Wednesday, May 21, 2008

profound thought

Lately, I've had two different friends ask for my opinion on accessories they had just bought. I liked them, but being the often-times opinionated and critical person that I am (which derives from me being very observant and detail-oriented, really) I had additional things to say about them. I didn't consider them bad things...I just considered them to be my honest opinions of the items. But when I thought back on it, I realized that my opinions could have come across as being negative and that "I didn't like them."

I look at it in a sense of what would I want to hear if I asked someone's opinion on something? I would want their honest opinion, be it good or bad. I wouldn't want a false or fake response. So I guess in turn, when someone asks for my opinion, I give them my honest take on it.

When my answer isn't what they were hoping to hear, I see the disappointment on their face or am asked "are you sure?" Like when my sister asked my opinion on which shoes she should wear to a wedding. She had on a white pair in a style that I thought weren't the best fit for the dress she was wearing (I also personally don't really like white dress shoes at all...) so I told her my honest opinion that I didn't think the white shoes matched. But apparently, that response wasn't what she wanted to hear and she got frustrated and kept trying to change it. I asked her "well, why did you ask for my opinion if you don't want to accept what it is?"

So that got me wondering if people really do want an honest opinion, or if they just want some sort of confirmation to justify their decision? Do we really want to know the honest truth or do we just want a positive affirmation to bolster our confidence?

(btw: i feel like I'm having a Carrie Bradshaw moment right now, typing away at the computer while my voice-over asks my perplexing, profound questions a la Sex and the City)

I guess everyone is different. Some people may ask for opinions to gain positive feedback, even if it may be a "fake" opinion. Others just want to hear the honest opinion, and don't feel offended when they get a negative response. They ask because they really do want to know.

There is nothing wrong with either one. Personally, I want people to be honest with me. I will ask for their opinion because I truly want to know what it is. In turn, I want to give my honest opinion, but I also don't want to hurt someone's feelings. I will have to find the balance between the two.

Do you give your true and honest opinion when someone asks you?

okay, my profound, thought-provoking rambling is done now.

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