Wednesday, 23 May 2012

"What do you think...?"


Okay, we have all been there at the receiving end of the phrase "what do you think...?" This is genuinely one of my most hated phrases! Why, you ask? Simply because of what comes afterwards. 
This phrase is not used lightly, especially among groups of girls who always 'need' to check that they conform to the invisible regulations and constraints that embodies being one of them. Thinking about it, it is rather strange, the desperate desires we all face to 'fit in' - especially within our friendship circles. Surely this should be the one place that everyone accepts the true 'you'. But what is you? You, I guess, is what is created by years of observation, adjusting and conditioning that comes about as a result of choosing the people you wish to hang out with, and trying your best to be the best that you can for them - whilst making sure that you don't stray too far from the flock... or mob mentality, shall we say. (Lets take two-toned makeup phases as an example - why any woman would wish to flaunt a tanned face whilst her neck remains untouched is beyond me; but I have generally seen such anomalies in small packs)

Anyway, as a result of this strong desire to harmonise with one's friends, it is ever inevitable that the phrase "what do you think...?" shall be bounced back and forth rather frequently. Forgetting the fact that we don't always need to get a second (or third or fourth or four-hundreth) opinion on small matters, such as whether a side fringe or full fringe would be best (because let's face it - all full front fringes are eventually swept to the side..), WILL THIS PERSON EVEN LISTEN TO YOUR OPINION?
That is what I ask myself before answering one of these unwelcome invitations to judge another's dilemma (that is pressure for a start) - however inconsequential. Infact, especially if it is inconsequential. Because from my experience, the more inconsequential the matter, the more likely that this person - no matter the level of closeness to me - shall do the opposite of what I say. And I find this rather offensive.
It's like a blatant defiance of your opinion, of your reasoning, and, often, of the thought that you actually put into your damned answer! It makes me want to hit them...figuratively. (Let's not promote violence on the internet)

Image from

I get around this matter by attempting reverse psychology. I don't seem very good at this. Because I find it hard to give reasons for doing something when I very clearly believe the exact opposite (I would never have made the debating team). So they just do what I disagree with anyway! 
I'm not saying that this always happens - matters of more discrepancy and holding, for example, are often asked by people who thirst for some guidance. And often yours will be as good as any. Perhaps the key factor playing is the question of are they ACTUALLY asking for your advice.. or is something else going on?
My guess is the second. Do my moobs look big in this? - you are trying to point out that you a) have some hefty moobage b) have the potential to show them off and make all the other men jelly. You don't want them to say 'no' (pure cheek!) or 'yes..maybe don't wear so tight a top..' (moobs on tour)  - so what is even the point in asking? Why not just tell them the facts, encourage some jealousy and admiration that way - we all like to boost our egos - and save the bother of forcing the awkward "what do you think...?" line onto another poor soul.

It's not like I'm a saint.. I do this too. And I do try to conform - to my friends, to my school yeargroup, to my generation, and to society, but at least I can see the issue that is present - it's probably true that the first step to recovery is admitting it. I have a very recent example, actually, regarding the state of my living accommodation next year for University. I wanted to be in Student halls (nothing else would do!) - and when issues arose with this, I refused my parents' suggestion of renting a flat with other first years ("but I have no friends that will live with me!!") until all my other options ran out, and I practically presented this solution to my parents.. I wonder if they recognised whose idea it truly was in the first place. People don't always like being told what to do - funny when you have asked another's opinion to start with - and so occasionally you just feel the need to break loose and do it your way. 

This is fair enough.. but remember, if you have a tendency to oppose others' opinions and demonstrate your individuality through an adversity to taking advice, then don't ask for it. Don't be that person.


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  1. Ahh this is brilliant! I'm awful when it comes to advice. I'm SO indecisive, I ask everyone about every decision I have to make, pathetic really! The worst is when you ask someone if something looks okay, like you said, and then they say it looks awful, when really you just wanted some assurance it looked nice! Haha. xx

    1. ha ha thank you! I'm also very indecisive (which doesn't help when others ask for my advice on something!) If you're able to ask for and take advice well then that's not pathetic! You just like reassurance and guidance! I just dislike when people ask for advice then make a point of not taking it! grr



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