One of the topics that seems to resonate with me as well as a lot of my friends lately is the idea of realizing who your true friends are, while also being more honest and upfront as we get older.
One thing we can all agree on, everyone has their own “stuff” going on, and most of the time, we don’t know all the details about what’s happening. As we get older, this can certainly affect relationships with friends. And sometimes, that’s just how life goes. You can’t be there for everyone, especially the friends that “go dark” on you.
With that in mind, I’ve determined that at this point, I am focusing on spending more time with people who truly appreciate my friendship and value me as someone who will have their back when they need me to, and vice versa.
It’s important that a real friendship has give and take. That each person is just as interested in your life as you are in theirs. And if that’s not the case, then maybe the friendship isn’t so real. I’m learning more about this all the time. I have “let go” of friends who were not getting in touch with me or reciprocating interest in my life-and although I hesitate to be this way, I know it makes sense. I also know that if these people decide to reach out sometime down the line, we can perhaps re-connect.
On the other side of a true friendship/ relationship is the ability to be direct about your opinion when asked for it or when involved in a group discussion. If a friend or family member asks me to share my thoughts or opinion about a particular situation or problem they are encountering, I’m happy to engage in dialogue that will hopefully be helpful. But I don’t sugar-coat the truth-I assume they are asking for my opinion because they want me to be honest. And most times, they seem to appreciate it.
Here are ways that I am trying to engage in more honest and direct conversations with friends and family:
- I listen to what people have to say first and digest it before giving my opinion.
- I ask questions to learn more about the situation so that I have as many facts as possible.
- I do my best to think before I speak, because word choice is very important when being honest.
- I sometimes re-phrase what was said to me so that I make sure we are on the same page and I’m understanding the situation accurately.
- There’s always at least a couple of different solutions when trying to solve a problem or change a situation-discuss them all before helping someone make a final decision.
- Most importantly, it’s critical to make sure that a friend or family member truly wants your honest opinion. The truth can be tough to swallow if not presented in the right manner.
Hope this honesty gives you some food for thought..I welcome your comments as always.