true friends stab you in the front -oscar wilde

where is the line between loyalty, truth, and friendship. this was the
topic of conversation as three friends and i ventured through the
confusing but well lite streets of downtown tokyo last night. my head
swooned with past cases in life where i desperately wanted to say
something to my friends but i shut my mouth for the sake of the so
called 'friendship'. now i want to think i know better. what better place to talk such matters of life than at a traditional japanese cuisine better known as TGI Fridays. but this culture is beautiful, i have never seen a more respectful people in the entire world. The streets are clean, everyone takes pride in their profession, the art is intriquing, and the architecture is some of the most awe striking and futureistic in the world.

'Don't believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves.'
-albert camus

i'm sure mister camus was making light of this topic, but i wonder sometimes if this is what people really want, a nod of false approval over the reproach of honesty and eventual clemency.

when and where is the point where the betterment of the other persons life
is more important than a friendship? when do you care more about the
other person than the time you have invested in that person. i think a
true, real, and deep friendship must contain honesty to the point
where it hurts, and inevitablly there will be some ammount of pain in any good relationship.

i recently had a friend who was in an absolutely in an unhealthy
relationship. i was not yet that steeped into a deep friendship with
them so i felt at ease in confronting the situation. since that moment, however,
our friendship has deepened immensely because they saw that i cared greatly for them and it gave them free liberty to be honest and pour into my life. something i desperately want from all my friend's, i don't want to maintain the false opinion of myself if it means my character is not developing on a continual basis due to a lack of accountability.

i am at loss for words or know how on this situation as i am faced yet again with approaching a best friend this time. i have invested many years and many hours of pouring hearts to one another. i don't know how to approach him/her, and am wrestling with simply keeping my mouth shut for the fluidity of our friendship. but i know now if i wanted to be approached with candid honesty than i must report with candid honesty. i have time, wondering these streets i am left with some sense of solitude because i only know two words in japanese.  

-esteban

Comments

Sarah said…
Mmm...I hate it when that happens. I totally agree with everything you're saying...I hate strife of any kind, which is why I tend to skim over truth and come up with an abstract euphemism and then rapidly change the subject. But my best friends became my best friends because of their total honesty. They're the only people who know exactly how I really feel about everything. Take courage. Honesty is hard, but it is always the best.
guard my dreams said…
i guess those are the times when you really test your friendship and find out how much you really care about a person. anyone can sit around and tell you what you want to hear, but a real friend will tell you the truth. thats kind of a hard subject for me, because i hate conflict of any kind and really i probably need to have more honesty.

i had a friend that i was always totally and completely honest with and she will always be the best friend i've ever had. but then i realized that i was so caught up in being honest with her about my life that i hadn't noticed changes in hers. she had become someone that i didn't want to be around anymore and it just hit me very suddenly really because of my honesty with her.

that was a little off-topic from your blog, but i guess im just saying that honesty is a necessary thing between close friends, but don't get too wrapped up in your honesty that you forget theirs.
David Malcolm said…
I've generally found a rule in my own life. I only say something if I can honestly see it helping the situation. Too often people need to be talked to when they're hurting, and people jump in to say something without thinking of how the situation could actually be helped.
I refuse to open my mouth unless I am willing to walk with that person till they're at a place where they don't need me anymore. Then again I often end up in friendships with people who know I care deeply about that, and thankfully I get to show that when they're not being self destructive too.
I think sometimes we end up loosing friendships when we jump in to tell someone how to live their lives when we haven't enriched that person's life ourselves yet. They have no reason to trust us.

When I came out of the closet, my "conservative Christian" friends from back in youth group when I was younger largely turned their backs on me believing that some how by confronting me they'd bring me back to God, and show me how much they loved me. They were convinced I was being self destructive and that some how this confrontation would help me.
The thing is, they honestly didn't care for me near as much as the friends that have stuck by me. It's frustrating because a lot of my friends from College have now gone back to other parts of the country. But I've thankfully found new friends.

