Last night on America's Got Talent I watched how contestants responded to the judge's feedback. They love to hear praise from Howie Mandel & Sharon Osborne, but none of them are receptive to constructive comments from Piers Morgan (even though he spoke the truth). Have you noticed that we live in a world that only wants to hear positive feedback?
The problem with only receiving praise is you become complacent with no desire to grow. Hearing criticism is tough, but it's good for you - it can motivate you to become better. Next time you want helpful feedback, try asking these questions:
What areas do I need to improve in?
What should I be focusing on?
What should I be doing more of?
Brace yourself because you may not like what you hear. Most people don't want to listen to negative comments, because they take it too personal. Focus less on the messenger and more on the message. Use the feedback as motivation towards a new goal.
At the heart of the problem is a lack of awareness. Both self-awareness & being aware of how other's perceive you. Knowing your strengths means you should also know your weaknesses. People who deny, are blind to, or are just plain naive miss out on crucial insight to improve themselves. It is a privilege to hear how you can get better. Take advantage of it.
True mentors point out your deficiencies so you can eliminate them. Be open and willing to listen to what others are saying about you. That doesn't mean you don't filter ignorant comments, but if someone is trying to help you by sharing areas that you can improve upon, listen closely and thank him/her for their concern. (The truth may hurt, but it's still the truth.)