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Questions to which there may be an unwelcome answer.

(40 Posts)
MawBe Mon 30-Nov-20 17:11:48

Along with “Does my bum look big in this?” - are people really prepared for a “Yes” answer?
When people preface an opinion or point of view or an account of something which has happened, with AIBU, is it not permissible to answer “Well, actually, yes” ?
If that occasions disappointment in the OP, or causes him or her “distress” , why did they ask?
Do OPs expect everybody to say “There, there, of course not” regardless?
Just wondering.

FoghornLeghorn Fri 04-Dec-20 18:02:28


I suppose that is what we are hoping for but need to be prepared for honesty.

I suppose the brutally honest answer to the question ‘ Does this dress make my bum look big?’ is ‘No, your bum makes your bum look big.’ That’s the reality but I guess those of us asking the question are hoping for a miracle. 😄

Tweedle24 Tue 01-Dec-20 22:10:40

When I see the AIBU posts, I often think they are asking because they know deep down that is exactly what they are being.
Maybe, the AIBU should be dropped in favour of something like, ‘I need advice’ or ‘Am I reading this correctly?’ Or similar?

petra Tue 01-Dec-20 20:06:27

I meant to add I like your bluntness.

Doodledog Tue 01-Dec-20 20:04:31

Oops! Petra has got in whilst I was posting! Now it really does look like I was getting at M0nica grin.

Doodledog Tue 01-Dec-20 20:03:35

For me it depends on the situation. If someone was thinking of buying a new dress that didn't suit them, or have their hair cut in a way that looked awful, and asked me what I thought, I would tell them before they spent their money. If they asked after they'd spent £££ on the dress, or after the hair had been cut and dyed, I would be more tactful.

If someone already felt bad about something she'd done, I would try not to make her feel worse, but if I really felt that whatever it was was dreadful and she was planning to do it again I would probably suggest that it was a bad idea.

I think there is often a fine line between 'blunt' and rude, however (and I'm not saying that you are on the wrong side of it, M0nica - it's just that my post happens to follow yours smile.

I have a friend who tells people that they 'look a lot better than last time I saw you', or that they 'look really tired', which is just unnecessary, IMO. Similarly, commenting on people's weight is unkind, unless you know that they are trying to lose or gain it.

Sometimes people have spent ages convincing themselves that they look ok (maybe after an illness or an upsetting event) and the last thing they need is to be told that they don't. IT can shatter confidence for no good reason.

petra Tue 01-Dec-20 20:03:23

I would never give advice on personal matters on GN. Why, because I don't know 'you' and I would never have all the facts or the background.
Opinions are another matter. I'm far more blunt in real life, why, because those friends who ask know I will tell them the truth without mean intent. And yes, I've used the words pathetic and stupid to very close friends.

M0nica Tue 01-Dec-20 19:35:47

I am probably one of those who tends to be blunt, but I always let the thread run for a while, with people being kind and gentle before I say things directly.

Personally I hate being pussy footed around. I would always prefer it if people were direct with me, without wrapping it in flannel.

25Avalon Tue 01-Dec-20 11:36:29

If you post AIBU then you must expect answers both agreeing and disagreeing with you. Often the OP is having a rant and feels better by the end of the post or sometimes it is a more sensitive soul in need of help. Whichever there is really no excuse for rudeness and unkindness. Telling somebody there are stupid or pathetic is really not nice. Would the poster say such things face to face or are they hiding behind the anonymity which this site offers?
Imagine an agony aunt. They give advice which doesn’t always agree with the asker but is given in a helpful way.

Poppyred Tue 01-Dec-20 10:57:13

If I see a new post and my first reaction is “Oh ffss “ I rather not comment at all than risk hurting someone’s feelings. ( most of the time anyway....)

TerriBull Tue 01-Dec-20 10:47:42

I worked with and was very friendly with a German colleague many years ago, we socialised outside the office so got on really well. However, some of the other girls in the office found her very blunt, knowing her as well as I did, I can honestly say she wasn't bitchy that directness was a facet of her personality and possibly in Europe they say what they mean. For example, one of the other girls in the office bought a dress and held it up asking opinions, no doubt expecting them to be favourable. German friend took everyone's breath away by saying "it's really horrible!" Like most, even if I don't like something, I'd say I do, particularly to acquaintances, because I don't want to hurt their feelings and really if they like what they've bought it doesn't matter what other people think anyway. Possibly we have more honesty with our nearest and dearest, without being quite so blunt about it.

Poppyred Tue 01-Dec-20 10:25:16

Gransnet not for the faint hearted that’s for sure! 😂

Callistemon Tue 01-Dec-20 10:18:04

Anyone who posts the question of AIBU on the internet is bound to get some answers they don't like.
What they are doing is asking for affirmation that what they did or said was the right thing, moral, correct and reasonable and it might come as a shock if someone disagrees then others agree and say yes, they very unreasonable.

