I found this comment on Linkedin, of all places. It resonated. We spent a fair amount of times in obscure places on holiday. Some really worked. Some did not. We learned as much about ourselves from the ones that did not -- yes, I have limits on where I will stay and they are a lot higher than they used to be -- and we appreciated some of the places.

But I stopped giving feedback. This may be unfair on some places that were superb, but I'm not sure if I will use the services again -- or if we do, it will be some years -- and I don't want to mark them as if I was grading papers.

I grade enough examinations anyway.

And I'd rather give people a compliment when they do a superb job.

people on seashore
Photo by Tyler Lastovich / Unsplash

I holidayed in England last year doing long-distance walks, meeting new people, spending time with some friends, and exploring towns and cities. My aim was to experience something different to my every day. Instead of leaving me to ‘be’ in my new experiences accepting what was, I was bombarded almost daily with emails from places I had been the previous day, asking how they did—accommodation & shops where I purchased something. I wasn’t interested in judging them. I wasn’t a travelling reviewer—I was a traveller.

We know that mindfulness, being aware without judging, is associated with health and wellbeing. Looking at the world with an eye to critiquing it is not healthy.

Life and people will never be the way we would script them to be—that is its beauty. We are all different and wonderfully unique. We are all human. None of us does everything, and sometimes anything, perfectly. We are just doing our best...living together.

Businesses need to develop internal processes to review and improve their performance without trying to get customers to do that for them. People who love what you do will spontaneously let you know, as will people who are terribly disappointed. The rest have moved on with their life. Please stop begging for feedback. Just because you can send automated evaluation surveys with no effort or cost doesn’t mean you should.

The time businesses ask people to write reviews is time that could be better spent…living.

Helen Stallman Clinical Psychologist; Director, International Association for University Health and Wellbeing via LinkedIn