I think I went down a rabbit trail there. I guess the minimal bit of wisdom that I have is, sometimes we do need to confront people, but often we can confront people without ever having to make it a confrontation. Sometimes it's just convincing them that you honestly love them and you think they would be better if they changed something. I think the thing that makes it easiest to take that kind of news from a friend is the knowledge that you're loved. The greatest command is to love God and love others. If this is left out even if the advice or direction is right, it will still be wrong.
Antoinette said…
I was driving with a friend once, and her friend had done something that bothered her.. but she never talked to him about it since she didn't want it to ruin their friendship, and she didn't want him angry at her. I said I thought it'd be better to confront the problem even if it causes a fight, which was pretty hypocritical of me because while I don't act like everything's perfect, my actions are too subtle for anyone to notice that something's wrong. And sometimes I only want to be told what I want to hear, that everything is good. But honesty could make a relationship stronger. I can't think of any close friends who I haven't faced problems with, and without communication the problems didn't go away.
Katie said…
Friendships are so tricky in that way... When it's a friendship that isn't as deep I'm afraid that it isn't my place to say anything, and when it is deep, I am afraid of causing them that pain. Lose, lose.
Chris said…
I sense that this situation has you torn between doing/saying what you know in your heart is the right thing to do/say and doing/saying what others would expect of you to maintain the friendship.True friendship must be based on honesty. The only way we can truly get close to another is by letting our guard down and letting the other person see us and not the many masks that we sometimes feel we need to wear in the world today. In light of a quote I once read, "Advice is like mushrooms...some can be deadly!" So, enough of my perspective...Here's the Bible's "...Everyone should be quick to listen,slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for a man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires". (James 1:19-20) Pray that God would give you the wisdom...whether to listen or speak the truth, in love.
Anonymous said…
perhaps honesty is a sign of maturity as well... we are not so worried about what someone thinks of us as we are about telling the truth. i associate honesty in relationships with maturity and growth.

what is truly hard for me to accept is when someone doesn't want to grow. We can continue loving the person...and telling the truth. Sometimes people want to continue in unhealth just b/c they want to. I think sometimes this genuinely takes time for people to come to the point where they want a change for themselves--usually their pain has to become greater in their current situation then the fear they have about changing and moving into health. Other times, people continue choosing unhealth...and it IS going to affect other people. i had to cut off a relationship like this. I kept telling myself to be patient, that surely this person would step into growth...but sure enough they would not. They are still hurting other people and i had to take a step away. This is not always the case...sometimes people are just hurting themselves...but does sin or unhealth ever JUST affect us? It almost always affects a community or at least a relationship....
It takes a lot of wisdom to do what is right and a lot of LOVE to do it in a way that gives people the benefit of the doubt and the space they need to grow forward. Sometimes we really CAN see something that is going on in that another person can't see. We all have blind spots.
I'm sure they know you love them genuinely. If they continue in unhealth, it is b/c they want to or they are afraid. I believe it IS the truth that can set us free.
People have to choose their own path and unfortunately sometimes suffer the consequences. Sometimes that is the way they CHOOSE to learn.
Best case scenario, the person's heart will be soft and ready to make a change. I believe that prayer helps. It is not our jobs to change people. It is our job to
LOVE PEOPLE and TELL THE TRUTH--even if it hurts. It might hurt a whole LOT more if you have the chance to speak and don't. It might cause a rift, or in my case, you might even lose a relationship. i didn't choose to lose that relationship. I chose to be honest. It showed there can be consequence of doing what is right. But i know I loved this person maturely and it felt like a growth point for me to say what I really thought, to hope that the relationship could handle it. I stood in what I truly believed and loved with all my heart.
Anonymous said…
isn't this also true of injustice?
"evil reigns when good men do nothing."
(or in other cases, say nothing.)
i hope seeing people be broken (whether the person in question or the others around them) will move us to open our mouths and LOVINGLY and honestly love people or do something in response to what we see. But in issues of relationships or issues of injustice, we can't be in control of other man or woman's free will. we will have to either accept or respond to their choices...

like the story of that sea thing whose nature is was to sting...
do we really just keep letting them do it? Do we leave them alone or tell them they are hurting themselves and others...

sometimes love stays patiently in..and sometimes love speaks boldly, and sometimes (in the case of abuse especially) love needs to be tough.
Book of James said…
Domo Arigatu Mr. Roboto.

Not everything that you think of should be said, even if it is true. Gossip can be spoken in truth, Backstabbing slander can be true, but these things are intended to hurt.

