People always tell me that “It’s hard to find true friends.” I used to just agree, nod my head, and say that there are more duplicitous individuals in this planet. But recently, I realized that the rare occurrence of true friends has its own reason, sometimes, especially in the culture from where I am now. We are of a very non-confrontational culture. I have a brutally frank nature that can go out of bounds when untamed. But it’s a land mine when it comes to keeping one’s friends.
Here is a lesson I learned the hard way: while you are willing to be a true friend to someone and overcome your fears to be able to tell someone something uncomfortable that other people have been hiding from him or her, your friend may not be able to handle the truth and take it out on you instead of handle the well-meant criticism.
Even when you really try your best to be a true friend to him or her during tough times, it does not exactly follow that your friend will appreciate your efforts to convey a painful message that can help him or her grow only if he or she is open to it.
This is a sad reality of life. Some people just somehow prefer that other people will backstab them or talk about them instead of hear honestly considered observations wrought out of love and concern. There are people who only make friends with people who say things that they want to hear. And they lash out at the slightest provocation.
True friendship ROCKS BOATS if necessary for another person’s well-being. True friendship can withstand even the most uncomfortable truths, even those truths that we cannot accept about ourselves.
The opposite of love isn’t really hate. It’s PRIDE.
Sometimes, you approach a situation in life where you encounter a damned if you do, damned if don’t scenario. It’s where you’ll be a very bad friend for not speaking up about what you know. On the other hand, you’ll still be a very bad friend in the eyes of your friend if you do decide to speak up. Good intentions do not always translate. Sometimes, they get lost in the ether and come out all wrong.
But at the end of the day, how do you feel about not saying anything to your friend even if you know that it’s causing him or her to have problems with other people? Will you feel better if you do not tell him or her the painful things? Will you just quietly join the other people as they try to hide what they really feel for him or her?
At the end of the day, you do your best to be a good friend. But even if you frame your words in the best way possible, your friend cannot appreciate and ascribe malice to your best intentions.
This is why friendship is so beautiful and painful. Because you have no choice on who becomes your family, but friendship is a CHOICE that happens mutually between two people. And when it lasts, when it stands the tests of time and painful confessions, it’s even more wonderful.
While friends who cannot handle your honesty cannot hold on to you, you can hold on to the fact that you have not done it out of spite but more out of genuine concern for that person’s welfare. And if that person cannot appreciate the brand of friendship that you can offer, you will actually be surprised that in the next bend, you will find someone who can.