In previous articles we’ve touched upon the issue of negative feedback and how business owners should deal with such situations. And while responding to negative feedback can have its advantages, ignoring them could have some desirable effects as well.
Thus, before you start listening to everything bad customers have to say about you and your company, make sure it’s actually worthwhile.
In some cases, the toughest thing an entrepreneurs has to do is follow his or her own acumen. It may just so happen that the moment a person says something negative about you or your company, your head will be filled with doubt, even though you know better.
That is not only damaging, but also unnecessary. In most cases, by ignoring unfounded criticism you are more likely to become more efficient than wasting time paying attention to it. Here’s how refusing to listen to negative feedback and blocking it out entirely might actually be helping you:
1. You are inclined to over-value negative feedback. When confronted with a thing that scares, upsets or terrifies us, the human brain will tend to shift focus entirely on the thing. And while for the early humans that actually made sense, nowadays, negative orientation can be detrimental to us.
For example, when people tweet or comment that my articles are too personal, I involuntarily try to make it more impersonal, without even knowing it. And although hundreds of people may like the way I write, when a person says that my articles are plain and simple flat, it bugs me. So the question is why did I shift focus on what that person was saying instead of paying attention to the others? It’s simple. This happens because, even though we are aware of it, the human brain tends to focus on the negative aspects. And overcoming this aspect is not an easy thing to do. The next time you see yourself obsessing over the negative things someone said about you or your work, remember that you’re not doing the thinking, but rather the inner caveman in you.
2. You might become unhappy and that’s not really all that great. There are countless examples that prove that the unhappier you are, the lower your performance levels and your overall health get, the more unlikable you become. Also, listening to negativity is bad for the brain. Before actually listening to what someone is complaining about, just think it’s actually worth the trouble.
3. The reasons of the person responsible for the negative feedback may be questionable, to say the least. Before you start to fill your head with nonsense, try finding out whether the person who is delivering the negative feedback is honest and trying to offer constructive criticism or they may have some other reason for delivering it. We’ve also heard phrases such as “I thought you needed to know”, “I think it’s best you hear an honest opinion”. So the next time you hear them, determine if he or she truly wants to help or if he or she has another reason of giving you bad reviews.
4. The negative feedback you receive might not come from a person you respect. When some objective or thoughtful negative feedback comes your way from a person you respect, then you should probably pay attention. However, when it is not, why are you paying attention to the individual? Specifically, why do people take anonymous negative feedback at heart when they know that some people only do this for “fun”?
5. Your forward momentum may be delayed or sidetracked. This one can pose a major problem. Some good initiatives or even businesses may get stuck in the mud and later be abandoned only because some people complained, even though they don’t represent 0.1% of the beneficiaries. A lot of great ideas were abandoned even before they were given the chance to try for success because of negative feedback, complaints or the fear of criticism. That is why you’re better off wearing earplugs and ignoring the naysayers.
6. Finally, you might end up believing it. The biggest danger we know. What people believe about themselves is an extremely powerful tool. Watching news can be bad for us given the fact that it makes the negative appear normal. Or, that if we believe we are good individuals worthy of love, we will certainly be loved. Also, if we consider ourselves as strong individuals, we will definitely tend to act strong, and in turn become strong. Given the fact that what we believe about ourselves is incredibly powerful, why would we hand the power to someone who doesn’t deserve it?