December 9, 2008

good things and not-so-good things

One can tell about a person by knowing about his/her friends. But, you can also tell about his/her friends by observing the person. If a person has some good qualities, part of the credit should go to his friends. If he has bad qualities, again the blame should go to his friends. His friends should have told him that something is wrong; which also would have given him an opportunity to correct himself. Friends should be like mirrors, they should reflect our good qualities and bad qualities alike and immediately. Not two days later or two years later.

I am not a person who openly tells compliments to people. I am not very comfortable in telling any negative things about a person. This is really bad, because there is no use in keeping them both to myself.  I wanted to change this. I started writing emails to my friends with some good things that I like in them and some not-so-good things that I didn't like in them (that I wish they could change or improve). When we let them know the bad things, we give an opportunity to correct themselves, but, if we don't tell what's wrong - we will be the culprits.

So far, I have written five emails and got four positive replies. Most of them were very happy that I came forward with such a honest feedback and appreciated me for sending them. But, all my friends would not take such a feedback positively, so I need to carefully choose my first few recipients.

You also try this. Just include a common disclaimer on these lines 'This is based on my observations and I could be wrong. Correct me and I will gladly accept. You can send such a feedback (good things/not so good things) to me as well, but you must write at least 3 things that you don't like in me and would like me to improve on it.'

Let there may be more good things (be genuine), than the bad ones in your feedback. Make it clear that you are expressing them now because, you care about them.

It is a habit which I want to practise from now on. Whenever we see a good thing / bad thing, it is better to tell as and when instead of keep it within ourselves. I think we need to encourage people to come up and give us such feedback or corrections. No one is perfect and we are all on the same boat to improve ourselves. We have got caring friends so, let us ask their honest opinions.Going forward, let us change ourselves for the better.

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