How do you react when someone tells you there is a problem in the relationship and they give you feedback about it? Do you welcome that feedback and take it on as loving guidance? As something to ponder and learn from, so that you can improve your life and your relationship and solve the “problem?” Or do you instantly feel defensive and begin to protect yourself and minimize your part and discount what they are saying? Or do you point out that they are doing the same thing or even doing something worse?
Well, know that you are not alone! Most of us are self-protective when it comes to feedback and we spend most of our time and energy proving that we are blameless rather than solving whatever problem exists. What is the result? The problem doesn’t get resolved and both people feel more distant and hopeless about their connection. This dynamic applies in all relationships, by the way, not just romantic connections.
Why not practice suspending our defensiveness, our need to prove ourselves blameless, just for today? Just for today, let’s focus on actually resolving the issue at hand! Let’s work together to ask what changes need to happen to get the result we both want! Let’s listen to feedback and take it in quietly. Let’s focus on making a difference in our lives and the lives of others rather than focusing on making sure people know we are innocent! We can literally change the world! Being defensive is one of the most powerful predictors of an unhappy and unsustainable relationship!
If we can remember that mistakes are just a part of learning and growing and nothing to be ashamed of, we can begin to see feedback and support and love instead of as criticism. If we could see feedback as a gift and as a directional signal from the universe, we can learn and grow and feel the benefit of all input from the Universe, even if it feels mean-spirited! That is true freedom! Just imagine it! How would it fee to take all feedback as information to make you a better, happier person! Wow! What a different world that would be!