General Question

jca's avatar

If there were a way you could find out what people have said about you, would you want to know?

Asked by jca (35989points) June 27th, 2009

If you could find out what your friends, family, coworkers, bosses, strangers you see in public places have said about you, would you want to know? would you what they’ve said about you, your activities, your appearance, your personality, lifestyle, family, work? or would you rather not know? this is hypothetical, as there is no way to really know everything that’s been said about you. you might hear gossip, you might hear negative comments, you might hear positive comments and news. you might end up really pissed off, you might end up flattered. this would probably change the way you feel about your friends, family and coworkers. would you want to know anyway?

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15 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

There is and I don’t.

Anyone whose comments I care about would say anything of note to my face.

cookieman's avatar

Nope.

As@DarkScribe said, those whose opinions I regard are (more than) willing to share their perspective with me.

Everyone else…fuck ‘em.

juwhite1's avatar

The people who know me well (because I let them) don’t talk about me. The people who don’t know squat about me talk plenty about me. What do I care what they think? They don’t matter to me, and the people who do matter to me don’t listen to that crap.
I guess it wouldn’t really matter what my closest friends and family said about me… anything they say would be out of love (and would most likely be making fun of me about my more wild side). I’d get a chuckle out of that, but don’t feel the need to actually hear it.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

What you see is what you get with me. I am honest in my dealings with people. I have nothing to hide. If people want to talk, let em. I have far too many things to occupy my time than to worry about what a bunch of gossip mongers have to say. as @cprevite said so succintly, fuck ‘em.

susanc's avatar

Yes, I’d want to know. I’d get a clue about the stuff I’m unconscious of. Or I’d learn that I’m as easy to read as I pretend to be. Or I’d get to smile while people project their own foolishness onto me.
It’s all happened before, and it’s never been useless.

And I agree with @DarkScribe that there IS a way to find out this stuff. No one will deny you if you just ask. “What do you think about this painting?” “Well, if you really want to know…..(slam)”.

Jayne's avatar

Yes. I’m certainly not perfect, I have flaws, many of which I might not be aware of, and which I would do well to fix. I think it’s rather arrogant to say, “this is how I am, screw the people who think I should change”; I do not know of anybody who would be less of a pain to others and perhaps happier themselves if they were willing to change, and in many cases they are unaware of this fact, never having heard it voiced. Obviously, it is rude to try and force change on people, but every person should be willing to accept change for themselves; and while the opinions of others are an imperfect guide, one should be mature enough to listen to and learn from them (which is not, of course, to say that I am a very good example of this mentality).

SirBailey's avatar

Absolutely. I would evaluate it and maybe even change what I didn’t like but felt was true about their opinion of me.

hug_of_war's avatar

No, I already know what the most important people in my life think of me, the opinions of those few are the only ones that truly matter to me.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Jayne, that is understandable, but some people might tell you things just to be assholes, because some people like to make other people feel inferior. As long as the people that are important to you have expressed their opinions and views on your quirks, who really needs someone else’s input? Especially if that someone else is no one of real importance?

Jeruba's avatar

There are times when I would like to know the honest views of a few, selectively, whose opinions I respect but whom I don’t know well enough to speak with on very personal terms. A little dose of perspective can be a very good thing. On no account would I be interested in what everyone is saying. I don’t think everyone is talking about me. Most people have an exaggerated notion of how much attention others are actually paying to them. People are much more interested in themselves.

In general I am simply aware that I won’t be to everyone’s taste, and I’m not willing to do what it would take to be more “popular”. The people who are terribly concerned about fitting in and being well liked by everyone generally don’t take very warmly to me (and I usually don’t like them very much). In this regard I feel the same now as I did back when I was in junior high. I enjoy the esteem of those whose opinions matter to me, and that is more than enough.

Those are also the people who will tell me if there is something I ought to work on, and I do.

scamp's avatar

If someone has something to say to or about me, I would rather have them say it to my face.

I saw a bumper sticker that caught my eye and made me laugh that says; “Talking behind my back? While you’re there, kiss my ass.” I found it funny and also true.

Jayne's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra; My interpretation of the question was that you would be able to know what people say about you, outside of your presence. Naturally, people talking directly to you would be liable to alter their critiques in either direction. However, the same issue does come up even under the voyeuristic premise of the question, because of people talking shit about you to look good themselves, etc. So, you would have to take everything in context, but I still think the information would be valuable.

As for your second point, it’s all well and good to say that you only care about the opinions of those close to us, but it would be pretty sad existence to lead if you never tried to reach out and bond with the people you meet; and you can’t do that if you aren’t willing to be conscious of the things that might drive them off.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Jayne, point taken. I work in a field where my physical presence and appearance is taken as a reflection of the corporation that pays my wages. So I understand what you mean, and I do work at presenting an image that is required of me at work, and that I want to project otherwise.

I think what I wanted to express was that I am not going to be pretentious to please others.

To steal some words from @Jeruba, who said it much more succinct than I did – In general I am simply aware that I won’t be to everyone’s taste, and I’m not willing to do what it would take to be more “popular”. The people who are terribly concerned about fitting in and being well liked by everyone generally don’t take very warmly to me (and I usually don’t like them very much). In this regard I feel the same now as I did back when I was in junior high. I enjoy the esteem of those whose opinions matter to me, and that is more than enough.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I can predict what has been and will be said about me – I’ve heard it all too much, people are plenty predictable – to them I am intimidating, to them I am brazen and arrogant and too effective at what I do and will never just let the little things go (xcept they are not little things, to me), etc. etc.

So no I wouldn’t want to know
it’d be so redundant

wundayatta's avatar

I’d want to know. The people who said critical things about me wouldn’t surprise me. I’d expect that. It’s the people who said nice things, if there were any, who would surprise me. It is my feeling that almost no one ever says nice things about me. This goes against the evidence, which suggests that probably a few people say nice things about me, but on some deep fundamental level, I assume that if I don’t hear anything, it’s because no one is saying anything good.

My parents always said, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I know that when I don’t say anything, it’s because I don’t have anything nice to say. So I assume that’s the case for most other people. Still, even though it would hurt, it would be nice to get that idea confirmed. And if it weren’t true, it would be even better to get it disconfirmed.

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