Interpreting Negative Feedback

I’ve been a mental health speaker for over 20 years and have published several books. Many people seem to like and approve of what I do, the way I present the material and love the products as accompaniments.

There are those, however, who dislike my talks, express disdain for the products and abhor my presentation style, gestures, attempts at humor and even clothing. They post poor reviews and are bent on setting me straight in the comments section of the evaluation. On one occasion, an attendee mentioned that she didn’t like my tie; another mentioned my voice grated on him.

So how am I to understand this dislike? After all, it’s so antithetical to the feedback I so often receive. I struggled with this issue for years before I reached what I believe to be the most logical conclusion possible: I’m just not their cup of tea.

They want something I didn’t provide, don’t want to buy it from me or possibly don’t understand the relevance of what I offer.

We all face situations like this. And we’re all guilty – to some extent – of exaggerating the importance of the “bad” while not celebrating nearly enough, the benefits of the “good.”

Sure, maybe we could change a few things to sway a dissenter or two in our direction, but for now, they’re telling us one thing: It’s not for them.

“Okay, thanks for your input.”

Joseph Wegmann, R.Ph., LCSW is a licensed clinical pharmacist and a clinical social worker with more than thirty years of experience in the field of psychopharmacology. His diverse professional background in psychopharmacology and counseling affords him a unique perspective on medication management issues. In addition to consulting with numerous psychiatric facilities, he has presented psychopharmacology seminars to thousands of clinicians in 46 states.

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