I’m currently reading an advanced copy of Keith Ferrazzi’s new book, “Who’s Got Your Back?” (full-review here). It discusses the benefits of sparring in order to learn from one another and acquire new abilities and skills.
I think he’s onto something, particularly if you use the ground rules he’s laid out in his book. But most people don’t have those yet.
Sometimes tough love is genuine and you really are capable of having a heated discussion or being the recipient of a tirade. There are a lot of things to consider here: how well you know the person, how savvy they are about that particular topic, etc.
But guess what?
Sometimes tough love is malicious, sometimes it’s self serving, and sometimes it’s flat out bullshit.
People will tell you that they screamed at you because they care, and if they didn’t they would not have wasted their breath bothering to say anything at all.
Other people will tell you that they had to resort to ‘those measures’ to finally get your attention.
There are times that this is probably true.
In my experience though, there’s something that separates really successful people from those that get flustered and defeated, incapable of learning from the experience.
Successful people, people that know how to react to tough love don’t need a 5 step process. All they need is the ability to control their own perception. You see, people that react to tough love the best are always capable of turning it around and convincing themselves that whoever gave them the tough love HAD to in order for them to see through the fog.
Is it true? Probably not, but it doesn’t matter because these people absorb the blows, assess the situation and extract the important message out of all the yelling. Provided there is one (a valuable message) of course. If there’s not, they shake it off, learn that they don’t trust that person giving them advice about that particular topic and move on with their lives.
What about you? How do you react to tough love? Is your initial reaction to sulk in the corner, then come back with a vengeance and an “I’ll show them,” attitude. Do you flip it around, find the value, and apply it to your life? I bet it’s a lot more complicated than that. I bet it depends on who is giving the advice, how well you trust that person, their knowledge base, etc.
Join me in the comments section and we’ll continue this discussion.
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