Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Tough Love

We all have one of those friends that comes to us for a shoulder to cry on. They ask us for advice which they never listen too, still expecting us to be there when history repeats itself, we listen attentively nodding our heads at the appropriate times and by the end of it all no matter what the issues were we send them off saying "I really hope it works out for you"!
Well I would class myself as a good friend and would always hope my friends felt they could come to me in their time of need but something I have learnt over the past couple of years is that to be a genuinely good friend you need to be prepared to hand out a little bit of tough love every now and again!
I'm not saying you should look your friend in the eye and say "well that was stupid", but sometimes they may just need to be pulled back down to earth and a few tactful words from you could do just the trick.
I recently had to dish out the tough love when a friend of mine (in her head) was being made to feel bad by other people, but as an outsider I could see that actually this wasn't the case! As lovely as my friend is, she is guilty of asking for advice but taking no notice at all so I had taken to nodding and smiling rather than advising, but on this day something just clicked and I couldn't sit and not say anything this time, when I found myself saying "actually no body is making you feel that way apart from you and I think maybe you need to try and sort out the issues that are making you feel like this" it was like time stood still for a few seconds whilst she looked at me as if I had done something awful but then she said "Thank you! Your such a good friend."
I can tell you now, that was not the reaction I was expecting, but by being honest yet kind people should realise that you actually only have their best interests at heart and that you care enough to to be truthful.
So next time your friend calls you because her boyfriend has cheated on her for the tenth time or flatmate never seems to get past the first date, Don't smile and nod, give them a small handful of tough love.

Grace xx 

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