Where CAN you get REAL feedback?

Below is an idea I have long wanted to exist. I am surprised that, in today’s modern society, there still seems to be no good options for the problem (and related problems) I soon describe. I think solving said problems would be a net good thing for the world and lead to people with more AWARENESS. Awareness in and of itself is not a solution; it is a means to an end—but I tend to believe that opening people’s eyes will at least widen the aperture to which people experience LIVING.

So here is the thought—the thing that still bugs me.

Where can you go to get real feedback? DIRECT and honest feedback on who you are as a person and how you show up to things. Imagine for a moment that you really wanted this…

Where would you turn? Who would you go to?

When I say, real, objective feedback, I mean a few things.

Feedback on what? I really mean everything (that you could really want to get feedback on) but Ia m mainly talking about the interpersonal real (we can also expand this context more generally but one of the big gaps I see is that people just do not understand how they are showing up). I am talking about feedback on how the world—other humans—actually perceive you.

Now, in a moment we will wander to wondering whether or not YOU SHOULD CARE about what others have to think (or if it is perhaps better to ignore and really think for yourself), but for the sake of the exercise…truly think. Where would you turn?

When I say real and objective. I mean feedback that is not sugar-coated. Feedback that is designed to help you, but is extremely direct and critical. Feedback that prioritizes the content over the packaging. Again, note that feedback is generally not objective. We can try to make it such but at the end of the day the person delivering the feedback still has some bias/influence on the shape and nature of what is being communicated. That being said—still, depending on our goals—we can learn from other’s points of view.

Think of feedback in this context a bit like a mirror. Sometimes it is hard to see HOW YOU ARE SHOWING UP without looking into a mirror.

Where can I buy a mirror?

The weird? answer, at least the one that I have come to, is that the ~closest you can get to this is by having a group of close friends and/or a romantic partner. I love my friends—truly mean the world to me—and I am lucky and grateful to have dozen+ people that I could go to and ask for extremely direct and critical feedback.

That being said—I do not think this works. I do not think it works because they care a lot about me and most of them are even so uncomfortable giving extremely direct feedback. (These statements should not be a causation—caring about me should ENABLE YOU TO GIVE ME EXTREMELY DIRECT FEEDBACK. But this is rarely the case. Most people do not know how to think CRITICALLY AND DIRECTLY. I do not blame them. They have not been trained in this. They have not thought a lot about this. They also have little incentive to be extremely critical. And as a defense mechanism for ?themselves is to NOT lead with directness). They are also not actively spending their energy trying to give critical feedback.

But as part of the mental fitness center of sorts —what if there was a place you could go to get REAL, DIRECT FEEDBACK?

Would you sign up for it? Would your parents? Would your friends?

I would.

It could appear in many different form factors. It could be a staged environment you walk into with an interviewer. It could be a video of sorts. It could be someone that goes around and interviews your friends. There are many different form factors.

Now, whether or not you should care so much about what other people think of you—that is a separate prompt. My default answer to this is no. You should not. You should not prioritize this. You should not become a second hander and optimizing for someone else’s emotions (i.e. impressing them) is a losing battle and to be honest a ~lame, second hand life. I would not prioritize this.

I would prioritize trying to be effective. And sometimes, effectiveness is bound by your ability to COORDINATE WITH OTHER HUMANS.

Coordinating with other humans is a long-term unsolved species level problem. When I say long-term, I mean caveman fire days as we tried to figure out the optimal way to organize ourselves. Given we cannot—really—read minds, we are left trying a number of weird? methods to organize ourselves in ~efficient structures such that we can achieve? things.

So learning to coordinate—at least in modern society—is a thing (skill?) that produces value.

Now eventually I think technology will solve the HUMAN COORDINATION problem. This will unlock UNLIMITED GDP GROWTH. So we may look back on this problem—and the need/desire/to get feedback from other humans as kind of a ridiculous premise (put another way—perhaps in future we will be able to just think for ourselves and then use the tech to coordinate).

But we are not there yet.

So for now, you may rely on others in your life (a lot of us do). And you may care what they think. And if you do, well, getting some feedback on the effectiveness of your approaches—that can make a big difference.

Because if you do not, as most everyone does not (again, think back to the time you got really critical feedback?)—you will FLY BLIND. And when you fly blind once, fine.

But that is not what happens. What happens is the blindness compounds into stories. Stories you tell yourself. Stories your brain literally morphs around as you think about them in the shower and before you go to bed. LIES, really, that etch into WHAT YOU THINK your identity is. Such that by the time you are an adult, change is hard, and you are who you are.

It does not need to be this way. There is a better way. There is a more fluid way.