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Mar 12, 2018

How Unfiltered Commentary Can Break a Person’s Spirit

Have you ever felt your spirit drained of energy? I have, and I bet you have, too…

Why does this happen? And how does this creep up on you so that you are left trying to pump yourself back up?

In my experience, the process is usually a slow one, even though you might only become aware of it suddenly. It often occurs when others degrade your intentions and enthusiasm to where you start to doubt yourself. Or when someone conveys their ideas to you in such a manner that it feels like a criticism or a demand, and then no further conversation or input is possible.

You feel judged…

Your input is dismissed…

Your creativity shuts down…

Are you nodding your head right now? Perhaps you are familiar with these feelings?

When we are at the receiving end of such remarks, we recognize what has happened only when it is over. However, we often lack the understanding of where it came from because the self-doubt has already set in. When this happens, we look inward at what we did wrong and we try to fix it first in our minds and then with the person who has left us feeling that way.

This is the moment though where we need to step back for a second to see if this occurs often, the feeling of being utterly deflated. You might, like myself, quickly come to realize that the root cause is the way you were treated, the way your ideas or creativity were shut down, and the manner it was done! And it often all starts with how others’ comments were delivered.

For some people, this type of unhelpful delivery affects them in such a way that it stifles their creativity and their actions. They then become paralyzed with fear and dare not give their opinions. They retreat to the safety of silence, out of reach of others’ criticism…

We have all been guilty of shooting down someone’s ideas. And of being the cause of someone feeling down.

How do we reverse this trend? 

How can we be more encouraging of others?

 It would mean putting our judgements aside. Granted, this can be hard to do. But all it takes is to learn to keep our comments limited and put a filter in place. Be more patient and kind. As most judgements should truly be left unsaid. How to do this? Learn the golden difference of judgements versus opinions.

Here’s an example: With an opinion, the person says, “I appreciate the idea you submitted for this project.” This leaves the door open for conversation. A judgement would be said like this, “This idea is inappropriate. Our company has never done it like this.” Now you have not only shut the door to the other person, but you have made them feel incompetent.

The delivery of the thoughts that are in our heads translates differently when you blurt them out. Take a few seconds to formulate your response in such a way that it is respectful and encouraging for the other to hear.

You will become an encouraging presence, lifting others up, instead of bringing others down.

(For more communication tips, read my book, Watch Your Delivery, and breakthrough negative communication patterns that could be hindering your success!)