A good friend tells you the truth whether you want to hear it or not right? In reality that’s not so easy when you can see a friend making a huge mistake, but if you stay quiet are you being a true friend?

I fell out with a former best friend of mine (we just drifted apart after she had three children in a row) when she disapproved of my seeing an ex of mine who was now married. Naturally, I know it wasn’t ideal, but that’s why we have friends who try and support us when we do have lapses in judgment. The thing is I expected some kind of support from my friend as she had slept with married men, and had also had multiple partners at various times. The tables were turned when I found out her partner was cheating on her whilst she was pregnant, but it was an accident as I discovered he had sent an email requesting a business meeting from a company he had set up himself abroad. Anyhow, he admitted to it and after an intervention with his parents he promised to behave. Our friendship did survive because of our honesty, and that we genuinely cared about making sure we didn’t get hurt.

The thing is when do you tell them what they need to know, and how? The most common issue is regarding relationships and partners, mainly ones that are bad news. In ye olde days partners were usually from the same circle or area, and that’s because their credentials could be checked out and someone would know if there was any scandal. These days it’s much harder with online dating and people who move around the world frequently. Who can you ask to make sure they are honest and not fibbing? I recall an old friend of mine who after meeting my new boyfriend just came straight out and told me I could do better, and from the tone of her voice she was holding back what she really thought. I wasn’t surprised, but I was eager to make it work just for the sake of it. She was right however, and it was best she told me immediately rather than hedge around the issue. The fact is not one of my friends liked him which raised a red flag, but it also made it difficult to arrange any outings which didn’t include him, and I could hardly say none of my friends like you!

How do you tell your friend that their partner is cheating on them? How do you tell your friend that their new partner has a sordid history of being a gold digger and an escort? Is it your business? It does strain friendships, but you have to think about the outcome if you didn’t tell them and they discovered that you knew. Some people don’t wish to hear the truth either, or they wish to give the person the benefit of the doubt. I do believe people should be given chances, because we all make mistakes and learn from them. Do they really want to hear their latest partner had slept with friends or acquaintances? No one wants to to be the one to break that news either, but it’s worse if everyone knows and says nothing.

Take for instance Prince Harry, who is a troubling example where he used to be a sociable young man about town. His circle was quite tight knit so everyone knew one another or had some degree of connection be it through family or friends. Suddenly his friends are no longer around or visible, and that maybe because they are busy with their own lives or have children, but that doesn’t stop friendships. Do they approve of his current partner? That’s hard to tell when none of them have been seen out with Harry recently. Of course they may meet  behind closed doors, but in general people like to eat out of go for a drink to be sociable, and they frequented the pubs in my area regularly. Being a newcomer in a group, it can be hard to gain acceptance and trust in a group, and I went through this when my ex partner’s friend’s partners didn’t include me because of their allegiance to his ex. It didn’t help our relationship, but I do feel it was doomed as my friends didn’t like him either. There was always talk of we’d meet up and do something, but we all knew it was polite talk and never amounted to much. Is that the case with Harry, and does he realize it? Often girlfriends or wives (or boyfriends and husbands)  are recruited to help a newcomer into a group to settle in, but when they refuse quietly by being too busy, do not mistake the real message they are sending. Basically the newcomer is not wanted or approved of.

Friends are supposed to be neutral as they have nothing to gain, and so their opinions can be more valuable that a family member that maybe biased. It’s important to listen to friends, and to ask for their advice and if they are quiet or are keeping a distance think about why that is. Some may not wish to offend, and some may prefer not to get involved. The fact is you need your friends, and their unbiased opinions to help you see things when you’re not sure or if you are being duped and you can’t see it.

A good friend intervenes and doesn’t tell them what they want to hear. I have a feeling many of Harry’s friends are keeping their distance for that is a silent way of saying they don’t approve for whatever reason. You’re bound to get one or two that won’t approve, but when all your friends don’t approve (as it was in my case) then they may just be right, and to save heartache it’s best to take time out and reconsider things.

Love and lust are blinding at times, and that’s when we do need friends that tell us the truth, the whole truth, or hope by repeated avoidance of meeting up and keeping a distance that they are sending a message that they are concerned about the company being kept. I feel for Harry’s friends as it puts them in a difficult position because of who he is, but to a true friend that won’t matter. Friends know the real you, with no bars held back, and they do know what is best for you whether you are aware of it or not!

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