Are you a real friend?

I'm thinking about trust in the sense of "can I trust you to tell me the truth". There are some things going on in my life that I'd love real feedback on, not loving reassurances and biased thoughts. I admit, some of my concerns about the truthfulness of the comments come from my parents. They were the kind of parents that believed whatever book they read on how to be good parents that one should always encourage their child's endeavors. Now, I'm all for encouraging. But really, I never believed them when they suggested that I was a budding Pavlova... Chagall... Julia Child. If I knew I was really just adequate (and sometimes not even that!), why didn't they?

Back in the present day, I tend to be wary of people who overpraise what I've done or who provide no critical component to their commentary. It's one of the reasons I like being with Thing Two. You see, he doesn't like me all that much and that seeps into his comments. What's the phrase? "I must be cruel to be kind"?

So, can I trust you?


Aravis said...

I think so. Inasmuch as I know you I could give you honest feedback.

I know what you mean. Randy thinks I'm perfection and I can't get him to admit to noticing a single flaw in me. Despite how this sounds, it can get a bit irritating. Do I undervalue myself sometimes, sell myself short? Absolutely. You may have done a little of this yourself over the course of your life. But I, like you, know that I have limitations. Sometimes "limitations" is putting it nicely.

See, I can be honest and kind. *G*

camillofan said...

Any *adult* (for these purposes, person over 14) who gets praise from me can trust that it isn't padded. Of course, how much (if anything) it means to be praised by me depends on what one thinks of my degree of expertise in a given area.

Criticism is a different matter. I won't always volunteer it, and sometimes I'll soft-pedal it (depends on the situation, of course). I can't decide whether this is a sign of niceness or squeamishness (it's probably a little of both), but I don't think I've ever been in a situation where I judged that I had to be "cruel to be kind."