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Soubresaut's avatar

How honestly would you answer someone if they asked you what you thought of them?

Asked by Soubresaut (12560points) March 23rd, 2010

Say someone asks you to tell them everything you think about them: what you like, what you dislike, what bothers you, what you adore…
How would you feel about answering the question? Would you want to? Would you think it’s a dumb question?
And how would you answer it? Would you tell mostly good things even if you hate their guts, or would you give them your honest opinion? Would you try to soften the blows, or just let them knock the person out?

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38 Answers

filmfann's avatar

I would be honest, but try to be kind about it.

CaptainHarley's avatar

That would depend upon several factors, not the least of which is how well I know them, what my opinion of them actually was, and how well I thought they could handle the truth.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

It depends on how familiar I am with the person.
Most people have to work at familiarity before honesty can come but neither do you want to be too honest with people you just met.

tinyfaery's avatar

Depends on who it is and how I really feel about them. I’m not known for pulling punches.

thriftymaid's avatar

I suppose I would be honest, but would not be brutal.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Blast them with the truth and make up some stuff to really send them over the edge.lol

I’d want to know why they care what I think about them ;)

anartist's avatar

Depends on who they are.

Trillian's avatar

Hmmph. Elaine Benis; “You want to know what I think? I think….that you two….makeagreatcouple.” Seinfeld.
Too many variables. The relationship, what I actually think, my mood as in; if I know my opinion will cause an argument or endless rounds of questions and recrimination and whether or not I’m up to it, how much the person means to me…. Sorry.

pearls's avatar

I would be as honest with them as I would want them to be with me.

ninjacolin's avatar

more honestly than they’d be prepared for.

j0ey's avatar

I guess I would try and be as honest as possible. Obviously if this person is asking you this they want an honest answer, and unless they are deluded to the extent that they think they are perfect, they would have to be expecting something negative from it. I think as long as you did the good old “sandwich the bad stuff” technique: compliment, criticism, compliment, you would still have a friend at the end of your answer.

Jude's avatar

@Trillian: Elaine: “Oh, he’s a cute little shnugly baby.” (turns away in fear)

I tend to be honest. Why lie? I’m tactfully honest.

Chongalicious's avatar

Its’ a legit question. I’d want to answer with 100% honesty. I would try to put it in a little less blunt terms, so as not to be a destroyer of worlds lol but the same main idea would be expressed. Either “I like you”, or “I don’t like you.” The deserve to know, do they not??

Bluefreedom's avatar

I would be honest with them because I’ve always been that way. Honest to a fault, in fact.

wundayatta's avatar

I think I would ask them how serious they are about this. It also depends on my motives for telling them, or for them asking me. Or vice versa.

The problem is that once I get started, I can’t be sure where I’ll end up. I will try not to be mean or obnoxious, but I can’t always tell what will bother a person. And then there’s the miscommunication problem. I was just telling someone today something that I thought about them—they didn’t ask; I just found myself going there. The last time I starting talking about feedback stuff, it got all upset-making. I think it was communication problems, but who knows? Maybe I was just being a jerk.

My preference is to be totally honest, and to have the same honesty shared back with me. However, I find that I often cushion things or tell white lies, and so I assume everyone else does, too. In essence, I don’t think total honesty is possible. I know people think it is, but I don’t think any of us knows completely what is going on in our heads. We can believe we are being honest while not being honest.

It’s all perception, anyway. Perception changes the world. If you ask for someone’s point of view, you can’t expect that it is the be-all and end-all. It’s just a point of view. If you rely on their point of view, then you deserve what you get, and what you get probably won’t be pretty.

Often, I believe, when we ask such questions, we are expecting to be told how fucked up we are, or hoping against hope we aren’t as fucked up as we thought. But maybe that’s just me, the perception of a sometimes depressed dude with low self-esteem, who always expects he is doing something wrong. I’ve learned not to ask that question very much.

