TED Conversations

Erin Prysiazny

This conversation is closed.

Is it best to give your honest opinion all the time?

Do you think you should always share your true feelings with others? For example, if a friend were to say something you totally disagree with, but they're not asking your opinion, should you say something?

I'm having trouble deciding what the right thing to do is. On one hand, no one ever asked your opinion. But on the other, you will have to respond to what they're saying, so why not say what you think?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jun 24 2012: A wonderful topic! One comment has listed three examples, and I myself think that everything is the case, i.e. each moment you consider what to do is its own case, as in a legal case. Of course, we have principles and sayings to guide us, but that's a top-down approach. If that's what you want, I'd say always be sincere, whether you mean it or not. So to the question, :"Do I look fat in this?" one can quickly reply, "Oh, no, no, no."

    That dirty word "rhetoric" enters into the fray wherever politics is involved. And what does it sound like? "Listening to my opponent's rhetoric(lies), how he twists the truth to suit his needs, how he puts a spin on everything, well . . . I don't know how he sleeps at night. I offer you only the simple and unvarnished truth."
    In other words, it's rhetoric when the other guy does it.

    We humans have many needs and many motivations. I think they come in a mix, not in any pure form. Honesty is good, but I will work, borrow or steal, if need be, to feed my family.

    Perhaps a better illustration is the Woody Allen quote: "Is sex dirty? If it's any good, it is."
    • thumb
      Jun 27 2012: There are only two answers from which to choose in answering the question, "Do I look fat in this?"
      Answer "A") NO! [ will be interpreted as a NO answer].
      Answer "B") Any other answer.[will be interpreted as a YES answer].
      Of course if you intend to express your honest opinion there is but one choice.
      Honesty is the best policy. Erin's question asks if one should volunteer one's honest opinion. I say It is not dishonest to withold one's opinion.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.