Author Topic: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?  (Read 7984 times)

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saki

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Re: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?
« Reply #45 on: November 30, 2011, 07:55:05 AM »
Funnily enough, my husband and I (who generally get along extremely well with virtually no arguments) have this issue from time to time.  For some reason, it's particularly with regard to when to have dinner:

Me:  Are you hungry?  When do you feel like having dinner?
Him:  Not hungry at all.  In an hour?
Me:  How 'bout half an hour?
Him:  Why did you ask me in the first place?!

I ask him in the first place because his opinion is something that I'll factor in.  It's not the only thing I'll factor in - I'll also factor in how hungry I am and what I'd like to do after dinner.  But, say, if I'm really hungry and he'd rather wait an hour, I'll split the difference and go with half an hour.  I did care about his opinion but that doesn't mean going along with it.

I've never quite understood why he doesn't get this because, like everyone, he frequently asks for opinions, takes them into account, and does what he -  on balance - thinks is the best.  Think about it - how often do you do this day-to-day?  Have you asked a waiter for a recommendation and then ordered something different?  have you asked friends/family for book/TV/film recommendations and then not read/watched them because they didn't appeal to you?  How would you feel if someone accused you in those contexts of not caring about their opinion?
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 08:00:15 AM by saki »

SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?
« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2011, 08:46:57 AM »
When I ask my husband's opinion on something, I'm not asking because I necessarily intend to do exactly what he wants, I'm asking because his opinion is one thing I'll factor in. How much I factor it in is partly dependant upon how strong his opinion seems to be, and based on your conversation with your wife, your opinion didn't seem to be that strong.

Reason

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Re: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?
« Reply #47 on: December 02, 2011, 10:17:08 AM »
It's not that my opinion is not strong. I prefer long hair. My wife knows this anyway. I am not stingy in regards to compliments. It is more to the point that I do not believe my opinion should have any effect on how my wife styles her hair. If she, knowing my preferences, chooses to disregard them I am certainly not going to throw a fit over it. I'd love her even if she was bald (don't tell her that).

What happened in this case she pulled the information out of me that I did not want to provide. I figured if she went through all that effort and made it a point that she wanted to look good "for me" then she should probably have weighed my preferences above most other considerations.

Incidentally, I am also a little at a loss as to what constitutes a strong opinion here? A lot of posters seem to feel that my position on the matter was not voiced with enough emphasis. I do not see how to voice it differently, though perhaps someone can help me out with that.

My opinion: I prefer long hair and I think it makes my wife more beautiful than she already is.
Stronger Opinion?: Please don't cut your hair, I love the way it looks (still somewhat ok but comes across as begging and therefore not really stronger.)
Even Stronger Opinion?: If you cut your hair, I won't even be able to look at you till it grows back? (childish/controlling)
Strongest Opinion?: If you cut your hair, I am going to divorce you! (insane..)

SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?
« Reply #48 on: December 02, 2011, 10:20:22 AM »
"It's your hair and you should feel free to do as you please" = my opinion on this matter is not strong. If you'd responded immediately wtih something else, like, "Honestly, I really prefer long hair and, while I will love you regardless of how long your hair is and you are of course free to do as you like, if it is up to me I would only want you to have a bit of a trim," you're stating that your opinion is strong, but still being respectful.

Reason

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Re: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?
« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2011, 10:23:32 AM »
"It's your hair and you should feel free to do as you please" = my opinion on this matter is not strong. If you'd responded immediately wtih something else, like, "Honestly, I really prefer long hair and, while I will love you regardless of how long your hair is and you are of course free to do as you like, if it is up to me I would only want you to have a bit of a trim," you're stating that your opinion is strong, but still being respectful.

Sorry, but I don't think there is a man in the world is going to say that on queue...

It's very well put.

Seraphia

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Re: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?
« Reply #50 on: December 02, 2011, 10:55:19 AM »
If you had an actual preference that you did not want disappointed, it would have been better to say that first. If I don't want DH to make hot dogs for dinner, I don't answer "Well, you're the cook and you can do what you like." He'll usually still press me for input, but I've already categorically opted out of desire for a particular outcome, and I have only myself to blame if he then makes hotdogs for dinner.

