We all have them…… and nobody wants them.
At some point we have all been asked, “What do you think?”, or some variation of this question, and for the most part we take it lightly, often shrugging it off, and sometimes, regrettably, giving our honest opinion.
At the end of the day, no one really wants it. When someone asks your opinion, they really want reassurance, your support even, but not your honest opinion (unless it coincides with theirs….and that rarely happens)
How many men have survived the old ‘do you think I’m fat’ question? (I recently complained to my husband about some extra padding I’d acquired over the past year fully expecting a diplomatic lie to salvage my dwindling confidence. He said, “that’s ok, I’m fat too, so we match.”) Men have the unfortunate habit of answering honestly (unless they see it could get them into trouble, then they lie, and fast!) but sadly most men don’t see that land, mine until it’s too late. Women, on the other hand, will quickly point out your misgivings with a complimentary twist to minimize the sting. “No no, you’re not fat, it’s supposed to look like that.” They’ll tell you where you’re fat, where you’re bulging, etc, and thank God that they do because otherwise how will we know our imperfections, right?
Wrong. As women we women are, sadly, our own worst critics. Too fat, too thin, too short. too tall, we see ourselves as so imperfect. Men seem to have it all together (God, that just sticks in my craw) They see beauty in all women, in all children, in cars, even in all men. (Jeez, my husband sees beauty in a nice lawn) Everything and everyone is acceptable to them without criticism. All they need is clean underwear, a woman and a beer, and life is good. Beyond that they have no opinion. Aren’t they lucky.
So what is it with we females that we have to analyze and criticize ourselves to the point of eating disorders and phobias? Is it the whole mating thing? We think men ‘desire’ skinny, sexy, stupid females…….so we fashion ourselves to meet this criteria in order to ‘catch a man’? The male opinion is more accepting of who they are; who we are, and less judgmental of everyone. The female population could learn a lot from them about acceptance, not only of others, but of themselves. (God, I hate saying that, because it’s true) If you really want an honest opinion, ask for it, but be prepared to hear it straight, good or bad. If you can’t handle the unpleasant truth (and you likely already know what it is) don’t ask.
I was always taught that if you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all – easier said than done, but definitely worth the effort. Life is full of enough unpleasantness so when the urge to give your opinion hits, bite your tongue, several times if necessary. What’s the worst that could happen…….you spare someone’s feelings? Eventually you’ll feel better for having kept your opinion to yourself because at the end of the day, nobody really wanted it anyway……sigh.