Can You Be an Honest friend?
Be honest with me now: Do you feel bad when a friend asks your opinion and you’re too afraid to tell them the truth? You don’t want to hurt her/his feelings as they’ve worked hard on the project, event, or outfit. I wish I had some honest friends when I had my make-up done for a friend’s wedding by the guy who did Danielle Steel’s (or one of those popular writing dames) TV make up. I had so much goop on my face, and lines highlighting this brow and that beauty spot, I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror. During the reception I got a few surprised looks. After the wedding I laughed out loud when I saw the photos. What on earth was I thinking?
Honest Friends are the best policy… embrace the cliché.
Have you ever hidden the real deal from a friend and it’s come back to bite you in the butt? Yes, and yes. I had an incident many years ago when I worked at a newspaper and Jen was a budding writer. She desperately wanted to get a piece published, so I assured her an opportunity and gave her an assignment, without reading her prior work. When the article arrived it was terrible. But, I gritted my teeth and showed it to my boss, who tossed it on the floor just missing the garbage can. If I wanted to print this junk I had to re-write it. Which I did, to my friend’s horror. She accused me of setting her up for failure. I’d intercepted her dream, which was being a published writer.I should have said to her – this needs work, so let’s do it together. Support her in her journey rather than pretending she delivered what I wanted. She backed off after that.
Although I did introduce her to her partner. I get a brownie point for that, don’t I? Hmmm….
Fearless means “be brave, not afraid.”
Honest friends = be fearless, unafraid and brave, with your friends. I give my friends’ permission to be honest and unafraid while communicating, collaborating, and sharing with me. Recently I sent a short story to a dear friend who passed it along to the e-magazine editor for review. “Spirituality and the City” was published, but if it hadn’t been published I would’ve appreciated her helping me get the story in front of the right person.
Fearlessness is not demanding that a friend do what you want them to do, or else. That’s being bossy.
Now, let’s turn Jen’s article story around. Jen could have been fearless and brave and said, “What can I do to make it better because I want to write the best stuff so we both look great.” But no, she accused me of not being a friend by supporting her.
Honest Friends Swing Both Ways!
If a friend hasn’t been honest with you ask them why. Do you demand too much from your friends? Expect them to hide the truth because when you hear the truth you get angry or vindictive?
It takes two, babeee… and as we’re both on this ride together, we’re both accountable for our own behaviors and expectations; whether you’re the giver of great fortune or the receiver.
Remember… a great friend starts with you!
If you’ve enjoyed this post go to “Making and Keeping Friends” by guest blogger, Sam Geiger.
Note from author: As my stories are from my own life story, I change names and details as to not embarrass anyone.
(Re-posted content from 2013)