Monday, October 29, 2007

Friends and Honesty

I should be asleep now, but instead I figured I'd blog about something that's been on my mind a lot lately. The question is, to what extent do you want your friends to be honest with you (and vice versa)?

I personally like to think one of the most important roles my close friends have is to call me out on my bs. They can tell me when I'm wrong, am acting too full of myself, or am taking a passive-aggressive stance on something. In this way, they help to shape me as a better person, and challenge me in new directions. Apparently, though, honesty is not always the best policy, for some friends I know are overly sensitive to certain things. And since I've never been able to lie worth a damn, I avoid the subject matter unless asked.

However, why do some people ask questions they don't want to know the answer to? I mean, I had to train my mother not to ask me about physical relationships with guys, but she finally got the message. Nothing irks me more than when people go fishing for a compliment or some other desired response, and are hurt when I tell them my honest opinion. Now, granted, I may not always give positive feedback as often as I should, and I'm working on that, because it is important to not be consistently negative toward an individual and to let someone know when you think highly of them. But asking the stereotypical "Does this dress make me look fat?" question just to have a friend tell you you look awesome is a little much. NOTE: this is not to be confused with asking a friend's advice on clothing, that is totally different and often required to leave the house looking put-together ;).

So the question is, to what degree should our friends challenge us, push us in new/uncomfortable surroundings? And to what degree are they there to support us in our actions, just because they're our friends?

1 comment:

Avital said...

Pah, who needs sleep really? I know we've talked about this, but I'm doing what your last blog told me not to and multi-tasking.

I agree that honesty is something I want from my close friends - if I just wanted platitudes, I wouldn't be looking to them for responses. However, there is definitely a way to phrase things - saying, "Hey, the black skirt looks awesome on you, try that one" instead of "Man, that blue skirt makes your hips look HUGE!"

As for people asking questions they don't want to know the answer to...this is one I wish I understood better. I think sometimes people ask questions they already know the answer to because they want to be able to externalize the blame of something (i.e., having someone else badmouth the person they are dating so they can rise to their defense, even if the criticism is real and something they had been thinking about). Anyways, I'm going to stop...ok, limit, my multi-tasking and get back to work.