the jobs are, with meeting lots of interesting people.
2. Acknowledge your friend: “You were always in school plays, and really were great at video in high school.”
3. What doesn’t work for you? “No real romance, everyone is busy or on the move – or out-of-town on a project.”
4. Then, offer your thoughts and collaborate on solutions. “Have you thought about looking outside Los Angeles for a love partner, where there’s more emphasis on family?”

As Jon Prattlet says, “These build people’s confidence, in their own ability to self-acknowledge, and self-correct.” By collaborating with them you can find real solutions with friend feedback.

Remember, a great friend starts with you!

For more helpful great friends tips check out “Does Your Argumentative Style Hurt Friends?” and “Friends and Lies.”

Critical Friend image courtesy: By Erik Wannee (Mijn eigen hand, ingescand.) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

© Glenda / Gshawmedia 2014

Please note: I hide specific and identifiable details in my friend stories as these stories are examples of behavior and not meant to hurt anyone. These stories are based on my opinion and perspective, except when the people written about are in the public domain. Any advice in this blog is from my insights, research and opinion only, and must not be considered as legal or medical advice.

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