I've never been slow in giving my opinion, even when it's not been asked for. I suspect that most of my fellow bloggers are the same, and that's why we like to express ourselves on-line: it's my blog and I can say what I want to! However as we grow older - and hopefully start acting in a more mature way - we learn that there are times and places where it's best to be circumspect before saying what we think.
I believe that if an honest opinion has been asked for, then an honest opinion should be given. Having said that, sensitivity should be a factor too. I remember years ago my neighbour showing me her new baby boy. I felt that a comment was called for and desperately tried to think of something positive to say, as I could not lie and tell her that her baby was lovely when he wasn't. I settled on "He's the image of Al!" She smiled at me sympathetically, recognising my dilemma, and replied "I know, he's ugly isn't he? I'm just hoping that he will improve with age!"
I don't have this dilemma in Spain, as all babies and young children are "guapo" or "guapa", depending on their sex. There is no question of them not being beautiful: it's the only word that you may use to describe Spanish babies. For a particularly beautiful baby you can of course add a few superlatives, and they are always appreciated.
There are, as I said earlier, times and places when you shouldn't say anything. I was horrified when I was told about the following recent incident. A woman - let's call her Linda - was in the house of a friend whose 70 year old wife had just died that morning.
"I never liked Janice and she never liked me!" Linda announced in front of Janice's grieving husband and daughter. I don't believe in being hypocritical, and I can understand her not wanting to say anything about being sad to lose a great friend if that wasn't the case, but - and a big BUT - was that an appropriate comment to make in the circumstances? Couldn't she have found something less harsh to say, if she felt the need to say anything at all? A sympathetic hug would have been fine. Knowing all the people involved, I was appalled and saddened by this incident. The following day Linda attended the funeral of the woman she didn't like, which to me was definitely a bit hypocritical.
Do you agree? Should honesty be applauded or should Linda have bitten her tongue and said nothing? By the way, all names have been changed to protect the guilty party.