Thanks for the Feedback



Dear Dharma,

I find myself in an interesting situation. I have had a couple of different people I know give me feedback on some of my “behaviours” and I’m not sure how to handle it.

In the moment I nodded and thanked them for their perspective but I’m not entirely thrilled by this.

Can I confront them on it? Ask for a more in depth explanation? Should I keep telling myself that they wouldn’t have said anything if they didn’t care?

Am I Really That Bad?

Dear That Bad,

Here’s how I’ve always looked at the “feedback” we get from others.  If one person tells you something – “You’re a bossy shrew!” – and you really don’t think you are, let it roll.

However, if two or more people give you the same feedback, well, suddenly there’s a common denominator, and that’s you.  Making the feedback more likely to be accurate…

The next step is determining, “Am I okay with being a bossy shrew?  Is that what I want people to think of me?”

Because maybe you are a bossy shrew and maybe you like being a bossy shrew and hey, that’s okay!  Then the feedback is simply information you already had.

However, if you don’t like that assessment, then the feedback is a good catalyst to maybe address some changes, right?

Yet, none of this addresses your questions, it was just a little value add.

Confront them?  Sure, but maybe change that to “approach them”.  Less… confrontational, non?  And for sure ask for a more in depth explanation, especially if it’s a behaviour you want to work on.

You’re brave to want to address this, as most people perceive this type of feedback as a fault of the other person for even pointing it out.  As in, the problem isn’t you, it’s them for having a problem with it…

Good luck with this, and would love to hear how it goes!

But wait!  There’s more!!

Now that you’ve read Dharma’s answer, you need to go and check out Dave & Kat to see what they said about this exact same question!

Dharma, Dave & Kat are having a little fun together this week, so all Q & A’s will be addressed in both forums.

Click here and go listen now!



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  • Julie says:

    Thanks, Dharma! I enjoyed getting both your answers and the podcast responses. I agree that it’s a matter of personal choice. If you think going deeper with the person will help, it’s a courageous and helpful thing to do.

    I have tried this recently, and it cleared up some misconceptions for both me and the other person as well as giving me useful feedback about how people had been perceiving my approach to things. Our relationship has improved since as well as some others.

    If this advice is not helpful, then I find it useful to be prepared to gently rebuff if the person steps forward again. I like the rebuff in the question here. I may steal it 😉 Some people are controlling or have poor boundaries, and it’s not really about me. If I’m not sure, I ask someone who knows me well and I can trust to be honest with me.

    • Dharma says:

      Glad you enjoyed getting a different version via podcast with Dave & Kat – we’ll be sure to use that approach again!

      Thanks for your comment, Julie!

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