"At what age can one lose her filter and just say whatever comes to mind without repercussions?"
Man is that a wonderful question. And the immediate answer that came to me was, "Most of us begin this way too late." Some people don't have this problem at all. Never do - and just toss it out there and they don't care where the plates land, or how badly they shatter. But for many, this is one of the toughest things to do in life. To really speak what's on our mind (in person) and have no fear of what others will think of us. And after thinking a bit more about it, sadly, this is something that develops over time and doesn't happen near early enough in life.
I see people in their 20's and even 30's all the time stressing out about the reactions of their peers over something that they say or do, but especially say. And it does take me back to an age that I would never go back to again. I admit, I still think very carefully before speaking most times, on the air on off. And I'm glad I do. That's just my DNA. I also put a ton of thought into social media posting as well. That is very easy to leave the wrong impression with people that hardly know you.
Truth is, the keyboard on our phones, tablets and computers has emboldened a new generation, young and old, with a sense of invincibility that anything can be said confidently, even defiantly without any repercussions. But there are, they just don't have to face the music in person. And that lacks - guts.
So what is the answer to "Jenny's" poignant question? I say, as soon as possible. But it begins with making sure you have the best people in your world that you can. And that begins with being that very person for others who may be wondering the same thing you are. Who are wishing silently, like Jenny, to be surrounded by those who simply want your total friendship, and your insightful perspective - unabashed, and straight forward. And will love you all the more for it. And for those who don't really know you, they at minimum will know where you stand. And that's OK too.
I do believe you teach people how to treat you. So be the person to them, you wish them to be for you.