STRUGGLE WITH FEELING ATTACKED WHEN RECEIVING FEEDBACK FROM ANOTHER? THIS MAY HELP

Most of us (me included) are highly sensitive, prideful, and ego driven when it comes to receiving feedback from another person. I understand we do not want to appear dumb, weak, or as if we don’t know the answer. It is of huge importance to be open-minded to feedback from qualified people and materials that will help you to achieve the healthy life you desire. Going at it alone without proper feedback or becoming defensive when challenged will limit how successful you can become.  Many who are unqualified will give opinions. Be polite and thank them while getting advice from expert people and materials. It is important to stay present with your emotional response to the feedback and to be mindful of the feelings you experience and express when challenged. Regulating your emotional response is healthy and will carry over into other areas as you practice it more often.  If you struggle with taking feedback too personally, being defensive, or lack confidence in yourself when it comes to receiving feedback, the following exercises may help you begin to do the work to overcome your struggle. To change and grow in recovery with the things you struggle with requires extra work but it is so worth it. Do the following exercises carefully and with deep thought. For best results, communicate all answers clearly with handwritten sentences.

Helpful Exercise: In the space below, list three people in your life who are qualified for you to be accountable to.

Examples:

  1. I can be accountable to my personal trainer because she helps others lose weight and has educated herself in weight loss.
  2. I can be accountable to my workout partners because they support my goal of a healthier and leaner weight and are going through this with me.
  3. I can be accountable to my good friend who is healthy and fit and because she cares enough for me to be honest and tell me what I need to hear not what I want to hear.

Now it is your turn:

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Helpful exercise: In the space below, list three ways you can be more open to feedback. Examples:

  • I can be more open to feedback by understanding that when someone is trying to help me with constructive criticism, they are not attacking me personally. I will not take it personally.
  • I can be more open to feedback by understanding that successful people in all endeavors NEED people to advise them and give them honest opinions. I will accept feedback as help.
  • I can be more open to feedback by accepting that I need help with my weight loss. I have conditioned myself to do things myself and not ask for help. I have not been successful with my weight loss with this approach. I will surrender to the help that I need and be open to the feedback I receive from others who have been successful at weight loss, helping others with weight loss, or other health experts.

Now it is your turn:

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It is common to experience anxious, frustrated, or even sad emotions as someone is giving us feedback. If you have been battling confidence issues all of your life, the criticism or feedback you have received has many times been in an “attacking” manner. As a result, you may have developed an almost automatic emotional and verbal response as you receive feedback and feel you are being attacked again—even though it may not the intention of the person delivering the feedback. You have developed defense mechanisms to counter the attack. It is a basic “fight or flight” response. In the space below, list three automatic emotional responses you experience as you feel you are being attacked with criticism.

Examples:

  • When someone is talking to me about my weight, I feel sad because I feel as though they are attacking me.
  • When my nutritionist is examining my food log and is “critical” of a certain food, I feel anxious and as though I am being attacked and I reacted defensively by lashing out.
  • When my personal trainer tries to push me beyond what I want to do with an exercise, I feel frustrated because I think I am doing my best.

Now it is your turn:

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I hope the exercises help you see how you can be more open to the feedback of others. I believe many people get confused about what is truly support in recovery from a struggle. While having people who cheer us on is important, having people who teach and challenge us in a nonjudgmental way is vital to success. I have watched hundreds of people become successful with health practices and all of them have people in their lives who will give them the feedback they need to hear but not always what they want to hear. They first had to learn how to manage the emotional response they had to the feedback. Continue to practice conscious presence when it comes to the emotional reactions you have to people and events. Practice calm responses. Practice healthy responses. BECOME YOUR OWN MIRACLE!

www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com

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