Some in the church enjoy speaking the truth about others according to their own interpretation of the truth. As a slave to the truth, they have made it an idol.

There is no grace in this truth. It is self righteous, seductive, and controlling. Truth without love in reality ceases to be truth.

The other reality about truth is that people can only be set free by the truth when they are willing to accept it.

Discern the mindset of your friend, decide whether to speak or not and then proceed in love. The consequences will take care of themselves…

“Unquestioning respect for authority is the greatest enemy of the truth.”

Einstein

Cheers
nadia [♥] said…
do it with love.
chris said…
its just as you said it. a true friend will stab you in the front. if you are genuinely concerned for a friend (a close one at that) then you should tell it like it is because your friend will see that you are indeed sincere
Anonymous said…
thats crazy! this is exactly what i am wrestling with at the moment! How do you know the boundries of truth and keeping quiet for the sake of keeping 'friendly'?


If you find out let me know!! Or any of the other bloggers / commentors on this matter...PLEASE educate me!
deb said…
it is difficult to so say things that you know are good for them, but will hurt them in the process. sometimes, losing the friendship means so much more than just losing their company, time and effort. the timing has to be right, the words have to be right and we have to be discerning. i have lost friendships in the past that are party my fault where the timing has not been right. and it hurt a lot. but i'm glad i do have friends where i can be transparent and accountable with.
holly said…
i had a close friend, a very close friend who read my personality in strange ways i still have not accepted. he only wanted to 'help' me, but months from then we hardly ever talk... i remember this guy telling me, 'i only tell my opinion to people who i think can take it, and before i thought you could, but now...' i don't talk to this dude much nowadays, but then again you are not this person, you seem alot more mature and knowledgable, so good luck.
Jessica said…
That's a sharp irony from Oscar Wilde!I agree with your point of view that there must be absolute honesty in a true friendship.But sadly, most people are pretentious and pose to be real friends. Friendship is time tested and only those who share all our joys and sorrows are our real friends.Best friends have become a myth these days and it seems like everybody is ready to stab you from behind.That's the reason for our skepticism.I feel bad because I've lost touch with some of my best friends.It really hurts.You'll love to check out some interesting friendship ideas that I've posted on my blog and have a great week!
laurafee said…
Honesty is always the best policy. However, keep in mind Ephesians 4:29 - "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
helen said…
If your friendship is strong enough, and the other person involved is mature enough, whatever you need to say to them, say it. If they value you as a friend, they will take it well, or as i've experienced not so well at first, but will come around and figure out you only want to help them. You only want what's best for them.
It has been said that the truth is the hardest thing to say, and I agree. Not telling your friend keeps the fluidity of your friendship, but it could be something that comes back to haunt you too. And what's to say that telling them wouldn't keep the fluidity of the friendship, they might appreciate your honesty.
Being honest with someone is a sign you are comfortable around them, no matter how hard the honesty turns out to be.
I've experienced conflict by not telling a friend something, but at the time I felt it was best not to.
I hope you find the right decision, and that it works out for you. Enjoy Japan!
mae said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
mae said…
friendships are beautiful, delicate things. but i believe humans are strong and resilient. as we all know, the only way to test friendship is to be able to confront the person and the situation and learn from it. mutual trust and honesty is difficult to find, but necessary for the growing process. although one person may be giving it while the other is holding back a bit, there really is no other way to develop friendship without going through this dynamic. you have to be trusting in yourself. be not afraid of tension or pain, but really know that the challenge will bring out something better. you will know the individual better and yourself as well in relation to the friendship. like you said, "didn't want any promises, just my undivided honesty". it's not the easiest thing to give, but the best thing we have to offer to someone.
philip said…
i have yet to experience a friendship so strong that someone would be willing to stab me in the front.

friendship is something very difficult for me. does true friendship actually exist? i think that it can, but i have yet to truly see it or take part in it. most of the time, friendship is defined as "let me use you for my purposes."

Kahli Gibran said this: "Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity."
philip said…
oh, and i was reading another comment about a guys friend who always wanted to "help." i know someone like this and can't stand him. he treats me like i'm an apprentice who needs to learn from his vast wisdom of the world. even though what he says may be true, there is no possible way for me to listen to him when he speaks as if he's some wise prophet.

i think that's the tricky thing, telling people the truth without sounding stuck up. i'm afraid that i have made that mistake with a friend.
themockingbyrd said…
Good heavens, Mr. Christian, you touch on the subject of some of my recent thoughts.