The difference is, the initial request is for my strong preference. If I don't have a preference, he'll probably still insist on getting me to suggest a couple things, as part of the decision-making process. Even if I don't have one thing I really *want* for dinner, I still might have suggestions for what he might like to make. I think what you're seeing as her insisting on your preference/opinion and then disregarding it, she was probably seeing as gathering your input, after you had already denied having a preference, then making her own decsion.

It's perfectly allowable to say, "It's your hair honey, but I think I'd really like it best if you just got it trimmed, rather than cut much shorter," or even: "You know I really prefer your hair when it's long, it looks so beautiful that way."
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dawbs

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Re: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?
« Reply #51 on: December 02, 2011, 08:56:29 PM »

*snip*
Incidentally, I am also a little at a loss as to what constitutes a strong opinion here? A lot of posters seem to feel that my position on the matter was not voiced with enough emphasis. I do not see how to voice it differently, though perhaps someone can help me out with that.

"Do as you please" sounds like "I don't really care".
'Do as you please, but I prefer X" sounds like "I care a little bit"
"I prefer X, but do as you please--I do think X looks best" sounds like 'I care but I'm not a controlling jerk about it"

Mental Magpie

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Re: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?
« Reply #52 on: December 02, 2011, 09:31:52 PM »
It's not that my opinion is not strong. I prefer long hair. My wife knows this anyway. I am not stingy in regards to compliments. It is more to the point that I do not believe my opinion should have any effect on how my wife styles her hair. If she, knowing my preferences, chooses to disregard them I am certainly not going to throw a fit over it. I'd love her even if she was bald (don't tell her that).

What happened in this case she pulled the information out of me that I did not want to provide. I figured if she went through all that effort and made it a point that she wanted to look good "for me" then she should probably have weighed my preferences above most other considerations.

Incidentally, I am also a little at a loss as to what constitutes a strong opinion here? A lot of posters seem to feel that my position on the matter was not voiced with enough emphasis. I do not see how to voice it differently, though perhaps someone can help me out with that.

My opinion: I prefer long hair and I think it makes my wife more beautiful than she already is.
Stronger Opinion?: Please don't cut your hair, I love the way it looks (still somewhat ok but comes across as begging and therefore not really stronger.)
Even Stronger Opinion?: If you cut your hair, I won't even be able to look at you till it grows back? (childish/controlling)
Strongest Opinion?: If you cut your hair, I am going to divorce you! (insane..)

I don't think the way you voiced your opinion matters very much because it seems to reflect how you felt.

You don't know, though, that she didn't weigh your opinion more heavily against other things and still came up with a different choice than the one you provided.  She did go through the effort to get you to give an exact length that she could more accurately determine what she wanted to do.  It may seem like she didn't regard your opinion, but you still don't know that's what really happened.  I would give her the benefit of the doubt that she did take your opinion into consideration but still wound up choosing something else.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

grannyclampettjr

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Re: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?
« Reply #53 on: December 04, 2011, 07:36:12 PM »
My hair grows quickly and I tend to grow it out, cut it chin length and do it all over again.  I've been doing this for 20 years now and have had several hair stylists.  They always ask me if my husband or boyfriend is going to freak out when I get it cut off. 

That's probably why your wife asked you.  When she got a "do as you please" answer, she did as she pleased.  Simple as that. 

If you actually had a stronger opinion than that, you should have voiced said opinion when she opened up the topic for conversation.   Your wife can only go off of the actual words that come out of your mouth in order to ascertain your preferences in life.  I'm quite certain she's not a mind reader--none of us are.   However, if you continue to tell her only what she wants to hear to keep the peace and then resent her when she conducts her life according to what you have voiced to her, she will end up very, very, angry.  Guaranteed. 


Mental Magpie

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Re: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?
« Reply #54 on: December 04, 2011, 07:39:38 PM »
My hair grows quickly and I tend to grow it out, cut it chin length and do it all over again.  I've been doing this for 20 years now and have had several hair stylists.  They always ask me if my husband or boyfriend is going to freak out when I get it cut off. 

