It has long been a belief of mine that feedback is a very uplifting act (well, kind feedback, at any rate).
We’re all basically operating blind here on Planet Earth, at least with respect to knowing how other people perceive us. It is the rare adult that doesn’t have at least three or four misconceptions of themselves and their role in the universe and how their actions are affecting others.
Feedback between human beings is basic communication, yet most people don’t do it well. They are inclined to be too harsh, or shut down and not give it at all. Now that I think about it, though, most people don’t take it well, either; learning to listen to feedback is as tricky as skill as learning to give it, I think. Nonetheless, unless we are sprung out of the heads of the Gods knowing exactly how to act, these skills seem necessary for anyone that wants to try and improve their dealings with other people.
But, given the choice between no feedback and harsh feedback, I’ll take the harsh feedback any day. Rail against me, tell me that I suck, describe in minute detail my flaws and idiosyncracies, and I’ll try to take away something that I can use: at least you care enough to communicate, even if the communication is badly done.
No communication, in my book, is far far worse… it’s the silence of complacency, the death of interaction.