The Difference between Constructive and Destructive Feedback

The Difference between Constructive and Destructive Feedback © Stefanie Neumann - All Rights Reserved.

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Yesterday I received an e-mail which indicated some disapproval of who I am.

It kind of hit me unexpectedly below the beltline and pushed my buttons.  Now I am feeling depressive, in doubt and as if I cannot access my knowingness, anymore.

Fortunately it did not take away my experience of what I have learned.  So I count on that until the pain heals.   It can be very challenging when you get hit so hard.  It can make you feel all wrong – who you are, what you do and what you believe in.  It even can make you feel like you do not belong in this world.  Those buttons were pushed for me, yesterday, and I am still dealing with the effect.  Actually I pretty much fell silent since receiving this message.  –  I will survive it.  It will pass.

Meanwhile I felt like sharing about what I have learned.  Maybe it helps others to deal with similar situations.

You know, I personally cannot always avoid getting hit by discouraging energies.  Sometimes they just beat on me and I can’t help it.  And it does feel terrible and painful.  I admit that freely.

But there is something that helps me dealing with it, when it happens.  It is to know the difference between constructive and destructive energies.  Because, even when I feel them and they hurt me, I know that I do not have to listen to the destructive ones.  I know that they are not speaking the truth, even if they sometimes throw me off the rail, temporarily.

So, how do I know the difference?

It actually is pretty simple.

Constructive Feedback

  • Does not come uninvited
  • Does always leave you with an idea of how you can do better
  • Does always feel motivating
  • Does always accept your choice

Destructive Feedback:

  • Does invade your space
  • Does leave you feeling devastated and feeling generally wrong
  • Does feel discouraging
  • Does not accept you for who you are

That means all I have to do is ask myself:  How do I feel, now?

Did I ask for an opinion on this?

Do I feel inspired, motivated, accepted as who I am?

If the answer is Yes, then great!  I may go straight ahead and put the new inspiration and/ or motivation into action.  Or, if my choice is that I do not need to change anything, I go and continue with what I do, feeling accepted for who I am.

In my case, today, the answer to both questions is No.

Instead, I feel muted, discouraged and like I do not belong in this world.  Heck, most of the time, today, I do not even want to be here.  Not exactly what I call inspiring and motivating.  Rather the opposite!

So at least I know in a sense of knowledge that this message I received is not telling me the truth.  It is not a shoe I have to wear and nothing I need to listen to.

It still hurts.  What I will do with it, for now, is face the pain and allow healing.  It may be that this lets me fall silent for a few days.  And after that I speak up with a voice that is even stronger than before.

Do you encounter destructive feedback, sometimes?  What is your recipe to deal with it?

Much love,
Steffi