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How do you tell a good friend a truth that’s difficukt to hear?

(24 Posts)
MrsGrindah Sun 25-Feb-18 20:00:01

So you know you read about people who were struggling until a close friend tells them the hard truth? Well I think I’m that friend but I’m really scared it will backfire and she will see it as a criticism and turn against me. Do I risk it? Any tips?

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Sun 25-Feb-18 20:04:01

Difficult to advise without knowing what the 'truth' is and whether it is something she can realistically change

If you are telling her for the right reasons and honestly think it will help her to know 'the truth' then just be as sensitive and supportive as you can

JimboDoesTheLimboInHawaii Sun 25-Feb-18 20:04:24

Hard to say without more details, but in general, people fucking hate being given advice. Even (especially?) if they know the advice is good. If there has ever been any element whatsoever of rivalry on this friendship then stay well out of it.

The closest I would come is trying to very, very subtly hint, or maybe asking her questions to try to get her to come up with your ideas herself.

How much do you really like her? Sometimes friendships run their course...

Aprilshowerswontbelong Sun 25-Feb-18 20:06:40

I told a friend some home truths but included that I wanted to end the friendship. If you want to keep her make sure you spell that out in your message. If she is a true friend and wants to keep you she will digest the info and get back to you one way or another I expect.

Mogleflop Sun 25-Feb-18 20:10:36

What's the "truth"? It depends a lot on what you're talking about!

"Do you know he's cheating on you?"

"Do you think you might be depressed?"

"If you arrange the dishwasher the other way around it'll work better"?

Badweekjustgotworse Sun 25-Feb-18 20:13:56

Totally dependent on the truth op.
If it’s halitosis, wave bye bye to the friendship. If it’s a cheating partner there may we’ll be a rift but ultimately if you handle it sensitively and let her know you’ll always support her and be there for her no matter what then you could ride it out, but there’ll be choppy waters in the interim

MrsGrindah Sun 25-Feb-18 20:14:30

The truth is “ I know life has dealt you a really shitty blow but you are hitting out at the wrong people and being bitter won’t help you get past it” ...except I wouldn’t say it like that obviously!

PragmaticWench Sun 25-Feb-18 20:17:18

Could you phrase it as 'you're worth more than this, you need to look forward' ?

Badweekjustgotworse Sun 25-Feb-18 20:19:06

Ah ok, that’s a hardback one. You’ll need to be careful not blame her for her behaviour so that she doesn’t perceive it as a criticism.
Maybe, ‘I know life’s dealt you a shitty hand and I can see it’s really hard for you to deal with everything at the minute, how can I help support you?’ Would be a more gentle approach

PhelanThePain Sun 25-Feb-18 20:23:14

Could you frame it as in she is letting the bad thing ruin her life and “win” and that it hurts you to see her stil hurting because of it?

Mogleflop Sun 25-Feb-18 20:25:51

Ah. Difficult. Do not use the word bitter whatever you do though!

MrsGrindah Sun 25-Feb-18 20:27:10

I love my friend to bits so I’m prepared to be silent over risking the friendship but I think a true friend should step up if you see what I mean? She has had a terribly hard year so I do sympathise but she’s lashing out at everyone and seeing the wrong side of everything

sourpatchkid Sun 25-Feb-18 20:30:09

I dunno, anger is a normal part of the grieving process. Whatever has happened to her she may NEED to be angry. Anger is fine, as long as she is treating you well enough

BetterEatCheese Sun 25-Feb-18 20:33:12

I had to do this and lost the friend, but I'm still glad I did. Turns out she was willing to hear it but not ready to accept it. It's still ok though as she asked and I told, and that's that. Hard situation. I don't feel like it backfired as the bigger picture still stands that I stood up to her and told her the truth

GoAndAskDaddy Sun 25-Feb-18 20:39:07

Give her a shit sandwich. Say something nice, then the horrid thing, then finish with something nice. I use this all the time at work.

Married3Children Sun 25-Feb-18 20:42:52

In that case, I wouldnt say a thing.
You would be loosing your friend AND letting her down at the same time (aka she thought someone had her back and you are showing her it’s not the case - at least in her eyes)

She will have to work through that and telling her she is wrong won’t help.

Listen and listen will be much more effective (as well as open questions that might direct her thoughts in the right direction or might help her se eth8ngs in a different light)

Married3Children Sun 25-Feb-18 20:46:30

Telling the truth isn’t always the right thing to do though. Or a friendly thing to do.

If she has a really shitty year, what she probably needs more than anything is to see a counsellor.
She probably also needs support and someone who is happy to listen to her.
I personally would feel that I had let her down if I was ‘telling the truth’ (or rather my truth which is likely not to be THE truth btw).

user1493423934 Mon 26-Feb-18 00:57:35

Does your name start with N? Do you live in a suburb starting with K?

MrsGrindah Mon 26-Feb-18 07:04:54

No my name doesn’t start with N.

The trouble is it’s getting increasingly difficult to just listen when most conversations are just a long list of why everything is against her. The reason I was thinking of saying something is it might “ shock” her into realising that it must be bad for me, her biggest supporter, to say something

TowerRingInferno Mon 26-Feb-18 07:13:34

I did something similar recently (well, in the past year) and lost the friend. Very sad about it but actually no regrets now because I couldn’t cope with being lashed out at any more or being blamed for things that weren’t my fault.

CrabappleBiscuit Mon 26-Feb-18 07:18:10

I’d say dell her. I’d take that from a friend. But having up your sleeve stuff that willl help support is good

andalittlebitofpixiedust Mon 26-Feb-18 07:31:54

I wonder if something like this might work.

FRIEND: I can't believe work was so awful about that thing again. Everyone there is so spiteful.

YOU: It is hard when things gs don't go your way. And you are still dealing with a lot of big feelings about xyz horrible things from last year which I think must still be affected ting you a lot. It would affect me a lot. Have you thought about seeing anyone to talk that through?

MrsGrindah Mon 26-Feb-18 07:45:41

Yes I think pointing her towards counselling might be my best option but perhaps more forcefully than I have in the past. Because to be honest unless she gets past this negative state of mind , I can’t see how anything is going to change.Maybe something like “ I know you say you don’t want counselling , but when you say things like xyz it makes me worry about you and I’m out of my depth trying to find the right things to say”.....that way I’m not criticising her, I’m putting it on me?

CircleofWillis Mon 26-Feb-18 08:19:13

I like Pixiedust’s suggestion apart from the ‘when things don’t go your way’ part. That sounds like you are calling her a Diva.

Sometimes being a friend means biting your tongue and giving your friend that time to grieve. Just being someone she can vent to might be helping her in ways you can’t see. Sometimes when a friend confides in us we feel we have to solve it or fix things for them. We don’t, we can just let them know they have emotional support when they need it. If she asks ‘what do you think? That’s the time to let rip.

Point her gently in the direction of counselling at the same time

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