Be candid with your friends.
“Honey, does this look good on me?” Every husband knows that the answer to that question is, “You look great.” We don’t always say it, but we know the answer.
Beyond that bit of shallowness, we recognize that one of the great values of getting close to someone is the ability to be–in fact the obligation to be–completely honest with them.
Probably my best friend at work is Nathan. Although a terrific teacher and all around person, Nathan has a tendency to get pulled into positions of leadership that he finds overwhelming and utterly dreadful. Three years ago, he was detesting serving as the chair of a big campus-wide committee. Last year, he was swamped as president of the faculty senate. This year, he got sucked into serving on a different big committee.
When he resigned from that most recent gig, he expressed his relief. Instead of celebrating with him, I laughed and suggested that he’d soon let himself get lured into another difficult role. He looked at me funny for a moment, but since then he’s thought about that habit of his.
If we did not trust each other and enjoy each other’s company, I would not have been able to share that bit of criticism with Nathan. What he’ll do with it, time will eventually tell.
- Do you receive criticism and praise from your friends in an open and accepting manner?
- Do you offer criticism and praise to your friends in a way that helps them to become stronger?
- What friend can you pray to speak more openly to in the coming days?