Vunessuh's avatar

I really dislike when people put me on the spot like that, but it can definitely spark an interesting discussion.
I would be honest and tell them what I like and dislike, if there is anything I dislike.
If I feel like now isn’t the time to bring something up that would spark a very serious conversation, I would just save it for another time. Those types of talks can be exhausting.
I also find that people who ask you what you think of them a little too often, probably only do so for the compliments and to feel good about themselves, not really because they actually want to know what you think.

dogkittycat's avatar

I would be completely honest when I answered them… but if it’s not anything pleasant then I’ll still tell them the truth..just a bit watered down than my true feelings are. Or if I flat out despise the person and they pissed me off recently then I would give them the cold, hard truth because if you pissed me off, then you must have really screwed up.(i’ll usually take a lot of crap from people and not get angry and deal with it)

Blackberry's avatar

I like doing this because it gives me the chance to tell them how I feel without sugarcoating it.

casheroo's avatar

I’m a very honest person in situations like that. But, I have tact.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

The honesty of my answers is always directly proportionate to the honesty of the questions.

iphigeneia's avatar

It does depend on the situation a little bit: is one of us close to death, does this person’s relationship with me have an influence on my future, is the person looking at me with a hopeful, loving glint in their eyes?

On the other hand, I believe that if you ask a question like this, you should be prepared for whatever comes your way. I would be 100% honest, though the circumstances would determine how I phrased that honesty. Worst-case scenario: the person leaves feeling disappointed. That’s life.

neverawake's avatar

why, I’d be brutally honest

noyesa's avatar

I’d lie.

Usually the only people asking me that question are people who don’t want to hear the truth. Everyone else important enough to me already knows how I feel about them because I don’t sugarcoat things. I’m not tactless, but I don’t lie to people to make them feel better.

cheebdragon's avatar

You don’t want my honest opinion, trust me….

Jude's avatar

“So, what do you think of me?”

<<gulp>>

(jk)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I would tell them what I honestly thought. I generally do anyway.

Coloma's avatar

Who says that anyones opinions would BE the truth? lol

I think all of my friends would have different truths about me.

One friend loves my enthusiasm, another can be overwhelmed, another sees me as extremly bright, another as eccentric, one supports my lifestyle, another thinks I should do things differently….it’s all subjective.

I would answer to that friend with something along the lines of ‘Well..this is what I see, think…’ but I wouldn’t go so far as to impose any ‘truths.’

Yes, I would answer honesty…but let them know that that is just my opinion, which…it is. Unless it was an obvious unhealthy or dysfunctional thing, in which case it could then, by those particular standards, be labeled a ‘truth.’

“Hey Brian, you have been using herion since 1977, I think you are a herion addict.’ lololol

phillis's avatar

Honesty can be pure without brutality. I would answer truthfully, but probably not in the way they would expect. “What do you think of me?” is a perfectly legitimate question. Most often, the person has needs for asking it that are also perfectly legitimate. I won’t start shit with someone unless they go that path first. My tendency is to pay attention to the needs behind it, rather than the question, itself.

mammal's avatar

pretty honest.

PacificToast's avatar

Honest but not cruel. But by asking such a question, they kind of signed up for bad news.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Does this question make my butt look big?

meagan's avatar

I’m sure I’d cover everything with marshmallow fluff, but answer it truthfully all the same.

loverainx33's avatar

Well, for me, it depends on who’s askng. If it’s someone who really wants an honest opinion and I know them well, I would definitely tell them the truth. However, if it’s someone with a delicate emotional stability or I just dont know them too well, I would sugar coat my words or lie a bit.

Pandora's avatar

Most of the time, not well.
1.If I really admire them I have a hard time saying it because I hate sounding like a kiss *ss. So it comes out awkward and false sounding.

2. If I really can’t stand them then they really won’t ask and if they do then I’ll tell them unless they are my stupid boss or a relative I have to deal with.

3. And if I’m on the fence, I won’t say because it may change my opinion falsely. (If I’m starting to believe they are a selfish bastard and suddenly they start to act nice, then I might begin to doubt my first impression and later learn, when it is too late, that my first impression was correct.

mattbrowne's avatar

Positive feedback: Very honest
Negative feedback: Diplomatic, avoiding the pronoun “you”, instead use passive form or other forms of indirect speech (“the approach XYZ could be improved by…)

Erin_McGo's avatar

If I liked that person than I would tell them that they are a great person to know. If I didn’t like that person than I would say to them I can’t talk right now and walk away.

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