My husband is a very smart man.
I say that because he pointed something out to me when we met that I hadn't really noticed. Many of my friendships were of the sort that praised supporting each other's decisions rather than pointing out poor choices. It wasn't until Jacob showed me through our relationship that we could ask better of each other that I began to realize how much my friendships lacked.
Since websites like Buzzfeed began touting "you do you" rhetoric, it has become harder and harder to talk to our friends and offer advice. I know that for myself there were times in my life that I didn't want to hear advice that steered me away from bad choices, but, at the same time, a good friend will risk hurting your feelings to push you on the right path. It's incredibly difficult to do, and it means doing something that we have been told not to in this day and age: judge.
Being judgmental can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you use the term. But using your judgment to notice a friend's bad choice is not bad - it's human. We have been given the opportunity, by God, to see how our decisions affect ourselves and others, and to push away something that raises us above the level of beasts is to be ungrateful for our position in this world.
Let me give you an example. A girl is dating a guy. Both of them know that there is no future there. They enjoy each other's company, and they say they'll break up when the time is right. She says that she's fine, that she can keep her feelings under control, that she's "living her best life." But she talks about him as if they were meant to be; she is envisioning a long-term relationship despite the fact that he doesn't feel the same way. If you are truly her friend, you can see that she's making a choice that will only lead to unhappiness, but instead of mentioning to her that she should be strong and end the relationship before she's in too deep, you "support" her. You tell her that she's being true to herself, that she's being casual, that she knows what's best for her.
And let's take an example on the flip side. A guy is hooking up with a girl whom he knows he'll never have a future with. He tells you that they've spoken about things and that she's aware of the situation, and she's fine with it too. You know that your guy friend is acting in a way that can be cruel, and that he could be leading this girl into a world of hurt, but you don't say anything. You tell him that he's a stud, that he has made everything clear, that he's just having fun.
I know that it's easy to say these things because I've done it myself. But it isn't right, and it isn't fair.
We all deserve better friendships than that. Know your friends - know what truly makes them happy, and support them by giving them the strength to make better decisions. Tell them when they're prolonging their pain, or when they're hurting others. Be honest with them, and use your judgment to make your friends better. Because they should be doing the same for you.
Do you agree? Did you ever have a friend that pushed you in the right direction, or have you done so for a friend? Let me know in the comments!
Hey! I'm Abby, the creator of Classically Abby, a commentary, opera, beauty, and lifestyle brand dedicated to looking at the world from a classic perspective. I'm the first Conservative Influencer and I'm an opera singer with three degrees in performance!