Friends give you an honest report

On Facebook you may have thousands of friends.  On Twitter, you may have even more followers.  Most of them you probably don’t even know.  So how do you tell your real friends?

One thing about friends is that they are the ones who will tell you the truth you need to hear, even when it’s not what you want to hear.  They will try to do it kindly, seeking not to hurt you more than necessary, but they WILL tell you.

Others tell you what you want to hear.  They will tell you that you are wonderful, even when you’re acting like a jerk.  They will agree with you when you complain that you didn’t get a promotion you wanted because you don’t play up enough to management, even if they know the truth is something else.  These are the people who will be your ‘friends’ as long as you are rising, as long as you are successful.  They will be the first to pretend they don’t know you if your fortunes change.  They are just acquaintances, people you happen to know.

Real friends are different.  These are the people who will stick with you through the not-so-good times as well as the great ones.  They will tell you if they think you are making a really bad decision – whether it is about a job, a trip, the person you like, or anything else.  You might not like what they have to say sometimes.  You might even be angry with them because of it.

When that happens, and it will sooner or later, take a step back from your anger.  True friends are hard to come by and more valuable than gold.  They may not always be right, but they will always tell you what they believe is the truth.  Forgive them if they make you angry with their words.  You may not agree with them.  You may choose to ignore their words.  That is your choice and it may be the right one for you.  If they are later proven right, though, and your choice works badly, they will be the ones that stand by you an help you recover yourself.  For your own sake, do not stay angry with them.  Instead, try to be as good a friend to them as they are to you.

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