The tragic lack of negative feedback on personality (considered harmful)
Created: 8 Dec 2018 | Importance: 7/10
A huge number of people are just a few honest sentences away from a much better
life. Sadly, most of them will likely never get this feedback, because no one dares.
Yet, imagine (I don't pretend that the following formulations are
appropriate. It's obviously always really hard, depends a lot on who would
say it, on the person's receptivity, etc):
Someone often speaks too loud ⇒ "You often speak too loud. You should
try to focus on speaking a little more quietly"
Someone makes too many unfunny jokes ⇒ "I personally find many of your
jokes unfunny, such as this one, this one and this one. It seems to me that most
people share my taste on this matter. Maybe you'd want to do fewer of them?"
Someone has bad breath ⇒ "You have bad breath. Fortunately, it's
easy to prevent! Do that and see how much better your life gets"
Someone usually monopolizes attention in group discussions, making people want to
avoid this person ⇒ "I think you're used to speaking too much in group
discussions. Try focusing on listening more to the others."
(Note that in these examples, the life of everyone else knowing the person concerned
also gets better).
Solutions I can think of:
Be bold and give this feedback.
Ask your friends for this kind of feedback. In the beginning of my journey into
the English-speaking Internet, I watched Elon Musk's
first TED talk. The only two
pieces of advice he gave was: reason from first principles instead of by analogy,
and "really pay attention to negative feedback, and solicit it, particularly
from friends. This may sound like simple advice, but hardly anyone does that,
and it's incredibly helpful."
There is also the solution of anonymous feedback, which I'm going to experiment
with: Anonymous feedback.