What do you want: Feedback or validation?

Have you ever called a friend to ask for feedback on something and got so much negativity in return that left you angry?

‘Course you have! We all have experience of getting a major brain wave, urgently needing to run it by someone, but that someone tends to be a party pooper. If this happens to you often, may be change what you’re asking for.

When you seek ‘feedback’, be absolutely sure that you are willing to be challenged. The purpose of feedback is to get an outsider’s perspective on your mental circus. And not everyone likes clowns.

But, if you don’t want to be challenged and want someone to say, “you go, girl!”, just ask for ‘validation’. A lot of us —  more so women from my study of an unrepresentative sample — seek external validation for the things we do. While we can all work on not needing that, there is no harm in asking for it in the meanwhile. 

Call the friend and say, “listen, I have an idea. I’m super excited. I need validation from you that I can make it happen”. Set the expectation straight. Don’t hope to receive validation and take it personally when you don’t get it. 

This is a double whammy. Because this way, when you ask for feedback, your friend will know you are willing to hear that your idea sucks. 🙂