Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Do you want unbiased opinions or do you seek to influence opinions before they are given?

Asked by wundayatta (58596points) April 14th, 2010

I prefer to know what people “really” think. It’s probably part of my pathology, but that’s the way it is. Because of that, I go out of my way not to try to influence an opinion in any way except by doing the best work I can.

Other people will do their work, but then they’ll sell it. They’ll pump themselves up and advertise how good their work is before anyone else even offers an opinion.

I mistrust that kind of person, because it makes me think they trying to gloss over work that won’t stand up on its own. That’s why I won’t do that kind of thing, except for work (where I’m really selling something other than myself).

Which do you prefer? How do you present yourself? Are you a seller or a waiter? Why do you take the approach you take? And since forced choices aren’t realistic, if you land in between these poles, when do you use each of the strategies?

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18 Answers

kyanblue's avatar

It depends. There are times when all you need is positive reinforcement and someone to cheer you up…and there are times where it is vitally important I know the truth from a friend.

When I influence opinions: when I’ve decided on a course of action and just need encouragement, when applying for jobs, when I may need to ask a favour or a concession from someone in the future.

When I need unbiased opinions: when I’m working on a project (writing, web design, other), when I’m afraid of getting burned in a relationship, when I feel I am on the verge of making poor decisions.

Kraigmo's avatar

I believe in concrete truths. Which means if two opinions differ, then at least one of them (or both of them) are either wrong or illogical.

And my goal is to find the truth or the logical path. (One aspect of my definition of logic, is the reduction of suffering, and the reduction of unneeded work).

So I just want whoever is wrong or being illogical to cave in, and adopt the new, better Truth that he or she has just glimpsed at thanks to talk with another.

Which means: i prefer to be wrong because it’s very easy for me to see the light when presented, and I’ll just immediately change my mind as soon as I’m able to. I won’t be stubborn. I won’t defend myself. I won’t need to sell a position, it should sell itself when explained.

And so that means I want unbiased opinions. And I’d rather wait, than sell.

And when I come across others who also care more about the facts at hand, than defending themselves, I really appreciate it.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I can handle the truth! ;)

Coloma's avatar


Very well said.

Pseudonym's avatar

I would like the truth, but told in a kind way. If you don’t like something that I made, don’t tell me that it sucks, just tell me why you don’t like it and what I could do to make it better.

abbydowns's avatar

I definitely would want the truth. I might not take it to well at first but its always best that way. Constructive criticism is the best way, I think to tell someone the truth about there personal work. I am definitely a waiter.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I sell to the people who want to be sold and wait for the people who need to decide. In all cases I do so as honestly as I can and ask for like in return as lying won’t get the job done and failure rarely reflects well on anyone.

Blondesjon's avatar

Fuck opinions.

I want answers.

MrsDufresne's avatar

The thought of influencing the opinions of others by trying to ‘sugarcoat’ something I have created, makes me, literally, feel a bit physically ill. I will settle for nothing less than an unbiased opinion.

bobloblaw's avatar

It depends on the role that I’m playing and what interests are involved. Am I speaking to an enemy? Am I speaking to a friend? Am I a facilitator? Am I negotiating? What are my goals? What are the other person’s goals? Do I care about the other person? Do I care what the other person thinks of me? What’s at stake? etc. I see both puffery and straight talk, as it were, as tools to be used according to what the situation demands.

lilikoi's avatar

Isn’t “unbiased opinion” an oxymoron?

thezooloft's avatar

Unbiased… always.

YARNLADY's avatar

I just take opinions at face value. I assume people really mean what they say. If they don’t it’s nothing to me, as I will interpret them in my own way anyway.

Trillian's avatar

I’d rather hear the truth. How could I fix something if I didn’t allow you to see the whole picture?

evandad's avatar

I know I do a good job. I’m not interested in being praised for it. More money would be nice though.

plethora's avatar

I’d like to hear exactly my own opinion parroted back to me.

anartist's avatar

I want the unvarnished truth. but, in the course of my actions I persuade the respondent to see my POV, so much the better.

plethora's avatar

@anartist It only makes sense….:)

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