Some posters are more diplomatic than others, however, and some may voice opinions they would put more diplomatically in real life.

If anyone asks AIBU on an internet forum, they're taking their chances. Not for the faint-hearted.

timetogo2016 Tue 01-Dec-20 10:07:40

I feel that if you need to ask,you already know the answer.

sodapop Tue 01-Dec-20 09:22:58

I suppose that's ok if everyone thinks in the same way dragonfly46 isn't it interesting how different countries have different attitudes.

dragonfly46 Mon 30-Nov-20 22:36:33

I think on the whole we Brits are usually pretty kind compared to the Dutch. If you ask the Dutch if your bum looks big they will delight in telling you not only that it is big but go into detail of how big it is.
I developed a skin as thick as a rhino’s when living there.
They call it being direct and are very proud of it.

kittylester Mon 30-Nov-20 22:23:16


Interesting question Maw.

Sometimes I read an AIBU question and see the replies are so darned syrupy, I find I am too cowardly to go against the grain and swerve the thread.

You and me both urmston.

52bright Mon 30-Nov-20 21:50:44

If someone asks AIBU then I think they must be prepared for a range of perspectives on this. Hopefully they will give views due consideration.
IMO for those replying to those asking AIBU, honesty, tempered with courtesy, good manners and tact is the way to go.

Astral Mon 30-Nov-20 21:26:17

I would always value honesty in any important situation and any opportunity for me to learn and grow. Maybe I might have a bit of a silent tantrum until I'd heard and understood what I needed to.

When someone asks me if their bum looks big in something, I ask them "how do you feel in it" and they answer their own question usually. Then it's either, let's find the right one or let's buy it.

Doodledog Mon 30-Nov-20 21:25:18

I agree with Kalu.

Sometimes people just want to know that someone understands, and can empathise with them, even if they know they aren't being 100% reasonable - people aren't saints, although some posters set themselves up as if they were.

If someone (and any similarity to threads living or dead is entirely coincidental) posts to say that she is a bit resentful of her sister who is a glamorous talented millionaire with a loving and kindly George Clooney lookalike husband, there are those who will point out that there is no point in feeling like that, and that envy is a sin, complete with a patronising lecture on counting one's blessings.

Everyone knows that the reality is that life is sometimes kinder to some people than to others, but now and then it is human to feel emotions that are less than perfect, and we just want someone to agree that it's Very Unfair and that we would feel the same - the chances are that the next day the OP will be back to loving her sister, and accepting that whilst there is no chance that a mansion on Lake Geneva will ever be hers, she is actually quite happy with her own husband and their caravan in Skegness.

Kalu Mon 30-Nov-20 20:28:37

Far from being insensitive, something I am not advocating or being flippant. There is a difference in sensing when a poster genuinely needs support and in some cases, a bit of a gentler approach to offer a suggestion of a different approach or having a rethink for a solution which may help where situations have become difficult. I also fully appreciate some characters will obviously be stronger than others, which, reading between the lines gives an insight to a poster.

Others who post in AIBU, don’t get the repose which suits them, can turn nastily to those who are trying to help, thus showing, they certainly have a strong enough character.

Two very different characters altogether, hence, sometimes those with the stronger characters,just have to pull on their big girl pants and get on with things when in fact, they are capable of dealing with their own problems before turning to a forum of strangers.

Urmstongran Mon 30-Nov-20 20:17:03

Interesting question Maw.

Sometimes I read an AIBU question and see the replies are so darned syrupy, I find I am too cowardly to go against the grain and swerve the thread.

phoenix Mon 30-Nov-20 19:38:40

I seem to remember on a similar thread not too long ago, I gently (well, gently ish) pointed out " you asked the question, you got several answers, don't ask the question if you can't take the responses "

Smileless2012 Mon 30-Nov-20 19:32:59

I agree Casdon and it's not just on the AIBU threads, it happens on threads where people are asking for advice and/or support.

You don't have to be rude and/or insensitive just because you don't agree.

As for pulling "on our big girl pants and get(ting) on with it, in search of a solution" some if us are better equipped than others and we should be sensitive to those who aren't as 'able' as we are, and maybe just be thankful that we are.

Summerlove Mon 30-Nov-20 19:32:37

Being blunt does not always equal being rude.

Summerlove Mon 30-Nov-20 19:30:54


It's not whether or not you disagree with a poster but how that disagreement is expressed, and depending on how it's expressed will determine whether or not it's regarded as bullying.

Not always though.

Sometimes it’s enough just to have a different opinion.

Or not using flowery words to get a point across. Not being unkind, but not hiding disagreement in pretty words.