Within the past week, I've gone through a similar situation--not so much about honesty, but about how to handle friendships. In essence, a friend of mine was compromising her integrity to speak to me, and I told her that I couldn't lend my tacit support to something like that, and so I ended the phone conversation.

We simply have to do things that hurt at times, and I don't think in any circumstances that it's right to withhold something if it needs to be said, but I think there are times when things shouldn't be said--when it's best to wait and simply be a listener for the moment. I'm not advising running from bringing the hard truth to someone's attention, but there are times when one shouldn't be too fast to bring what one assumes is a hard truth to someone's attention.

I have damaged friendships (thank heavens, that survived in the end) by trotting out what I took to be hard and painful truths that weren't actually true.

On the other hand, to paraphrase Proverbs, lots of people will flatter someone, but the man who rebukes them will find more favor in their eyes afterwards.
Anonymous said…
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
-Theodore Geisel
Emily Grace said…
"when and where is the point where the betterment of the other persons life is more important than a friendship?" that's the point when 'friendship' is turned into out and out love.

When I first read your blog today I immediately thought of a scene near the end of "Perks of Being a Wallflower" when Sam confronts Charlie about how he had remained silent through his friendships with Sam and her brother (i'm blanking on his name.) The true colors of a friend are shown in their willingness to abandon all the time they've spent with that person for the sake of that person. I'll try to find the quote I'm thinking of.
Daniel said…
What I hear you reflecting on is the difference between 'like' and 'love'. To be truly loving, with the kind of love which Christ demonstrated and intends us to demonstrate does not just mean being 'nice', but seeking the very best for those we are in relationship with. And sometimes that means saying tough words to a friend such that they will grow, and conversely being prepared for tough words from friends who want the best for you. This topic always reminds me of the rich man. Jesus doesn't have easy words for him, and Jesus isn't particularly 'nice', but Jesus does love the rich man (Mark 10: 17-21).

Glad to hear you're enjoying Asia. Travel safely!

Daniel+
Sarah said…
Follow up: You got me thinking with this blog so much, that I wrote my own! blog.myspace.com/whiteconchshell, if you are bored at all.
Anonymous said…
Cheers, Einstein!

What you said rang so true to my life. Thank you for sharing....

Also, I like the idea of not always telling EVERYTHING you see...b/c that is not our job.
However, there is a time where we can use our mouths to love--and I think we might know when that time is!

I also venture to say if several people in our lives are all saying the same thing or at least say it when we ask them...we may have good reason to believe it could be true.

If we could find a few people like that in our lives (who are both honest AND wise!), we could be sharpened beautifully!
Kaila said…
I've been struggling with that lately.

Sometimes my friends do things that bother me, but instead of confronting them, I keep it to myself, or even complain to other people. It's not a good thing at all. But lately I've been working on my friendships. In the end, they are the ones who are there for me.
Andrew said…
Good entry. When I read your entry title it reminded me of this one old thrice song...dang I can't remember what the title of it was. It was off of Illusion of Safety I think. Anyways, I think you should do what you feel is right to do. But whatever you do, you have to keep in the mind the possible consequences. Whatever you do, don't dive into any decision like this blindly. It creates so many problems.
Janelle said…
It's funny, because this describes me & my friends so well. We're always afraid of telling each other when there's a problem, & in the end it ends up to one big blow up of a few people being upset with each other & the rest caught in the middle. I'm finally at a point now where I'm being more honest, because I've realized most of what you mentioned. One day, we got to a point where we said, "Okay, we need to talk about what is going on" & had what we called "honesty time", where we sat & talked & got everything out, & it was great. The timing for this was nearly perfect.
Andrew said…
About 8 months ago my best friend decided to sacrifice our relationship because he was too scared to confront me about what my girlfriend at the time was doing. So in the end I lost a friend and a girlfriend but gained respect for myself and realized that I inevitably decide who i will let into my life and that I was better than that situation.

