I Live for Negative Feedback.

12387034831212914571adam_lowe_Three_Emotions_of_Cartoon_3.svg.medI live for negative feedback.

I do. That load of bull the counseling community wants to feed you, about how you need ten positive comments* to equal the impact of one negative comment? That’s just them selling something. They know no one’s going to get ten positive comments for every negative. Einstein proved that.

I think.

If he didn’t it’s because he lacked proper time management skills.

I revel in the negative comments made to me every day — I didn’t do it fast enough, I forgot to do it, I should have known to do it without being asked to do it, “everyone knows” that you should / shouldn’t do what I did not / did do…

All of these make me a better person, right? I learn by these comments. Hey, I’m the one who said you learn by mistakes, right? Well, how will you know you made a mistake unless someone else points out your mistake to you?

God knows, you’re not bright enough to recognize mistakes on your own.

And I’m never offended when I’m accused of cheating or dishonesty. First off, because people who are offended by such accusations are automatically guilty. Gandhi said that.

I’m pretty sure Gandhi said that. If he didn’t it was because he was prone to lie.

Second, everyone is dishonest. Everyone cheats. Right? So if the first line of defense someone uses with you is to accuse you of lying, don’t get upset. You may not be lying today, but you’ll lie tomorrow. Jeez, don’t be a prig.

Rejection letters. I love rejection letters. They make me a better writer. Especially form rejection letters. After all, who needs to be told exactly what was wrong? What am I, a writer or a brain surgeon? The editor didn’t like it because the whole thing is probably shit. Scrap it and start over.

And I take my positives where I can find them. The more people yell at me for not meeting their expectations, the more I know that they have high expectations of me. They need me. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Being needed? Some people go out of their way to make themselves needed, to make themselves indispensable, so they can’t be cast aside. I can do it without even trying, just by being me.

Isn’t that wonderful?

So don’t feel guilty when all that you say to me is an ever-growing list of your needs and a catalogue of the ways I’ve failed you. It’s okay. That’s what I live for. Don’t feel bad. I don’t need compliments. I don’t need to be told what I’m doing right. I know what I’m doing right. It’s that stuff you never mention to me. As long as you’re not talking about it, it must be okay, right?


Yeah, it hasn’t been a great few days here in this world I call real life. And if it sounds like I’m whining, well, yeah, I am. But I’m whining with purpose.

Remember that the people you depend on are not machines. They do need to be told when they’re doing the job right. Hell, even a lot of machines need positive feedback. So, if you’re depending on someone, if you need them, make sure they know, not just that they’re important to you — ’cause your insurance company and your iPad are important to you, too — but that you actually appreciate and value them. And that there are things about them that would make that true even if they didn’t know how to reprogram the frammistat to conjugate with the interocitor.

And also remember, for your sake and everyone else’s, that being needed <> being wanted, being appreciated, being loved. You need your car. But when it doesn’t start on the morning you’re already late to work, you don’t appreciate or love it. The people you need and depend on every day still need to be appreciated and loved when they don’t start in the morning.

If you are one of the systems that’s expected to run on negative feedback, I’m right in there with you, brother, sister or whatever you are. If no one else appreciates you, I do. (Count that as one of today’s ten positives, and re-read as necessary.) And try to take the high road. Try not to lob the negatives back, or (more criminal) distribute them to others who’ve done you no wrong. The high road is rocky, but it’s the only true road to winning respect. Especially self-respect.

And if it all gets you down sometimes. well… fuck ’em. They don’t deserve you anyway. Walk away for a while. Spend time with the people who love you. It may be that that’s yourself. That’s okay. Go for a walk in the park, or go in a room by yourself. Read a book. Watch a movie. Shut out the world. Put on the phones and let the drummer tell your heart what to do.

Become your own source of ten positives every day if you have to.

Just don’t let the bastards get you down.

Next week’s blog is already written, and, I promise, it’s much more upbeat. Until then, be nice to everyone, including yourself, okay?


Actually, the Harvard Business Review says you need 5.6:1.

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