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Recovering from Invalidating Criticism and Feedback

Have you ever received a comment from someone and it felt like you just got stabbed in the heart?

What did you do?


Sometimes it is helpful to distinguish between criticism and helpful feedback.

Criticism looks like this:

  • Criticism is focused on your character rather than your actions. It gives the message that something is wrong with you or what you are doing.

  • Criticism does not build you up. It often points towards the problem without giving solutions or pointers.

  • Criticism can be framed as meaning to control or pressure you into doing what some else wants.

Example of Criticism:

“You’re applying for THAT job? That’s funny! You know you’re not right for that job and you

should consider something else because you can’t pull it off.”

Feedback is:

  • Focused on giving you information to build you or your relationships up

  • Honest and a specific explanation of what they have observed

  • Not assuming intent of the other person

Example of Feedback:

“You said you are excited to apply for a Senior Manager position and I’m glad you are excited