Softening the Blow


Earlier this week I wrote about Receiving Feedback Gracefully. The support I received from all of you was phenomenal.  Thank you for all the comments and sharing your own experiences with me. Writing can be so lonely at times and it’s reassuring to know how many of us are in the same boat. Sharing with each other allows us to offer support, because we understand, because we’ve all been there at some point or another.

Today’s compassion meditation is about releasing the pain caused by critique. I’ve compiled a list of compassion phrases from the comments people made in response to my previous post. As I mentioned in my previous posts, these statements are not affirmations. Their purpose is to dissolve any blocks and unhealthy patterns, if any. If you say a phrase and there’s no resonance, that’s OK. There’s no harm in giving yourself compassion. And if something else is coming up for you, feel free to change the words.


If you prefer to read the statements, please take a couple of breaths to ground yourself, bring your attention to your heart-centre and solar plexus, and give yourself warm heart energy, while reading out the statements (preferably out loud).

  • I’m so sorry receiving feedback can be so painful
  • I’m so sorry you struggle to receive constructive criticism
  • I’m so sorry you take it personally
  • I’m so sorry that some comments sting
  • I’m so sorry you focus on the negative comments and ignore the positive ones
  • I’m so sorry you feel disappointed and annoyed by feedback sometimes
  • I’m so sorry you feel defensive, at least initially
  • I’m so sorry you feel upset and no good at writing after receiving feedback
  • I’m so sorry that after receiving feedback, you even consider quitting writing sometimes
  • I’m so sorry that feedback is like a full blown attack of marines on your ego
  • I’m so sorry that feedback is such a hard pill to swallow.
  • I’m so sorry you feel deflated knowing that there’s still a lot of work to do
  • I’m so sorry you are daunted by revisions
  • I’m so sorry you hate and dread criticism
  • I’m so sorry that constructive criticism feeds your self-doubts.

That’s it for now. Take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale through your mouth; bring your attention to your feet on the ground; and have a glass of water as soon as possible.

So, how was it? Let me know below, please.

P.S. If compassion technique resonates with you, I’m offering a big discount on 1:1 services until 5 September 2016. All details are here.

8 thoughts on “Softening the Blow

  1. Compassion always works, right? I found out that only recently that it is okay to feel some for ourselves too. Until then, I thought it was selfish. But we need to be kind to ourselves in order to feel compassion for others. In writing it is essential to focus on the positive before dwelling on the negative. My critique partners and I always start by listing what we like and admire in each other’s shared pieces before talking of what doesn’t work. It has helped us to accept critique with a more open heart and mind. Best to you, Gulara.

    Liked by 3 people

    • So true, Evelyne, it definitely was a game-changer when I started giving myself compassion, because without being kind towards ourselves it’s hard to be kind towards others at a deep level. As to feedback, I always focus on positives first. In fact when I give feedback to my students at university, I balance the positives and negatives. It’s really hard to ‘digest’ negative feedback when it’s plentiful and out of balance with the positive. Many thanks for stopping by. It’s lovely to connect.

      Liked by 1 person

    • There are studies which show that if you give students only negative feedback, they can’t take it in. Balance it out with the positive and they are more receptive to make the necessary changes. Normally (at least in academia) more than 3 negative points and the feedback loses its effectiveness.
      I too used to prefer the ‘bad’ news first and braced myself for it, but for me, it was a coping mechanism. We all have our preferences and some people are more robust than others. Like if I’m confident in what I’m doing, the negative feedback doesn’t affect me in the same way than when I’m a bit unsure….
      Thank you for reading, Patty. Wishing you a lovely end to the

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I always find it important to give the positive feedback first. I guess it’s my years of working with young children that taught me its value. I’d prefer to hear the positives first too. Then when the negatives come they can be seen as a way of improving. I was pleased that my son commented on it also. When he asked me to read and provide feedback on one of the books he was working on, I listed all the things I liked about it first. Then I told him how I had felt about certain things, or what some things had made me think, and asked if that was his purpose. I didn’t tell him what he had done was wrong. I told him how it had affected me. He appreciated it, which was nice and affirming for me in return.
    I wonder have you heard of Anne Infante’s songs of affirmation. I have mentioned them a couple of times on my blog. I used to use her Special as I can be CD of songs in my classroom. We all (children, parents, aides and I) loved them. We sang one to start each day. She also has CDs of affirmation songs for adults. This is a link to Anne’s website if you are interested:
    I know you say that your statements aren’t affirmations, and I can see that. But they serve a similar purpose, and I appreciate that. Thank you for sharing so generously.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your thoughtful feedback, Norah, I really appreciate it. Yes, positives should come first, otherwise apparently our brain shuts down and we can’t take in the constructive feedback. So glad you had such a positive experience with your son. Thank you also for introducing me to Anne’s website. What a lovely woman. I look forward to reading more about what she does. Glad the statements I offer are useful. Wishing you a lovely w/e.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know my brain wants to shut down with the negatives, but I work hard to keep it open to hear how I can improve. It takes effort. I thought you’d appreciate Anne. My weekend is just about over now. I hope you’re still enjoying yours.

        Liked by 1 person

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