I've learned some important lessons from a close friend about giving feedback to friends and co-workers. I haven't attempted it with lovers yet, but for all other purposes it has worked amazingly well so far.
Giving proper feedback
Step 0) Make the person aware you will be giving some feedback and how you will be doing it (if he/she is used to the method already, you can skip this step)
Step 1) Tell the person 3 things which you REALLY like about him/her. It can be anything - but you should really mean it.
Step 2) After these 3 things, you say the words AND I also wanted you to know (don't use 'BUT' or something else cause that's gonna put up a wall right away.
Step 3) You give the 'less pleasant' feedback
By giving a clear fact that happened, and how that fact made you feel
For example, if the person hurt your feelings because he or she always comes too late, you don't say 'you don't care about me enough'. This only creates confusion or defense response. Instead you would say 'AND I also wanted to let you know that the fact that you were 1 hour late yesterday really makes me feel like you don't care about me enough and you don't value our relationship'
Step 4) Give the person a chance to respond, and talk about it as long as needed.
Step 5) The person who has received feedback should say 'Thank you for the feedback'. After all, this is not something that is easy to do, and he/she should respect the fact you do it. It might make him/her better as a person instead of remaining in the unknown.
Last edited by Olivier; 08-16-2009 at 04:00 PM.