Showing posts with label Relationships. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Relationships. Show all posts

Being Honest With Others

People often struggle with how to be honest with someone without sounding too negative.

Honesty is important. I believe we need to learn to acknowledge both the “positive” and “negative” that exist in the world – but we have to learn to do that while also not feeding into the negativity itself.

Sometimes it is appropriate to express concern for someone – maybe they are adopting unhealthy habits, or they are making relationship mistakes, or they aren’t making a good decision in their career, or whatever. If you want to motivate someone to change, you need to be kind and gentle when addressing things.

A good friend needs to be honest, and that sometimes means touching on subjects that aren’t always very comfortable to talk about. At the same time, we need to do it in a healthy and respectful way.

Being honest about negative things takes a lot of caution and skill.

Here are some tips on how to be honest with someone:
  • Look at the situation from their perspective before you do anything.
  • Ask yourself if this is something that really needs to be said. Are you telling them anything they don’t know or haven’t acknowledged?
  • Choose your words carefully – say it to yourself before you say it out-loud. How does it sound?
  • Don’t insult, blame, exaggerate, or be judgmental. Use a calm and respectful tone while describing the problem.
  • Do it in private. You don’t want the person to feel like they are being pressured by a bunch of people all at once.
  • Always offer a solution. Don’t just state a problem if you don’t have some good advice to go with it.
  • Admit you could be wrong. This is just your opinion; the person doesn’t have to agree with you.
  • Let it go if you notice the person is responding negatively toward it. Don’t persist if they aren’t interested in talking about it.
  • Go back to being a good friend again. Don’t make it awkward.

You’ve probably experienced some of your own times when you’ve been the product of negative criticism. Maybe the person had a good point, but it was lost on you because of the way they delivered it. Try your best not to create that experience for someone else. Always think about how you would like to be treated and do the same for others.

The highest compact we can make with our fellow is - "Let there be truth between us two forevermore."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Being a Good Friend is a Virtue

Do you ever wonder why some people have lifelong friends and others don’t? How do people sustain good friendships no matter how many years pass or much distance is between them? The answers are simple if you live by the rules of honoring your friends the same way you would honor yourself.

To have a friend you have to be a friend. You must remember to do your part by initiating calls and spending time being part of their life. Asking how the other person is feeling or asking how their day went when you see them or talk on the phone is important. This shows that you care about them and are interested in what’s going on in their life. If you are always talking about yourself without showing interest in the other person then you can’t expect the relationship to be a lasting one. The friendship will become unbalanced and an uneasiness or distance is likely to arise.

Be Reliable and Considerate. If you and your friend agree to meet somewhere, don't be late, and never stand them up. If you're not going to make it on time or make it at all, call them as soon as you realize it. Apologize and ask to reschedule. Don't make them wait without reason because it's rude, and it is certainly not a good way to develop a friendship. When you commit and say you'll do something, just do it. Don’t wait to cancel plans because something better came up. That is being selfish and inconsiderate of your friend’s time and company. Be someone that people know that they can count on.

Be a Good Listener. Many people think that in order to be seen as "friend material" they have to appear very interesting. Far more important than this is the ability to show that you're interested in others. Listen carefully to what people say, remember important details about them, ask questions about their interests, and just take the time to learn more about them. You don't want to be the person that always has a better story than anyone else or that changes the subject abruptly instead of continuing the flow of conversation. These people appear too wrapped up in themselves to be good friends.

Be Trustworthy. One of the best things about having a friend is that you have someone to whom you can talk to about anything, even secrets that you hide from the rest of the world. The key to being a good confidante is the ability to respect their information so you shouldn't disclose things that were told to you in confidence. Before people even feel comfortable opening up to you, however, you need to build trust. Be honest about yourself and your beliefs and you will gain your friends trust.

Be There. You've probably heard of fair-weather friends. They're the ones who are happy to be around you when things are going well, but are nowhere to be found when you really need them. Part of being a friend is being prepared to make sacrifices of your time and energy in order to help out your friends. If a friend needs help with an unpleasant chore, or if he or she just needs a shoulder to cry on, or someone to vent to just by being there for them will mean a lot. This works both ways and you should surround yourself with friends who are there for you as well.

Make new friends but choose them wisely. As you befriend more people, you may find that some are easier to get along with than others. While you always give people the benefit of the doubt, sometimes you realize that certain friendships are unhealthy, such as if a person is constantly negative or introducing questionable behaviors into your life. If this is the case, ease your way out of the friendship as gracefully as possible. Preoccupy yourself with other things that you enjoy. Cherish those friends who are a positive influence in your life and do your best to be a positive influence in theirs. Never leave old good-friends because you may like someone new more. This is a big mistake. It's great to have different groups of friends, but if you abandon one group for another, you may soon find yourself without any friends at all.

Be Yourself. Don't be untrue to your convictions and beliefs, and if this causes you to lose some friends, you're better off without them. You'll also find that your integrity may help you win better friends, and if you just "be yourself" you'll make friends who like you for who you are. That is what friendship is all about. In Good times and bad, a real friend accepts you for who you are.

We cannot tell the precise moment when a true friendship is formed but when you have one it will bring forth unconditional support, honesty, trust and respect into the relationship. The most beautiful discovery that true friends can make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. The vitality in a friendship lies in the honoring of differences, not simply in the enjoyment of similarities. Look at how many really good friends you have? Develop the characteristics needed to sustain solid friendships and enhance your life. Being a good friend is how lifelong friendships start!

“A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.” ~Lois Wyse

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