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Negative Feedback

For several months now, I've been feeling like I need to try to change my situation and upgrade my job. And I've been doing a lot to work at it. I applied for a couple of openings at work, neither of which I was selected for. I did get to interview for one of them, but was just as quickly turned down. One of the Directors offered to meet with me to discuss career goals and such, and I was told that what was holding me back was my interpersonal skills. So in discussion with my boss, I put together a plan to obtain some feedback and see if that was really the case.

One of my first steps was to have a feedback session with one of the other Manager's, which I had on Friday. And the feedback I was given was examples from the last several months where the manager and her team felt I was not being a "team player", and wasn't "engaged", among other things (it got worse from there). I have to say that the feedback really stung, no matter how brave and open to criticism I tried to be. 

Since then, I've had a difficult time, trying not to let the negative things get the better of me. It's one thing to try to humbly accept constructive feedback. I think for the most part, I do try to do that. But this was more an example of fault-finding, which is a dangerous thing to get involved in, and left my Spirit raw and wounded. At the same time, political things were happening, that left me feeling not just raw and wounded, but totally betrayed. It has made me question myself in a way I never have before, whether I'm even a good person, and whether my colleagues of many years genuinely care about me at all. It even had me drowning my sorrows in a peanut buster parfait from the local Dairy Queen.

My point here is not that we should never give feedback to people. Definitely, feedback is useful. I can certainly try to change, and will try to do so. I hope I'm always trying to become better. But the thing with feedback is, once it's out there, it can't be taken back. And it's also a two-way street. The folks on the other side of the feedback need to try to recognize the efforts to change, and then return it ten-fold with positive feedback. But if people are bound to hold grudges against us, or not give us the benefit of the doubt, there's only so much we can do. And at this point, I'm not sure that this situation can be overcome.


I went through something like that at Tanner years ago. It felt like it was totally out of left field and I was devastated. I vowed at the time to never be blindsided like that again, but it still hurt like heck. I'm sorry, sweetie. Love you!

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