Have you recently received feedback? If it was positive, it was likely a nice experience. You felt good about yourself. If it was negative, it didn't feel so good, even if it was meant to be constructive. You were forced to think about how you have been wrong in the past.
Anybody who has ever given negative feedback knows that it is as painful as receiving it. You are desperately trying to find the right words, to assure the other person that this is an opportunity to improve.
What if there was a better way? The alternative to feedback is called feedforward and was created by famous author and executive coach Marshall Goldsmith. Feedforward is not dwelling on the mistakes of the past but rather focuses on the future.
This is how it works: Describe one behavior you would like to change to a friend/coworker/partner. It could be as simple as "I want to be a better listener." Ask for two suggestions on how you could improve in the selected behavior. No feedback about the past allowed. No judgement of the suggestions allowed. Just listen attentively and say "Thank you".
Try it out and let me know how it went!