How to Handle Negative Feedback

Dale Carnegie’s advice was “don’t criticize, condemn or complain” and it would be a great world if people even tried to live up to this.

You get called in and someone offers “constructive criticism” – you really want the constructive part and the bad feelings you will come away with left out.

You can’t control others, but the next time you are put in a position to answer negative feedback of any kind, these are their judgments right or wrong and you are being watched for how you take it.

Open to criticism or overly defensive?

If they are expecting an argument, skip it – their minds are made up.

Just say thank you.

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Not Focusing on the Negative

It’s one thing to stay positive – think positive thoughts, do things in the present and be present 100% in relationships.

But not focusing on the negatives may not be enough to realize happiness.

Think of what your life would be like if you didn’t have that special person or the career you love or the friends and family you cherish.

This negative visualization actually produces a positive effect.

By thinking about what you’d miss, you appreciate it more and see how the people and things you like make you happy.

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Free Time

Free time to chill and veg out is a waste of free time.

Invest it in something that will bring happiness and see great returns.

Learn something new. 

Start something you’ve been putting off. 

Unleash your creativity. 

Be brave and attack something you’ve been meaning to do.

Free time is not down time.

It’s extra time for you.

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A Course in Happiness

Laurie Santos is a Yale professor who teaches the most popular course ever at the college – Psychology and the Good Life.

Salary does make for happiness – after the basics, more money is a dud.

Spending time with a friend and doing things in the moment makes us happier.

Professor Santos encourages learning without laptops even though they have been proven to aid a better outcome.  But face-to-face makes for happier people.  Fortunately, her course is pass/fail – less anxiety.

Rewirements may be necessary – meditate, get more sleep, learn to be thankful.

Students loved the gratitude journal – it’s not new, maybe today is a good time to start one in your own unique way.

Social media?  A no-no but students struggle for a way to stay connected to their generation without losing their happiness to the black hole of social connection.

If you have ten minutes, meet Laurie Santos and her students here.  Maybe forward this to a young person.

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Me Time

Of course “me time”, time spent primarily on you can be reinvigorating especially if you’re under a lot of stress.

But “you time” focused on others can also carry the benefits of “me time”.

Time you devote to others – this powerful giving of self is not to be underestimated.

Listening.

Helping.

Calling, conversing and showing person centered interest in someone who is not you.  Just staying in touch.

It has been proven that one of the best mood elevators we have available is to lose ourselves in the lives of those who mean something to us.

To a daughter or son putting your phone down first and saying “Let’s go for a walk (or a run)”.

To a friend who is alone, a call or visit.

For someone else who is also feeling a world of anxiety – “How about lunch tomorrow?”  That’s “we time”.

Time not focused on you redirected to others also relieves anxiety.

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