As for what is the right question...even I don't know that. Sorry.
It can be at times.Like being nice is THE imperative?
Also, I don't know what vibes I give off IRL, but I have noticed that my very close friends seem to "walk on eggshells" when they have something critical to say to me. Perhaps it's more that they know I'm sensitive and are trying to spare my feelings. (My family seems to have no problem telling me all of my faults. ) Admittedly, if you are on my "I don't trust your motives" list, I don't take your criticism well. Usually, I will hear it, mull it over and decide if it is valid, even if I don't like it, but you will see that I'm not happy. But if I feel you are genuinely trying to help me and not just rake me over the coals, then I sincerely want to hear what you have to say. I'm working on taking it in quietly and not immediately trying to defend myself.
Editing to add: Just to clarify, someone would have to have a long history of game-playing/unacceptable behavior to get on my "I don't trust your motives" list.