Can you remember the last time someone gave you some personal negative feedback? Doesn’t it hurt more if it is unsolicited? How does it make you feel when it delivered in a loud demeaning tone? Ouch.
You and I are currently live and react at a certain level of enlightenment. In my quest for personal self-growth, one of my big ah-ha’s was realizing people look at us and each situation through the filter of their lives. We also create beliefs from our youth that, if not properly addressed, still run programs in our heads that determine our reactions. For example, a friend of mine that I used to date had a habit of changing clothes two or three times before she could go to dinner. I discovered through conversation that when she was young, her funny and well meaning father used to tease her, “You’re wearing that?” Her dad meant to be funny and his intention was harmless. It still created a pattern of second guessing her choice of attire.
We all have “stuff” that we carry with us through life. Some of it serves us well. Like looking both ways before we cross the road. Unless we deal with the negative or patterns that no longer serve us, we will continue to rerun the program.
When people react to something you do or say, they are reacting, again, based on their patterns or beliefs from their life. When people are having a bad day or were just “hurt” by someone, they may also have a tendency to “lash out” and see more negative than they may have otherwise. Recently I got an email that said:
“You are an amazing speaker. You don’t need to pitch. You need to help people gain knowledge and they will buy without the sales pitch. I asked for some help/advice a week ago, have I heard a word? NO. But I get pitched. Sorry I have told so many about you…….now I am very disappointed.” ~unsigned
Ouch! Though I crave all feedback, sometimes I don’t like to hear it. This came as a response to an email that I sent out to my past customers letting them know about a new DVD I released. Each week, as you know if you are reading this, I generate a great deal of content that I put out for no charge.
Though some non-business people may think you don’t have to pitch, most successful business people know that it is essential.
To this person’s second point, they were we absolutely correct. I did not get back to their question. I get mails to AskDarren.com all the time. I do answer them all, depending on my schedule and travel, sometimes it may take me up to a week.
Guess what all of this doesn’t matter! The reaction of Ms. Very Disappointed was her “stuff.” My reaction to her reaction is my “stuff.” I realize I have a need to explain it to you, my reader, because I have a desire to be liked. I believe most of us do.
What you and I need the reminder on is to step back and ask ourselves, “Whose ‘stuff’ is it anyway?” When I take a walk each morning in a park near my house, I pass by several people also walking. Some greet me with a smile and a hello. Some never make eye contact. Whether good or bad, it’s their stuff. We can’t control that.
What we have more control over is our own filter. Being able to see that because someone treats you rudely it’s most likely their stuff. If everyone I passed by treats me rudely, I could be in the wrong park or I could be putting out a bad vide and they’re stuff is reacting to my stuff. (Feel like you might need a flow chart?)
I remember Patricia Fripp telling a story where a well-meaning emerging speaker walked up to her just before a program and asked if he could give her feedback from her last presentation. She replied, “No.” She is experienced enough to know that even if the feedback was good and helpful, it would effect her performance that she was about to give. Constructive feedback is not what you want to hear right before you walk on stage.
Ms. Very Disappointed got the answer to her question. Though she was not happy with me, I had to step back and give her the best answer I could and not let my personal feelings about her comment flavor it. I was proud with my own progress. Several years ago she may have gotten a different answer.
Do you have the ability to discern between your stuff and other people’s stuff? If you are anything like me, I tend to take things too personally. I’m working on me, are you working on you? Your thoughts as you read this right now, is it my stuff or your stuff?