4 reasons we might be so afraid of feedback

Feedback is a part of career development and unless you know how to take it on board and act on it, you’re not going to get very far. So suck it up, you baby. I’m kidding, of course. Taking feedback, constructive or otherwise, is a petrifying concept to all regardless of how senior or important you are.

The reality of the situation is that because of employment laws and tolerance, getting fired isn’t as common of a situation as it is on TV. However, the next worst thing is being told that you’re doing a bad job. This is how most people feel about feedback. It doesn’t feel constructive, more like criticism.

Taking some inspiration from Ere Media, these are four reasons you might feel so scared of receiving feedback!


1. Good intentions are received as such

The worst feedback to receive is on the portion of the job that you thought you were doing really well on. You often take initiative and complete tasks slightly out of your jurisdiction to help out. Imagine being that your good intentions that weren’t welcome. Absolutely crushing and honestly demotivating, I bet.

2. Our body’s are programmed to have knee-jerk reactions

Psychologists have found that “our brains are hardwired to react to react to negative stimuli faster”. This can be traced to what’s called the ‘fight or flight’ instinct. It increases the amount of hormones in our bloodstream and therefore heightens our emotions. This explains why you might feel inexplicably angry or upset when someone gives you feedback on an insecurity.

3. Feedback doesn’t account for self-esteem

Self-esteem is determined by a number of factors including our childhood, peer success and parents. The fact of the matter is that feedback is cutting and objective. It doesn’t account for insecurities or whether we have fixed mindsets or ones capable of easy growth.


4. It feels personal

Call it narcissism but even the most constructive and general of nudges can often feel personal. This is because we associate our abilities with our identity. By taking shots at our work performance, some minds translate that into: “You must really hate me”.