Reading this was a big help I wish you would've written it about a year ago though, it would have eased the transition into the situation (if that makes any sense)
day na said…
the word itself has become a little confusing these days. as in, it's ok to be honest about some things, but you can lie about others. i find that wrong; i also find myself a hypocrite in that way. i think i'll try and change that.

have fun in japan! hope the tour goes well!
Julia said…
Honesty and any relationship is a struggle, but it's a struggle you must accept if your going to be a true friend. I know I hate hearing things from friends when I feel i'm being judged. Try and be as loving and gentle as you can in your approach. This last weekend I was talking with a family member who was complaining about how a friend of hers was a bit of a Liar. She would leave out details of a story and say one thing only to contradict herself later. I took that opportunity to say sometimes I felt like she (my family) member acted in the same way. She was a little shocked and asked what I meant. So I brought up the subject of her ex-boyfriend and how their relationship was. Bringing up how she also left out details and contradicted herself alowed us to have a long and in depth conversation about what happened in that relationship. We were able to get into the real Meat of the situation because I was looking for an opportunity to bring it up and when it presented itself I went in gently and we are closer now- I know that for sure! When I had confronted her before she wasn't very forth coming maybe because I brought up the subject or maybe because she wasn't ready to have the conversation with me- I don't really know. I do know that when the conversation came natually from a seperate place I guess it felt like less of an attack??? Just be gentle and look for opportunities to talk is my advice. Good luck with it Stephen i'm sure your heart will guide you in the right direction. ~ J
Brightest said…
as cheesy as this may sound, honestly go with your heart and what feels right because in the end in will turn out the way it should be.

i have been (as most of us) been in a similar situation. i had a best friend for years who started making decisions that were terrible for her..absolutely terrible. for about a year our friendship was rough until it ultimately ended and she continues to make decisions that could potentially ruin her life.

this past november a bunch of my old classmates and i met for dinner and she was there, later that night she pulled me aside and thanked me for always being there for her, even if she didn't like it.

i wouldn't expect my family to tell me what i wanted to hear all the time and i woudn't expect that from a good friend either.
Meg-a-roni said…
Well you have either two options. You can tell the friend and hope that he/she will either respect your friendship more and you more for telling them the truth (whether or not they listen to your advice) or you don't tell them the truth and allow guilt to lay heavy upon you every time you hang out with this person. I would go with the first option. No matter how dyre the opion is that you give, the other person should already respect you enough (especially if you have made loads of invested time for them)to take your good opinion into consideration. If this person just shrugs you off and doesn't want to have this friendship anymore, than your friendship was never built on trust and truth from the beginning and is therefore not really worth investing time and energy into. If I were you Stephen, and I am not, I would pray about this first of all, then pray about how to tell them, then pray that God would give you an opportunity to tell this person (if it is His will for you to tell them), finally I would just go for it.

There is nothing worse than a friend who throws you into the deep end, then turns around and lets you drown.

Be that friend that rescues that person, whether they know they need to be rescued or not, even if they never say thank you.
lizzy said…
it's tricky for sure. looking back on the past year, i've seen that my close friends could have saved me from a lot of pain if they had simply told me what an idiot i was being. on the other hand, at a time in my life when almost everyone else was telling me that i was acting stupid [they were right, but it was a blow to my self-esteem], i appreciated the faith my friends seemed to have in my good judgement. i just don't know.

on tokyo: the idea of such a respectful and 'advanced' society is interesting to me. i wonder how it affects people's friendships? is it less appropriate to speak your mind to a friend who needs to hear the straight goods, or are people more concerned with genuine respect than with mere etiquette? if you look at england, a country known for its propriety, their careful manners seem to have backfired on them and produced one of the highest youth crime rates in the world.

also some of the best punk.

but maybe there are other factors in the youth crime situation.
Anonymous said…
Oh Yeah, for all the cultural and social history and reverence, Japanese society is one of the most predjudiced and closed in the world.

It doesn't mean they can't and aren't changing.

So beware what you revere in other people and other societies. we are all so human and flawed...

James
Lizzy said…
i thought about it this some more while i was at work. what about those times when a friend is hell bent on destroying his life, and refusing to listen to anything you say to him. the pain you feel can drive you crazy; it's almost as if they begin to destroy your life as well, b/c your gentle and loving confrontation is being ignored. i don't know about this either. friendship is one of the messiest things i know of. so rewarding but so, so hard.
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Dagbert said…
The world is a totally different place when you don't know how to talk to it.

