Crucial Conversations with a Real Friend

A real friend

Ouch! There was once a young girl who came to work at an office I was already employed at five years ago. I was stuck, miserable, journalling every day about how much I hated the boss and the company and trapped in my internal world. She heard me complaining and said these few simple words “Why don’t you leave?”. I will admit that sirens went off in my head and not in a good way. My adrenalin rose. You would have thought she’d said something incredibly offensive, the way I reacted.

But actually she was being a real friend (though at the time I didn’t treat her so). I came back with “I’m a single mum, it’s not easy to find a part time job close to home” etc etc. Of course I hadn’t really tried hard enough. Her words set of a chain of events where I became happier overnight just giving myself a time limit to leave by and  I left.

It is so delicate to tell a friend what they need to hear unless they know your words are coated in love and that you are offering the best that you have. You may get it wrong but that doesn’t matter in the long run if they feel the warmth and not the judgement. There will just be a tiny fork in your friend’s path between what you say and what you could have said. They may be surprised if you usually agree with them for the sake of the ‘friendship‘. The friendship may even end over them thinking you have gone ‘against’ them all of a sudden. Friendships do end for all sorts of reasons, though.  It’s not the end of the world.  You may actually deepen the friendship instead.

When my partner was cheating on me and we would discuss what I thought was happening against his version of events, he would often allude to his friends and say that they agreed with him; that it was all perfectly reasonable and basically that I was mad. It later transpired that he was very regretful and said he wished his friends had spoken out. He spent a long time angry at the outcome and trying to come back to me. But it’s long gone, our paths have diverged and the final outcome is what we both make of it; completely neutral, neither good nor bad.

Anyway I digress. I like this quote but it’s a brave one. Brave to ‘rock the boat’. If you do want to say what needs to be said, I recommend finding the tools to say it with love. I am still learning. I highly recommend this book for this and many other reasons; for love and in business.

Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson

This wasn’t meant to be a book endorsement but a reminder of the conversations we are currently having in our lives which are inauthentic. Just a thought….