As someone who is a raging people-pleaser, I really struggle when I’ve been told that I’ve messed up. I take everything very personally and typically feel like someone hates me if they ever have an issue with me. I remember one time I had completely lost track of time and didn’t show up to plans I made with a friend. In my mind it wasn’t a huge deal, I’m known for being scatter-brained and forgetting everything. However, it really hurt my friend’s feelings; she had cleared her schedule to make time to be with me and I had not followed through. She sat me down and explained to me how I had made her feel, and I remember being so hurt that she would tell me I was being a bad friend for being forgetful. Here’s the thing, I was being a bad friend. I had made plans with her and then completely disrespected her time. Though it hurt to be told I made a mistake, I never would have realized the impact of my mistake on my friend if she hadn’t had the hard conversation with me.
That’s the thing with friendship, if you cannot be brutally honest with each other, then you do not have each other’s best interests at heart. If we allow someone in our lives to continuously make the same mistake, speak to us in a hurtful way, or partake in destructive tendencies, we are not actively being their friend. However, with all of that being said, it is important to remember that when you go to a friend with an issue you may have with them, you must do so in love. Criticism is not constructive when it comes from spite, it only multiples the hurt produced by the situation. As imperfect people, we are all going to make mistakes, hurt people we love, and fall short. In order to grow, we must acknowledge our imperfections and allow others to help us mature through each mistake we make and become a better version of ourselves. Learn to admit when you have messed up and to welcome constructive criticism from people who want to watch you succeed in life.