SerenDestiny #31: Do Your Friends Have Your Best Interests at Heart?

I've got your back ...:-)

I’m mad.

I’m mad on behalf of a consulting client who called for her appointment and was in a state of semi-depression.

What happened?

This client is normally full of energy. In fact, she’s a coach to many people who appreciate her rare gift for seeing the best in them and encouraging them to pull it out and pursue it.

What could have contributed to the dullness in her voice, her lack of spark?

It seems she had hired an editor to work with her on her book.

And this editor had ripped her to shreds.

I asked to see a copy of the editor’s email and the track changes she had made.

The editor’s feedback started off, “This is going to need a total rewrite.”

She went on to say she expected my client to “discard most of what she’d written.”

She referenced something else that “bothered her.”

Yikes.

No wonder my client was feeling so low.

This editor may know a lot about grammar – but she doesn’t know how to encourage and coach instead of criticize and condemn.

I doubt this editor asked herself, “How would I feel if I got feedback like this after pouring my heart, soul and dozens of hours into a project?

How would I feel if the only feedback I got was negative? If, instead of being shown how to do things right, I was slammed for doing things wrong?”

This editor’s insenstivity stole my client’s confidence in her ability to addd value as a writer.

How had this happened? My client had abdicated her voice to a perceived authority.

After all, the editor’s an expert, right? My client figured the editor knew what she was talking about. As a result, she was this close to packing it in. And that would have been a shame because she’s a good writer.

In that phone call, I tried to help my client see that . . . anyone who consistently makes us feel bad isn’t helping us get better.

Ruining someone’s self esteem to the point they’re about to give up something they love that could add value for themselves and others is hurting, not helping.

How about you?

Is there someone in your life who consistently makes you feel bad?

It may be overt. They may insult you, bully you, put you down, call you names.

It may be covert or passive-aggressive. They may make snide, sneaky remarks and add, “Just kidding.”

They may give you feedback that leaves you feeling you can’t do anything right.

They may even be “experts” but they spend most their time tearing you down, not building you up.

It comes down to this.

Anyone who consistently makes you feel bad is not helping you get better.

Remove yourself from that relationship.

Go find people who treat you and the people around them with the sensitivity and respect we all want, need and deserve.

Find people who have your back (they support you) and your front (they stretch you).

Because true friends help you set your SerenDestiny in motion by seeing the best in you, wanting the best for you, and helping you be your best.

And they don’t do that by making you feel bad.

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2 responses to “SerenDestiny #31: Do Your Friends Have Your Best Interests at Heart?

  1. Thanks Cheri – I appreciate you taking the time to get in touch with that feedback.

    The great jazz singer Colette said, “The better we feel about ourselves, the fewer times we have to knock people down to feel tall.”

    People who want to control us often do that by making us feel small so they can feel tall. It’s how they keep in charge and on top.

    People who are secure in themselves don’t need to belittle others to feel big.

    They want people to be their best selves because they can admire it and enjoy it instead of be jealous of it.

    So, this is a pretty good litmus test.

    If someone in our life does their best to make us feel bad . . . time to move on!

  2. Good advice! This is one of those articles that should be printed out and posted on the fridge. Even if we don’t currently have a bully in our lives, it’s good to be reminded that – when one comes along – we don’t have to tolerate them. Thanks, Sam – it helps to be reminded that bullies come in all shapes and sizes, and if someone is making us feel bad, they’re hurting us, not helping us.

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