Is asking an opinion an invitation to cruelty

I witnessed a cringeworthy moment at ladies dressing room. Foolishly some young woman asked for a “friend’s” opinion on a dress if it looked good on her. Her friend used that as an opportunity to point out almost every physical flaw she saw. When the woman in the dress became upset, she simply replied do not ask for an opinion if you don’t want to hear it. She insisted she was not “wrong” and blamed the other girl. In principle she is completely correct. That scene rubbed me the wrong way entirely. Who isn’t that cruel? It is not she asked a stranger, if you ask a friend I would expect them to at least soften their criticism. What is your opinion?

to zip it so to speak

“But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Mt 12:36f.)

“out of you own mouth I judge you, you wicked servant.” (Lk 19:22) “Judge not, that you may not be judged, For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Mt 7:1 f.) “The viper’s tongue will kill him” (Job 20:16).

In the heart of the humble nothing is more sure than the potential wickedness in statements.

My opinion is not to listen in on other people’s conversations. The young lady surely knew the personality of her friend and knew that she would get a such an honest answer, even if she did not like to hear it.

What principle is served? That it’s OK to hurt people who ask for it? Sounds like a classic example of ‘blame the victim’ to me.

‘Blame the victim’ is where someone challenges our behaviour and in response we justify our behaviour by transferring blame to the victim in that they deserved it.

Bullies blame their victims. If they didn’t wear certain clothes, do certain things, if weren’t wimps they wouldn’t get bullied. In principle this may be true, but ‘first do no harm’ is the greater principle.

There is a time to offer a brutally honest opinion and a time not to. The time to offer a friend a brutally honest opinion on a dress is before they leave the house wearing it. I assume by this stage she had no opportunity to change the dress? Thus, what purpose did the criticism serve other than to make her feel bad about her dress for the rest of the evening?

In these circumstances a true friend would soften the blow. If the ‘friend’ had any insight - which friends should have - she would have known the young woman was not in fact asking for an ‘opinion,’ she was asking for reassurance. If she felt she looked in the dress she would not have asked for reassurance. Obviously she asked for reassurance from the wrong person. Should we blame the victim?

Hmmm, I assumed the dressing room was in a store, and I still thought the opinionated one was wrong! All she had to do was say something mild like, Eh, I don’t think it’s your best look/style/color or, this shape is great, but I think another color would bring out your eyes better.

It is not the job of a peer to really point out the faults of others, as I think you have been learning? and even a person in authority should do so kindly, as a general rule.

I think one can be honest without being unkind - and perhaps the friend thought that the dress did indeed not suit its wearer and that it would be better to say so before she spent good money on it…

I assume you didn’t know either party…maybe the asker is the type who can’t take a hint and needs major discouragment. I am not agreeing that the other one should have been so harsh in a public place, but sometimes what we think we see is not what is actually there!

I agree, ones opinion, in public should never be meant to hurt.

Ahh, the frenemy.

With friends like that who needs enemies.

If you talk that loud in a public place, it is no longer eavesdropping.

Should anyone look for reassurance or validation from anyone other than themselves?

I hate dressing rooms.

When I went in to one at a rather expensive store, I had four dresses to try on. I was so glad I did because none of them were flattering in the least. I had better at home. So, the sales associate gave me a bit of a start when she pounded on the door, not once but several times. Her assessment of one dress was “The buttons shouldn’t have spaces in between them. They should hold together without spaces.” (She meant the top of the dress, which buttoned down the front.) When she pounded on the door with an object, I thought the whole door would come off its hinges.

She wasn’t very nice right from the start because she wouldn’t leave me alone.

I think anyone trying on dresses could discern for themselves if it looks good.

Maybe your right - I thought ‘dressing room’ was a posh ladies rest room.

In which case a true friend would not say a dress was great if it was not - but in the way it was done but the way you suggest.

Nope - but they do.

I agree with you.

Someone can always give another person an opinion done with tact, where it is not necessary to hurt another person’s feelings. :slight_smile:

I wonder why some people need others to feel whole/complete.

Lots of reasons - but I would say there are few if us who have not at some point wanted reassurance or approval from someone for some reason.

People, unfortunately, are not perfect.

PelagiathePenit said, “I wonder why some people need others to feel whole/complete.”

St. John Paul II: Instruction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Freedom and Liberation said, “The Christian will always prefer the path of dialogue and joint action.” (Social Justice, and other matters for the common good) Hence, the disqualification of idle talk. Pope Gregory the Great said, “that what lacks a pious usefulness or necessity is called idle.” (Com on Mt, St. Thomas Aquinas, Mt 12:36)

To ask of another their opinion is to ask not for the truth of the matter but the taste of that individual. The truth is singular; taste is not. If I asked an MSNBC reporter how Trump is doing, I would expect quite a different answer from the answer of the Fox News reporter.

True indeed.

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