An experience I had on Coursera recently had my brain in turmoil. That is, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I am not going to go into what happened, but let’s just say it had to do with negative feedback. It felt very personal and it was upsetting.
A few days into this, when my brain had settled a bit, but was still dwelling on the events and the comments too much, I found myself with a 2-hour solo drive. I decided to listen to the uncut interview of Seth Godin on ON BEING. I’d already listened to the prettied-up version, but I don’t like the idea of missing something good.
Sure enough, there was something good. Really good — especially for me right then. Seth Godin said that he never reads his own book reviews, comments on his blog or twitter, anything. He doesn’t read the positive stuff and he doesn’t read the negative stuff. He just doesn’t read it. Because he knows that the negative feedback can derail him.
It was really good for me to hear that. I have not looked at the upsetting conversation since then, and in fact I’ve pretty completely put it out of my mind. The question is: do I leave a place for people to comment on this blog? At this point, I must read it to approve it. Fortunately I’ve never gotten a negative comment here. Mostly I don’t get any comments (except from my one loyal reader!) So I’m considering just turning off the comments. Why not? What’s the point? If you want to get in touch with me, I know you’ll find a way to do it.