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Question
Posted by: On my mind? | 2011/01/07

Is it better to always do and say the right things?

Hi,

I''m just wondering, you know when you get into situations and then afterwards, you think that you should have said something, but you didnt. You know, those things that you really think of people

Is it better to do the right thing or say the right thing than not do that? If you do the latter, do you get labelled an a**hole?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

By definition it is always best to do and say the "right" things, otherwise they wouldn't be "right". But its not often easy to be sure what the right thing is, at the time.
Now, it is not always best to tell people exactly what you think of them. Is it useful, let alone kind, to tell someone that they have a very large nose ? There's nothing they can do about it except feel bad, and its hardly their fault.
Lebelling by others shouldn't be a major consideration - some idiots are keen to abel anyone, and will probably label you whatever you choose to do. Look more at whether what you think should be done or said will improve the situation and the happiness of people, rather than the opposite of that.
But it depends so much on the situation - it's not a matter of showing how witty or even right you may be. And its a common observation what one often thinks of exactly the best thing to say, or the best way to say it, just afterwards. The French call these pensees d'escaliers, thoughts in the stairs, things you think of while leaving. Just learn so as to manage better next time. Rushin back in and blurting out the brilliant comment you thought of later, doesn't impress or help

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/01/08

By definition it is always best to do and say the "right" things, otherwise they wouldn't be "right". But its not often easy to be sure what the right thing is, at the time.
Now, it is not always best to tell people exactly what you think of them. Is it useful, let alone kind, to tell someone that they have a very large nose ? There's nothing they can do about it except feel bad, and its hardly their fault.
Lebelling by others shouldn't be a major consideration - some idiots are keen to abel anyone, and will probably label you whatever you choose to do. Look more at whether what you think should be done or said will improve the situation and the happiness of people, rather than the opposite of that.
But it depends so much on the situation - it's not a matter of showing how witty or even right you may be. And its a common observation what one often thinks of exactly the best thing to say, or the best way to say it, just afterwards. The French call these pensees d'escaliers, thoughts in the stairs, things you think of while leaving. Just learn so as to manage better next time. Rushin back in and blurting out the brilliant comment you thought of later, doesn't impress or help

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: On my mind? | 2011/01/07

I think what I said was misunderstood by mystic river. I consider myself a good observer and judge of character and for the most part, I do the right thing. Say the right thing - basically, say what people want to hear rather than the direct truth. Like, all those times you wanted to tell someone off, but didn''t.

Those witty combacks that you think about after the fact - do people ever say those things and not regret it?

Reply to On my mind?
Posted by: student | 2011/01/07

It depends on the situation and it also depends on you.

Reply to student
Posted by: Mystic River | 2011/01/07

How old are you? Do you really need external opinon on such a question, can you not answer it yourself from your own cognitive ability? Do you really care if you get " labelled"  anything? Do you suffer from low self esteem?

Reply to Mystic River

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