When you can't make your words understood, you really have to go beyond the most basic forms of communication.

Best of luck in Singapore and beyond.
Really great meeting you guys last night.
Anonymous said…
I have learned that if we know something that can be productive for another person to know then we should share it. however we should also be prepared for the reaction of that person to not be what we may expect.
We all have choices to make in this life and even with the best advice we can still go through life blind.
Tell your friends and if they are truly your friends it wont matter, and even if they get upset let them, eventually they will get over it and love you again. And thank you for caring so much about them that you were willing to risk it all for their sakes...
:) Angel
Lindsay said…
i think you need to make sure that what you want to confront them with is truly for their benefit. sometimes we can really really want something so bad from someone, but it isn't necessarily the best thing for their life at that particular time.
obviously i dont know the situation, and you may very well be wanting the best for them, and want them to mature and excell in their walk of life...but yeah...something to really grapple with i think.
at the end of the day, love is going to win. not honesty. it will prompt honesty, but your love for your friend will hopeuflly shine through first.
hopefully there is some sense in that.
Anonymous said…
Honesty...is an interesting concept. Many times i've saved friends from pain by using honesty...one time I was honest with a best friend about her character and it shattered our relationship and we barely talk now...
nicholas aaron said…
This post made me think of a quote from Donald Miller, and I apologize for quoting the ever-so-trendy Mr. Miller, but I think it was in his book "Through Painted Deserts" (I could be wrong) that he spoke about taking on a, "You are more important than me" mindset. I think it's an amazing motto to live by.

If you truely care about this person, then you should be able to look at them and think, "Wow, you are more important than me, and because of that fact, we need to talk..."

What's holding you back from speaking your mind? Is it the selfish thought of losing that person? What good are you doing by keeping your mouth closed?

"A wise man is only wise if he can admit that he is truely foolish."

Just some stuff to think about. I wish you the best in this situation.
Emily Grace said…
Here's the quote I mentioned earlier. The whole context takes place on pgs 200-1. "'..It's like you can come to Patrick's rescue and hurt two guys that are trying to hurt him, but what about when Patrick's hurting himself? Like when you guys went to that park? or when he was kissing you? Did you want him to kiss you?'
I shook my head no. 'So why did you let him?'
'I was just trying to be a friend,' I said.
'But you weren't, Charlie. At those times you weren't his friend at all. Because you weren't honest with him.'"
sharkabamboo said…
I just found your blog a few days back. I really enjoy reading it loads, especially the entry dated March8 2007!

Keep on blogging! It's a joy reading your blog, cause you seem so modest.


BTW, THE ANBERLIN/COPELAND CONCERT IN SINGAPORE WAS THE BOMB!
please do come back to perform again :)
tehillim said…
you know the biblical idea to confess your sins to one another, im assuming most practically for accountability? i think, much like the oft-neglected flip side to "love others as yourself" idea requires that you love yourself as well, i think there is similarly an unspoken premise that our relationships must be strong and free enough to present these cases. and much like the friend you said appreciated your concern and honesty, the cases in which i engage in honesty result in stronger ties. may no mask be worn to earn false favor.
heatherxrayex3 said…
you inspire me, but not for superficial reasons. im not inspired because of the way you do yer hair, or the way you dress, i'm inspired by the way you write, and express how you feel to the world. i may be only fourteen, but the things you write have really made me think about my life, who i am, who i want to be, and my future. i don't know you personally, but yer honesty and thoughts have made a big difference in my life already. i hope you never stop writing. you are truly incredible!
heatherxrayex3 said…
i party agree with mr. camus.
some people truly do want you to be honest with them,
but other people dont.
i think it depends on who yer talking to,
and how truly honest yer willing to be with that person.

when do you honestly care more about anyone,
than you care about yerself?

that is the question.
and if you have an answer,
let me know.
Friendship is tough love. There are friends or aquaitences; and there are close friends. Close friends should be guarded with your heart, a friend you would do anything for. Everybody loves to have friends, and we crave to be liked by others. But the truth of the matter is that as much as we would like to, we cant be everybody's best friend. I have recently learnt that developing true friendships is one of the most important things in life. What is the point of living your whole life with a whole bunch of aquaintences but no one truly knows you. Are we too afraid to let someone close, to know our weaknesses and flaws? A true friend will. A close friend will want to know the truth because they value you and what you have to say.

