Before you give feedback, you think about what you have to gain and what you have to lose from giving the feedback.
When you give harsh feedback, what you have to lose is clear. It’s your relationship with the recipient of the feedback.
What you have to gain depends on the person giving the harsh feedback.
Most people don’t care about you. As a result, they have nothing to gain from giving you harsh feedback. They only have something to lose. So you don’t hear most harsh feedback in person.
But every once in a while someone gives you harsh feedback in person. Because, every once in a while, someone comes along who cares about you so much that they have more to gain from giving you the harsh feedback than they have to lose by risking their relationship with you.
It’s counterintuitive, but the people who give you harsh feedback are the ones who actually care about you.
Also published on Medium.