Your Honest Opinion

GeorgysmomFebruary 11, 2013

When a good friend asks you this question, do you give your honest opinion? Or do you answer what you think they want to hear. I have a good friend that has asked me for my honest opinion and when I give it to her she gets mad at me. For instance, one time she had a disagreement with someone and when she reiterated the story, I totally understood the other persons view point. I didn't say my friend wasn't entitled to her view point but I tried to explain where the other person was coming from (in a gentle way). She got annoyed with me. I say, if you don't want my honest opinion, don't ask for it. I think good friends should be able to be honest with one another without being hurtful, of course.

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JoAnn_Fla

That's the way I feel, if you don't want the truth from me don't ask. Some people just can't take it, we have to be soft with them.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 6:43PM
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joyfulguy

Next time ...

...you're sure that you want my "honest opinion"?

Or would you prefer a dishonest one?

If you don't like my response ... does an argument ensue?

Or would it be best for me just to state an opinion ... and if you don't agree ... just let it lie?

Remember how annoyed you got with me when I gave you my honest response to your story a while ago?

And could an honest response to your honest request ... cloud our friendship, just a little?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 6:47PM
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marie_ndcal

I like that reponse Bill----keeps things more towards a Christian feeling.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 6:55PM
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Fun2BHere

I guess it depends on the question. In many cases, the person asking is looking for validation, so I try to answer in a positive fashion of some sort. For instance, if a friend asked me about a decorating choice I disliked, I would probably say that the choice fits with her home or seems in line with her style and that would be true. In the case you mentioned, I would probably have said something to the effect that I could see how she was upset and then I would try to get her to talk more about her feelings. It's so hard to keep from trying to fix things or find a solution when people ask for my opinion, but I've learned that people are usually looking for a listener, not a fixer.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:04PM
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pam_25f

Tough one. She puts you on the spot. I would ease into an honest response as gently as possible. Otherwise she thinks you agree with her and might involve you as "being on her side."

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:09PM
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joyfulguy

Diplomacy helps.

So does empathy.

o j

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:47PM
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moonie_57

She isn't wanting the truth... she wants you to take her side. If it's something trivial, I always take my friends side.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 8:01PM
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chisue

I wouldn't *lie* and agree with her just to agree with her. Maybe you can think of something like the classic response to being shown an ugly newborn: "Now THAT'S a BABY!"

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:33PM
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nicole__

My sister, she's 10 years older than myself, used to call with these horendous stories and she was always in the wrong and trying to screw someone......she wanted me to side with her.

I finally told her I didn't want to know about these "things". I asked her to only share her GOOD TIMES with me. :0)

She replied: "So your a fair weather friend?"

Why YOU DO understand! :0) Yes, I am!!!!!! :0)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:01PM
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Sue_va

Honestly? My good friends know me well enough to know that if I am asked for an honest opinion, they will get my honest opinion. Saves a lot of hemming and hawing.

Sue

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:06PM
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Alice_sj

For me, it depends on the situation. If it's not really important, then I'll sugar coat my answer. If it is something that matters, I will gently tell my friend the truth. I know that I actually want an honest opinion when I ask, but I also know my friends. Some of them can't handle the honest truth and others already know the answer to their question.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 6:25AM
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OklaMoni

if you ask for my honest opinion... I will give it, depending on who you are.

I have some friends I would give only a modified opinion to, and there are some, I can be brutally honest with.

It all depends.

Moni

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 6:28AM
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Georgysmom

O.J. You are always so wise! I do try to sugar-coat if it's an opinion about taste sometimes even telling a little white lie. Particularly if it involves an opinion on something that cannot be changed. For instance, if someone bought a new rug and asked me what I thought about it and I knew it couldn't be returned, I would find something nice to say. But when it's an opinion about an event like I described I'm pretty honest. I don't think someone should ask for your honest opinion if they just want you to side with them. I am leery, though when someone starts a statement with I want your honest opinion.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 8:47AM
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monica_pa

You want it...you get it from me.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 9:43AM
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adellabedella_usa

I pretty much always give my honest opinion. If you are someone who would be offended by that, I would probably have already have offended you and you wouldn't ask me. If it is something pertaining to taste like the rug mentioned above, I'd be tempted to give the little white lie.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:05AM
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nanny98