That's probably why your wife asked you.  When she got a "do as you please" answer, she did as she pleased.  Simple as that. 

If you actually had a stronger opinion than that, you should have voiced said opinion when she opened up the topic for conversation.   Your wife can only go off of the actual words that come out of your mouth in order to ascertain your preferences in life.  I'm quite certain she's not a mind reader--none of us are.   However, if you continue to tell her only what she wants to hear to keep the peace and then resent her when she conducts her life according to what you have voiced to her, she will end up very, very, angry.  Guaranteed.

I don't think that's the issue at hand.  He really doesn't mind that she cut off more than what he suggested; he's bothered that she asked for a specific opinion (the length) and then seemingly disregarded said opinion, and thus he wonders why even ask for it at all.

That is why many of us have explained that she did probably take his opinion into account but that she just went with a different option even after considering his opinion.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?
« Reply #55 on: December 04, 2011, 10:10:34 PM »
I think we might be empathizing with the wife. At least I am. Like, if I were thinking about making a big change with my hair, I would probably ask my husband for input, but it would bother me if he thought asking for his opinion meant I had to do what he said, or that I didn't care if I made up my own mind anyway. Asking for an opinion does not equal asking for an OK, or that you're giving your vote to that person. It's just asking for more information to work with. We need more husbands to answer.

LadyClaire

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Re: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?
« Reply #56 on: December 05, 2011, 09:21:11 AM »
My hair grows quickly and I tend to grow it out, cut it chin length and do it all over again.  I've been doing this for 20 years now and have had several hair stylists.  They always ask me if my husband or boyfriend is going to freak out when I get it cut off. 

Ha..me too. I went from hair that was nearly to my rear end to a chin-length bob. The problem is that my hair grows very fast, so in a short period of time it's shoulder length, then it's mid-back length, and then it starts annoying me so I get it cut off again. I've done this several times in the 15 years DH and I have known each other, and the 8 years we've actually been dating/married. The stylist always asks me the same question, too, and so do co-workers when I've had my hair cut off yet again. Funny thing is that DH loves short hair and starts making pointed comments about my hair killing him in his sleep when it starts getting long again (I have very slick hair that will not stay in ponytails or braids, so when it's long it creeps across my pillow at night onto his and then gets into his face).

purplemuse

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Re: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?
« Reply #57 on: December 05, 2011, 03:01:22 PM »
I think it can be hard to express a strong opinion in a case like this though. I know for me, I'd probably have a little voice in the back of my head saying "You're trying to dictate what Mr. Muse does with his appearance? How controlling can you get?"

Even if you have a very strong opinion, it can be hard to tell another person anything but "Do as you please," when the subject is their appearance without feeling a little boorish (even if the other person genuinely wants your opinion and saying how you feel isn't boorish at all).

Which makes it hard, because other posters are right-- a spouse can only work with what he/she hears and when it's "Do as you please," it does sound like the speaker doesn't have a strong opinion.

hobish

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Re: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?
« Reply #58 on: December 05, 2011, 06:16:39 PM »
Quote
My opinion: I prefer long hair and I think it makes my wife more beautiful than she already is.
Stronger Opinion?: Please don't cut your hair, I love the way it looks (still somewhat ok but comes across as begging and therefore not really stronger.)
Even Stronger Opinion?: If you cut your hair, I won't even be able to look at you till it grows back? (childish/controlling)
Strongest Opinion?: If you cut your hair, I am going to divorce you! (insane..)

For some reason this gave me the giggles. Poor Reason, you cannot win.
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judecat

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Re: Is it rude to ask for an opinion if you don't really care?
« Reply #59 on: December 05, 2011, 07:50:34 PM »
At one time I was thinking of having my very very long hair cut in a pixie cut.  I asked my SO's opinion,  which was to keep it at least to the middle of my back.   So I got it cut shoulder length as a compromise.  So no I did not bow to SO's preference,  but I did take it into consideration.   Unfortunately it was a compromise that didn't please anyone.