A client of mine just called to tell me I’m amazing. I like when that happens. In fact, I like it so much that I’ll try twice as hard to make him happy next time.
Of course, I have clients who are unhappy too. I write copy for a lot of different people and businesses and I don’t always nail the exact style a client is looking for. Sometimes there are communication issues too. Clients say they want ABC, but forget they also want DEF. How they give feedback on my writing determines how happy I am to try to live up to their “new” requirements. If they tell me my copy was awful I’m unlikely to feel inspired trying to change it. If they tell me they appreciate my efforts, but are looking for something different and would be really happy if I can edit it, I naturally try to match their niceness by doing a good job.
That’s not to say I don’t do a good job with people who are terrible at communicating nicely - it’s my job to deliver the copy whether they’re nice or not - my point is merely that instinctively we respond differently depending on how someone communicates with us. If we get angry we first have to stop being angry before we tackle the task at hand and as some people don’t know how to take responsibility for their anger they start a fight if they feel offended.
In Blink Malcolm Gladwell talks about doctors who get sued for making mistakes and conclude that whilst most doctors are human and will make mistakes in their career, people normally only sue them if they dislike them. If you establish rapport with people, they respond differently to you.
If you want different results in life, you might want to change how you communicate. From how you flirt, to how you deal with your employees. People often think they don’t need to learn communication skills, almost as if learning how to talk to people would mean they’re faking their personality. It’s not about their personality. It’s about learning to express oneself in ways people respond to favorably. If you want people to actually see your heart, you need to learn to communicate it. If you want them to hear what you’re saying, you need to say it in a way where they understand you. If you accidentally make them upset, they aren’t really going to pay any attention to what you’re saying.
In a similar manner, you need to learn that how you perceive something isn’t necessarily how it was intended to be perceived. Some people aren’t great at communicating, nor do they have a desire to learn to communicate better. That doesn’t mean they dislike you. What’s more, even if they did dislike you, it’s not going to help you to mope about it. You have to take responsibility for your reactions. As I always tell the kids I raise: if someone tells you that you’re purple, you aren’t going to be offended as you’ll think them stupid. So if someone tells you that you’re ugly you don’t have to be offended either, because you know it isn’t true.
If, on the other hand, you being purple is a valid comment, then you have to learn to take it on. But taking on criticism doesn’t make you bad. It’s just an opportunity to learn. Your value as a human being hasn’t changed.
Of course, if you get negative feedback and really don’t want to take something on you can just write an angry tweet about it. Because tweeting solves everything. It’s true. It’s fantastic.
If you’re thinking about tweeting about someone, I think you should consider going for “You are amazing!” kind of tweets though...much more effective, wouldn’t you say?