What is a friend? One definition includes the phrases ‘having a close relationship, bond or attachment’ and another says ‘considering another’s well-being to be as valuable as your own.’

I’m a Taurus and true, lifelong friendships are important to me. I try to be honest in my relationships as I hope others will be honest with me. I’ve been lucky enough to have had a couple of deep and authentic friendships in my lifetime.  These relationships have been a two-way street in which we mutually consider each other’s well-being. Advice is given (if requested) but judgments are never made. I trust these friends with my deepest secrets and my darkest fears. This type of friendship is indeed rare.

But what about all those other friendships—those with bonds, attachment, and basic trust? There’s a harmonious connection for weeks, months or even years and then, BAM! Something occurs which pulls you out of your euphoria; something unexpected and hurtful! I’m not talking about betrayal but rather about criticism. Criticism without filter, without diplomacy, without consideration of your well-being.

Can a friendship survive harsh commentary? Shouldn’t a constant friend care about how they approach you? I’m not averse to constructive criticism—I’ve had plenty of that over the years. I would just like to see a kinder, gentler world of friendship.

What do you think? What is the formula for a lasting friendship? Is there a place for brutal (with the emphasis on ‘brutal’) honesty?


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