Today we are so consumed by our wants and own needs that we even want want want and take take take from our own friends. I can be the first to pick a fault in a friend, yet who am I to say that I am the best friend to others. Do i put their needs before mine? We expect so much from our friends, and if they fail to meet those expectations we can put our guards up. I have begun so see the true light in my friendships. Friendships should be give and take (from both sides)-we're in this relationship together! This might mean that our time and effort is only invested in a few close friends. If we give ourselves to everyone, there will be nothing left! There will be bits of me floating around everywhere, without the opportunity for anyone to know the whole me.
Anonymous said…
I think there's a lot of truth in that statement. My best friend, who I consider an extension of myself even when she's on the other side of the world, is my best friend because she pulled me aside one day and cut me down. It was what I needed to hear and we moved forward. She is the person I trust most in the world.
When my best friend was making bad decisions, I however chose not to speak up. That still hurts. She says she wouldn't have listened, and it is true that someone needs to come to a point in themselves when they realise something isn't good for them, but somehow it would have been better to speak up. It doesn't mean anger. It will come from love if you're hurting over them hurting themselves.
I find it helpful to think about what I would like a friend to do if I was in a similar situation...
Whatever you choose to do, it will always hurt. Both people generally hurt, but it turns out better in the end.
And nothing is irreperable.
Anonymous said…
I've always believed that truth and honesty went to those who deserved it.

I had a best friend who was getting himself involved with a completely unhealthy relationship with a girl we both knew. So I put myself out there for him and warned him about her, even though I knew I was risking a perfectly good friendship with a perfectly nice girl who was just lacking in the commitment department. Against my advice, he plunged head first into the relationship and even went so far as to bring it up in front of the two of us. I felt deeply hurt that he would betray me, but I've come to realize that I've lost him as a friend and that no matter what happens, I had done my duty to him as a friend.

Regardless of what happened, I don't think this has changed my stand on telling the truth. I know more about her than I did before, but I have chosen to keep quiet quite simply because I refuse to make the same mistake I made with him before. There are just some occasions when your friends need to learn on their own. The important thing is that you try.

Sometimes, all this pain and anguish that we go through for other people - just isn't worth the stab in the front. I believe that you will know when to tell the truth or when to keep quiet for the fluidity of the friendship because deep inside, you'll know whether that person is worth it or not. And even if it backfires, you know you've done your part.
Anonymous said…
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worth checking out, spreading the word and supporting. The man who started micahchallenge survived the rwanda genocide, lost his parents, siblings and grandparents. His immediate family survived and started to take in kids who were left wandering the congo. A foster care system was started for remaining kids who were left with no family and it has become what it is today..again
http://www.micahchallenge.org.au/pages/content.asp?plid=8
Adrienne said…
I have been struggling with your post ever since it was first posted because in stabbing a friend in the front it creates conflict and I HATE CONFLICT! I have been burdened to speak to a friend for quite awhile now and at times I have cried myself to sleep because I just don't want to do it!
I have been asking God to help me accept the choices they are making but it kills me! Cuz I want more for them than to be happy....I want them to be whole. To know who they are for what God has made them to be. Not simply filling themselves with the next best thing.
Well that ends my rant.
Story of a Girl said…
Once again... thanks for this post, though I'm reading it over a year later, lol

Really made me think of what a friendship should really look like. We have to be there for a person... not just to encourage them or flatter them but to help them. They need our honesty...
Lulu said…
I forget who said this, (I remember quotes but the name of the quoted always eludes me) "Conflict, properly handled, deepens friendship." Paradoxical, but true. Thank you for being honest. Honesty (and fantastic artistry)were what drew me to your music. Keep writing.
S.C.V. said…
I am a fan of anberlin and always have felt an understanding of their songs when I fell upon this blog. This post helped me alot last year when I went through friends doing something to me. I found who were my true friends and it is true friend do stab you in the front and a few weeks ago I went through a humiliating experience with one who was a little more than a friend. Sometime you find that close friends will even stab you directly in the heart. This post helpes me each time and this blog does too. Thank you for creating this it helps to see others go through similar things.

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