It’s hard and not everybody can do it. But it has to be done if you want to keep it real. What am I talking about? Being completely honest with friends, of course. All of us have lied to our buddies at some point – sometimes to protect them from reality, other times because the truth is too hard to talk about.
But are we really doing them any favors when we go out of the way to not burst their bubble? Sure, we may not be hurting them right now, but we are definitely doing some serious long-term damage, aren’t we?
If only kind, diplomatic words fixed everything! Sadly, sugar-coating and encouraging shitty behavior is not helpful and it’s definitely not the work of a good friend. Look, I enjoy conflict as much as the next person (i.e. not at all), but a mild approach has never fixed my friends’ problems the way serious truth bombs have. Whenever I have tried to point out an issue in an easygoing, low-key manner, nine times out of ten they have treated it casually. Things only got better when I sat them down and hit them with the truth. So what if this straight-talking hurt them badly and caused some frostiness? It helped them get their shit together and over time, improved our relationship too.
So whether it is informing your BFF that the person they are dating is nothing but a monster, or calling them out on their chronic tardiness, do it. Don’t just sit and watch them self-destruct or make poor choices from the sidelines – that’s what enemies are for.
See if you really care, you have no option but to be upfront.
While you can be honest without being harsh, there will be times you have no option but to be brutal. So toughen up, take a deep breath, and say what you need to say. If it stings, let it. Some things just have to be spelled out, because people are prone to being blind to their faults, no matter how glaringly obvious they are. Deliver the bad news in installments or say it over an email if you must, but be sure to put it out there.
And if you are afraid it might put an end to your friendship, was it really all that strong in the first place? Also, if your friends aren’t dependable, remember that you’re never too old to make new friends.