One of the things I value most in my friends is their willingness to tell me like it is. They're never abrasive and intentionally brutal - but they love me enough to call me out when needed, and to sidestep the sugarcoating. That right there is true friendship. True honest love.
Think about a time when you were hesitant to be completely honest with a friend for fear of hurting their feelings, making them feel worse, etc. As friends, we often feel compelled to show support. Solidarity. Multiple exclamations of "I gotchu, girl! You tell 'em!" High five them for letting their boss have it, praise them for sticking it to their spouse, applaud them for blowing off an obligation to go out with friends instead. Rationalize their decision for ditching their goal to do xyz. That's what friends are for, right?! W R O N G O.
Now it's time to be honest with yourself. Ready? Okay, here we go. Ask yourself: Why am I reluctant to be honest with my friend? Is it because I feel unsupportive if I don't confirm and validate their action/opinion? Is it possibly because...I am trying avoid the discomfort of telling them like it is?
Chances are...it's the latter. Of course, a small part of it is us truly not wanting to rub salt in the wound/make our friends feel bad/worse. But if we're being honest with ourselves - we just personally don't want to experience the uneasiness of acknowledging the truth. Right?! It's easier for everyone to just pretend like, "YES - lighting into that biotch for daring to look at your man was totally the right thing to do." "You go girl for quitting your third job this year - they clearly don't appreciate what a gem you are." "That guy is DEFINITELY into you. He's obvi scared by how much he likes you, so he's not texting." "Yes, you should absolutely buy those $200 jeans even though money's been tight - they look phenomenal on you!"
But if you're truly a good friend - you'll prioritize your friend's overall well-being over your present comfort. You'll sacrifice your comfort for their welfare. Ask yourself: What will serve them best long-term? Leveling with them and gently acknowledging their hurtful behavior (hurtful to you, to them, to others)? Kindly helping them face facts and address their issues? Guess what?! Doing so will help them significantly more in the long run, by helping them grow and evolve and escape their limiting thoughts/actions.
Once you've spoken your truth, offer support and love. Provide encouragement. It's not enough to just identify the issue - actually help them through it! If roles were reversed, wouldn't you rather have someone give it to you straight, instead of simply placating you? It might sting initially, but trust me - confronting the issue head on now stings a helluva lot less than if you were to avoid it and have it grow and sucker punch you later.
Furthermore, when you're honest with someone, your praise and compliments will carry considerably more weight. They'll recognize your authenticity and know you mean what you say.
The truth is... I love you all.