Social Question

Blueroses's avatar

What do you think of me? Can you ever get honest answers?

Asked by Blueroses (17747 points ) September 13th, 2011

First: I’m sorry if this seems self-indulgent. It was a homework assignment from my therapist meant to illustrate that your own image of yourself rarely matches other people’s impressions of you.

I am supposed to ask 5 people what they think of when they think of me.

Now, most people I know are polite and/or political so it’s hard to get an honest opinion so I thought I’d share the idea with Fluther.

If you have an impression of “me” that you want to share, please PM me. Otherwise, my question is; can you really get an open opinion from asking this question directly of others? Would you ever ask this of someone you were sure had a negative image of you? How is this helpful?

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27 Answers

Jude's avatar

Can I answer here. Intimidating.

ucme's avatar

You like Fawlty Towers, by default alone that makes you okay in my book ;¬}

Blueroses's avatar

Yeah, ummm…. I didn’t make this as clear as I thought I wanted to. Really, I don’t want answers to what you think of Blueroses on this thread. I want to know if you could ever get an honest response from the people you would ask this question.

Personal responses can go to PM @Jude, if they aren’t appropriate for public view

XOIIO's avatar

I better send a pm *wink *

syz's avatar

It depends on the “others” and it depends on the communication. I feel pretty comfortable that most of my true friends (as opposed to work friends and casual friends) would be pretty honest if I told them why I wanted to know.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Nope. @Blueroses I happen to think it’s obtuse of the therapist.

What if the people you know are deluded? My MIL tends to see everything with rose colored glasses even though she has an abusive spouse

FIL is a negativizer.

My mother is a mixed bag….but would likely be the most reliable to answer for me.

My husband would be too positive…way too positive.

I have friends that are honest and forthright, but I don’t think I’d trust that they wouldn’t be biased if I asked them to tell me what they think of me.

Personally, I’d have to tell the therapist this experiment would be a fail for me.

laineybug's avatar

I think I could get a very honest opinion of who people think I am here asking this question, but only if I asked it here. I would ask it of those who had a negative image of me too. I think it’s helpful in showing that if you’re trying to be someone you’re not then you should stop because people probably aren’t seeing you that way anyway. But that’s just what I think, I could very well be wrong.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

No, I don’t think that you can really get an honest answer to this question.

cockswain's avatar

I think it would be tough to get an impartial, and therefore useful, answer. If you ask someone who loves you, they won’t be blunt about all your short-comings. If they hate you, they won’t tell you anything positive. If they don’t know you well, they won’t be able to give you insightful enough answers.

I think people are on their own mostly, and if one cares, one needs to pay close attention to the clues people around them give, conscious or unconscious. Best is to just realize everyone is in the same boat and that most people are more preoccupied with themselves than the foibles of another.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes, people can sometimes get a true answer.

It’s been asked of me before and I’ve been honest but I had to choose my words and structure very carefully.

It’s so much easier when you like the person asking.

marinelife's avatar

I would find something positive to say about the person no matter what.

I would not be honest unless it was someone who was a close firend asking me to be honest, and even then I would pull my punches a little bit.

JLeslie's avatar

I think my husband is honest with me good and bad. Obviously there is more good in his opinion, he stays with me, seems to like my company, but he is brutally honest at times. I appreciate it actually, even if sometimes it feels hurtful. He does it when he sees me in knots, to make me self aware, to have a different perspective. And, the other time he is critical is when I won’t let something go and it is driving him crazy. LOL. Sometimes both are happening at once. The thing is, when it comes from my husband, I don’t feel he is trying to mean, it is not viscous or argumentative, but rather constructive.

I think the people who will be very honest are those who know there is complete trust in your relationship with them, who feel secure the relationship is very permanent. And those who don’t care if they hurt you. But, those who don’t care about hurting you, maybe their opinions should not count.

The problem is everyone has their own perspective of things, and their own personalities. People project onto others, and so their own psychological health and personalities will affect how they describe you.

I guess if you hear a theme from the 5 people you ask, then it can be a clue to what you need to work on. But the clue might also be you surround yourself with people who think how they think. The message could be about the people you attract or choose to be in relationships with.

HungryGuy's avatar

Your friends are all going to tell you you’re brilliant. Your enemies are all going to tell you you’re ignorant. The truth, for every last one of us, is probably somewhere in the middle :-)

AshLeigh's avatar

Well, I don’t know you well.
I don’t think we’ve talked much, but I’ve seen you around the site, and I think you’re very intelligent, and interesting. :)

JLeslie's avatar

@Blueroses I have a suggestion if you want to follow through on the assignment without putting your friends on the spot too much, and I think you are likely to get honest answers. I do have one question first, do you think the therapist is looking for you to build confidence? Or, to be critical of your faults?

How about ask your friends to describe you in one word? Or, three words? You can even make it three positive words. Kind of let’s them off the hook if you specifically say positive. It will still give you info on how you are perceived by others.

Like, a coworker of my husband once described my husband as very analytical. I was like, really? I mean, I guess he can be very analytical, but it is not in the top three of how I would describe him. It is interesting to me that at work a different side of his personality is more prominent.

mangeons's avatar

I think it would be difficult to get a 100% honest answer to this question. Many people who may not like you very much still might not want to offend you or start trouble, and of course friends are going to say that you’re fabulous in every way. It’s hard to come by an honest opinion from most people, everyone’s too afraid of offending people.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

Anyone who wants to continue being your friend will generally give you the nicest answer they can, if there is any tough message it will most definitely be fluffed up to lesson the blow.

I wonder what your therapist plans on doing if your friends do have the same image of you that you have for yourself….

KateTheGreat's avatar

You’re feisty. Quite intelligent as well. However, you do have a strong personality that can come off as a bit intimidating to those who don’t know you well.

But I love you. Lots. :)

Blueroses's avatar

Now see? Katie just said, pretty much “You can come off as a bitch”. She said it very nicely, because she is my friend.

She said it nicely. I don’t think I would ask the question of people whom I know would answer in a negative way. That’s why it’s a little scary to put it out into Fluther, knowing that some responses will be personal.

KateTheGreat's avatar

See, and she still loves me. I hope.

SpatzieLover's avatar

You are self aware, confident and secure in your view points. Those are my top 3 fav things about you @Blueroses. ;)

blueberry_kid's avatar

You’re really awesome and you need to know and believe that. You’re crazy funny and one hell of a joker. We all love you. That is an absolute true answer. Try not to be self-conscious. I’m trying as hard as ever not to myself, but it’s hard to see on others.

YOU IS KIND! YOU IS SMART! YOU IS OFF THE CHAIN AMAZIN!

SpatzieLover's avatar

You are a fighter, a defender and are fair minded. 3 more things to add to your list ;)

Hibernate's avatar

From what I saw you posting you were a rather normal person [ maybe not that nice] but a lot better than others. You seemed to be okay.

Nimis's avatar

Depending on who I ask, I think I could get some honest feedback. If you think your friends are too polite, you could ask them indirectly (such as through a Jokari window).

You can make one online here.

I think you’re a person who gives awesome answers to silly embroidery questions. :D

bob_'s avatar

Huh, feisty and intimidating are not words I would have even considered to describe you. Am I biased, or do you only intimidate women? :)

dreamwolf's avatar

I’d lie to your face. “there is no right way, or wrong way you just have to live”

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