When I was in high school, a very dear friend of mine told me that I was the ugly duckling. Upon hearing this, I was mildly (or perhaps, not so mildly) offended. What seventeen year old girl wants to be told that they are ugly? As he explained his reasoning, however, I found myself struck by an idea that I have carried with me since. He said to me, “You think you are all alone, and that nobody wants to be around you because you are ugly inside and out, unwanted. What you don’t see, like the ugly duckling didn’t, is that you are actually a beautiful swan, and you have so much potential.” This philosophy has rang in my mind for the few years since that conversation, so much so that I consider the swan to be my spirit animal (for other reasons too, of course).
In the article, “Silence the Critical Voices in Your Head,” the author explains how important it is to find the positive feedback in your life, and to focus in on that positivity. It has been scientifically proven that the average person needs five positive voices to counteract one negative. I struggle with often-debilitating anxiety; I know all too well what it is like to be having a great day, and to suddenly feel my mood and my self-esteem plummet into darkness because of one comment or interaction. I loved how this article emphasized the importance of highlighting our strengths in order to achieve success, rather than absolutely obsessing over our weaknesses. It is so important to find the positive voices in your life, and to let that positivity fuel your actions. I like the focus on what you did well as opposed to what you did wrong.
My career-path revolves around management, and I have always been a psychology/sociology nut, but especially when considering their relationship to the success of any working group of people, corporate or otherwise. I liked how this article highlighted the “virtuous cycle” that occurs as a result of higher-ups valuing themselves and their strengths, rather than alienating or lashing out at others.
Similarly, the articles I read about giving feedback were interesting to me, again as someone in management, but also as someone with an extensive childcare background; the two articles I read were geared towards giving feedback to children in a beneficial way. The narcissism vs. healthy self-esteem discussion is one that I have had with my roommate, who is a psych minor, regarding my students who are in the earliest stages of development. I love the idea of gearing feedback and comments to others in a way that highlights their worth and accomplishments, but does not feed into the idea that they are more valued than others, rather equally valued with others.
Silence the Critical Voices in Your Head
Why Rejection Hurts and What to Do About It
Be a Mirror: Give Readers Feedback That Fosters a Growth Mindset
The Difference Between Praise That Promotes Narcissism vs. Healthy Self-Esteem