Your opinion doesn’t count
I read something the other day which made so much sense and sealed my understanding on when an opinion actually counts. The gist of it was that if a friend, associate or partner came up to you to ask your opinion about something they had just purchased, that opinion would not really count, because, if they truly needed your opinion, they would have consulted you before they actually bought it. At that point, they are looking for a sympathetic ear to validate the decision made, and not a critical view on what had been purchased.
We must then be able to ascertain from conversations if our opinions are truly needed or if they won’t count at all. There is no need expressing an opinion, as true as it may be, if it is not solicited thus causing tensions between you and the other party.
There will be more than enough opportunities when people will genuinely seek your advice, so be prepared for those moments, and be certain to avoid the scars that can come from expressing an opinion that doesn’t really count.