Is there such a thing as being too honest? I don’t think so, but if you know me, that probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. I also know that I am not perfect, nor is anyone else. What you are about to read is a true story that I couldn’t possibly fully depict or explain in it's entirety with words.
A few things have happened in the last year that got me thinking that either a) I need to cut back on my honesty b) other people need to learn how to accept an honest response or, c) maybe my thinking that a true friend will always be honest with me isn’t really true.
“Barb” and I were friends for 6 or 7 years. Bit-by-bit, I started noticing things that Barb would do that would make me stop and go “hmmm”. Barb pulled some really crappy moves with me and with other friends and after much consideration I decided to let Barb know what was on my mind. Albeit not pretty, or done in the most friendly of ways, I explained to her that I didn’t think she was being a good friend and detailed instances that supported my theory. It was always “All about Barb” and I never realized that until, well, I did. A friendship, like any other relationship, should be two-sided and with Barb it wasn’t. I know it sounds crazy, but looking at it retrospectively, it was almost as if she didn’t even understand that the things she would do would affect the other person. Needless to say Barb and I are no longer friends and I feel a weight lifted because of it. Supporting an unhealthy friendship is exhausting and I was done pretending all was a-ok.
Back to my original point: If you were Barb, would you have wanted to know that you weren’t a good friend? Would you have taken what was said and really thought about how you treat people? Could you self reflect and really think about why you treat people a certain way? Or, would you defend yourself and project back onto me?
My thoughts: If a friend, or anyone really, came to me and said, “Beth, I feel that you aren’t giving in our relationship and that sometimes you can be a little selfish. I don’t understand why you do _________ and/or__________. It hurts my feelings when you __________ and/or___________.” I would be mortified. Absolutely mortified. I would go home, sit on my couch and really think about what they said. I would feel terrible and probably make them something homemade as an apology gift (a little overboard, but I might actually do that). I would absolutely want to know if a friend of mine was having ill feelings towards me in any way. That is their job as my friend to be honest with me, regardless of how I might feel about it.
What about you? Would you want your friends/family to be honest with you?
What would you do with that information once it was received?
Why wouldn’t you want your loved ones to be honest with you?