I don't know about you, but life would be a lot simpler if everyone had the same opinion.

Of course, that would make things would get really, really boring. (Or cheesy if we were all Garvis fans!)

Everyone would like the same things and, as for the things that no one liked, manufacturers wouldn't even bother trying to improve upon them to make them more tempting or useful.

If that were the case, we might never have enjoyed spray cheese or Chia Pets. Can you imagine?

And then we come to the lovely topic of how people like our writing. Le sigh. Whether it's a rejection letter, a page where the "tracked changes" feature makes it look like your screen is bleeding, or a contest entry score that doesn't even add up to a pass, there are many folks out there who have opinions about our words.

And not everyone is gonna give them two thumbs up. Even when you promise them chocolate.

The painful part is that this is feedback we've asked for. It didn't just drop out of the sky like a blob of bird dung. No, you spent the time and energy to put it out there, just to see if it would fly.

And that's why we should congratulate ourselves for taking that big step and opening that scary feedback door. Sometimes it gently opens and wind chimes can be heard in the distance. Other times it slams right back in our face before we have a chance to say hello.

That's just the way things are. It's nothing personal.

Oh, but it is. Especially with how we deal with this lovely gift that might currently be wrapped in wilted cabbage leaves and barbed wire. Or something else just as unpleasant. Like stinkweed.

While it might be tempting to throw that stinking mess away -- or regift it if you happen to be giving feedback to someone else -- hang onto it for a bit. Leave it on the back porch if you have to. ;)

And then, when you're ready, peel back the layers and dig around. You might be surprised to find something, even though it's someone else's opinion, that might actually ring true. Or even, horror of horrors, the opinion-giver may have revealed something you may not have noticed before.

Remember to thank them for their honesty -- personally.

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