April Jeppson: Being honest with friends helps us grow
Published 8:45 pm Friday, October 21, 2022
Every Little Thing by April Jeppson
“All of your ‘friends’ who let you sit in the comfort of your bad habits don’t love you as much as the people who dare to challenge you to be better.”
I think it has been established that I read a lot of inspirational quotes. I see things like this, read it twice then usually forget about it. Occasionally, something will happen in my life, and I’ll be reminded of it. I’ll search my phone to see if I saved it and then, sometimes, I’ll even write an entire article about it. This is one of those times.
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I’m a very positive, supportive friend. If you tell me that you want to start a rock band, or grow a garden, I will support you. If you talk to me about problems in your relationships or your job, I will listen and give thoughtful advice. I will encourage you to keep going and not give up. I’m aware that sometimes people just need to vent, and I will happily be that friend.
However, there are times when I can not sit quietly by. If you’ve come to me with the same problem time and time again, and I see there is an easy solution, I will tell you. Even if it may hurt your feelings, I’m required to say something. If you are my friend, that means I love you. With that love, comes a level of care and concern for you. Because I care about you, sometimes my job as your friend is to protect you from yourself.
Let me tell you about my best friend. She and I tell each other everything. We share our struggles and our joys. We root for each other and when needed, we call each other out on our bologna.
A few years ago when she was trying to lose weight she talked about how nothing was working. I listened and let her vent. Then I gave it to her straight. I suggested that she’s eating more than she thinks she does, and we went through a few of her recent dinners and some of the after dinner drinks. As we started to count up calories, it became apparent that maybe she wasn’t trying as hard as she thought she was. Or rather that she was grossly misjudging the calories in a bowl of pasta. Recently, she called me out on the exact same thing.
I try to surround myself with people who challenge me. Don’t get me wrong, I love supportive people. I love to be encouraged and cheered on. But I’ll never grow or get better if I’m surrounded by a bunch of “yes” men. Especially if I’m the thing that’s holding me back. If you really care about me and my happiness, I fully expect you to nicely call me out when needed. If you see that I’m lying to myself, or getting in my own way, say something.
I mean, if we are truly friends, then we need to be honest with each other. We should be able to have disagreements and work through them. I want to be a better person, and I know that I’ll only get there with the help of my friends.
Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.