When They Complain It Really Means They Love Me
It took me a long time to realize that anyone who gave me negative feedback was actually expressing love towards me. I could never have realized this in my 20's when I would give everyone my opinion (good or bad) because I thought I knew everything. Then came my thirties as I started to relax and wait for people to ask before offering them my sage wisdom. Now, standing on the edge of 40 (in November!) I realize that giving any sort of unpleasant feedback is something I only do for paying clients or close friends. Why? Because people don't always take negative feedback well. In fact, there's often a fair amount of drama associated with it. And, quite frankly, I can't be bothered to deal with the potential fall-out unless I really care about the person I'm talking to.
It's Easier to Walk Away
It's so much easier to walk away and let someone figure it out for themselves than it is to engage the process. And in today's world where things are moving quickly and everyone is carrying more on their plate than they care to think about, it's really tough to get anyone to take an interest in anything outside of themselves.
See The Gift in the Gripe
So here's the deal. The next time someone starts to come down on you about something they didn't like, remember that they are offering you a gift. They could have walked away and not told you what the problem was. But they cared enough about you that they took the risk of having the drama that might ensue to tell you how to fix a problem. And doesn't it make the negative pill a bit easier to swallow when you know that it truly does come from love?