This is really a tough question for me. My experience is that sometimes the person requesting validation just never stops seeking that validation and the 'stories' just continue to grow in examples and rememberances often repeating the same instances. The real question is how long does one let the 'venting' continue before clobbeering the 'ventee'? It does seem like no amount of responses....ones meant to show (argue?) the other point of view just never ends. BTW I may be thinking of a "life changing event" instead of a new haircut.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:43AM
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Fun2BHere

Nanny98 said, "The real question is how long does one let the 'venting' continue before clobbeering the 'ventee'?"

That just cracked me up. A relative called me once and vented so long that the battery in my portable phone died. Luckily, most people don't vent that long face-to-face.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:19AM
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dances_in_garden

I usually give my honest opinion, but there is a way to deliver such things. If I think the new rug is hideous, I tell the truth. "I find the pattern very busy and the colour scheme is not me, but the size fits the room well". I don't have to say hideous!!

As far as "taking sides", it is hard. I agree, usually people seek validation because they have an inkling that maybe they are NOT in the right and want to prove it to themselves. At that point, any differing opinion is going to be wrong anyway.

Dances.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 12:32PM
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jannie

Just be gentle in giving your opinion. I know from my own experience you don't want to lose her friendship. If she asks your opinion, it's because she likes you and is looking for some kindness/support/validation. Good luck, it's like walking a tightrope.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 12:35PM
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cynic

There's so many variables to that question. It's almost amusing how many people are flat-out liars. They'll lie to get out of saying no, they'll lie to "not hurt someone's feelings" when the person may well do better to know the truth. They'll lie on their income tax. And then wave a Bible and say they're "Christians". LOL I call them "Buffet Christians". Pick 2 or 3 commandments and follow them at any one time.

If it's a subjective matter, then I might sugar coat a bit that some might like it and some don't. If they want my opinion I'll give it to them.

Sometimes a person needs tough love. They NEED to be told the truth.

Sometimes as Joyful said, I'll ask if they REALLY want my opinion. Most know I tend to lay it on the line. I've warned most people enough times not to ask me a question they don't want answered.

Some try to rationalize things. Like a time someone got into a fight over a dollar and looked for sympathy. Get real folks. There's times to pick your battles. There's several times both in the forum and elsewhere people looked for sympathy on a situation and when I felt they were wrong or out of line I told them so. I can't believe the people who justify it to make someone feel good. Essentially they'd go, hey, go ahead and rob the bank, that's fine. Or go ahead and not return that to them, they probably don't even know you have it.

If someone blows up over giving an honest answer, I'll say something like "hey, you threw a tantrum last time you asked for the truth, you gonna do that again?" No need sugarcoating in that instance.

Sometimes I'll even ask do you want the truth or do you want me to say what you want to hear? Especially if it's an issue of right or wrong, I will tell someone when I believe they're wrong.

NOW, with all that said, there's one other point to make. I always try to get the whole story, or both sides to give an opinion. People looking for rationalization seldom give an accurate portrayal of the other side. That's what's so comical about a lot of these threads! When wife gets mad at hubby, his side is never portrayed accurately so the henhouse always clucks "go-girl" and same with "I got cheated at the store" or "the neighbor is using my lawn" or whatever. Sometimes they weren't cheated and maybe the survey says it was the neighbors' lawn or the hubby is allergic to the tuna casserole surprise so that's why he never eats what's put in front of him!

JMHO :D

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 7:34PM
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cynic

The one other situation I didn't address was if a person was very depressed and asked "what's wrong with me" type of thing, it'd certainly be handled differently by me. And I've had that situation happen. As I said, it really makes a difference on the individual situation.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 7:37PM
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patti43

That's a t0ughy since it inv0lves an0ther pers0n y0u b0th kn0w. I agree with Pam and I w0uldn't want t0 be inv0lved if it sh0uld escalate and what y0u said may be skewed ar0und.

If it's a dec0rating questi0n, if I d0n't like it I just say s0mething like, "It isn't my taste but we all have 0ur 0wn likes." and try t0 find s0mething nice t0 say.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:20PM
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