My Friends Hate That I’m Honest

by xoJane

honestyEveryone has experienced a time when they get home after a day out with their friends and they realize they had something in their teeth the whole time. You think to yourself, “Why didn’t anyone tell me?” Well, I will tell you. In addition to the fact that your boyfriend is probably cheating on you and your outfit is all wrong.

I guess I can blame my bluntness on the fact that I am an Aries, or it might have been my upbringing. My family doesn’t really beat around the bush about anything. I have one of those moms who isn’t afraid to tell you when you are being a bitch or you put on a few pounds. Even though I get offended every once in a while, I value her honesty.

I have always equated my truthfulness with being a good friend. I tell people what I hope they would tell me. Does this color look shitty on me? Yes. Do I look fat? A little.

Of course I choose my words carefully, and I truly believed my girlfriends valued my opinion. They have made it very clear now that they don’t.

It began when one of my close friends started dating a guy from work. We had all recently moved to New York, so this was the first time we had really delved into relationship discussions. He was typical bad boyfriend material. He wouldn’t commit, he was manipulative, and he talked to other women. I was outraged by the way he would treat my friend, so I told her something like “He sucks, you deserve better, you should move on.”

I wasn’t saying anything crazy. To me these were the facts.

I stopped hearing from my friend as frequently after this conversation. Then I realized she was talking to the rest of our crew more often, specifically about her boo. She had cut me out. She didn’t want to hear my opinion about her boyfriend anymore, so she quit talking to me all together.
I am supportive of my friends and I truly care about them. I am only telling them they are better than what they sometimes realize, yet I am the bad guy. How did this happen?
My friends started hanging out without me, I suppose they thought of this as being a safe zone from my remarks. It is still hard for me to wrap my head around my friends not wanting my true opinion because that is what I want in a friendship, even if it’s not what I want to hear.

These scenarios continued. My roommate started crying at a girl’s night out over her ex-boyfriend. I know that the breakup was hard for her, but it had been almost a year since it had happened. I told her not to waste her tears on him, because he was somewhere right now probably not crying over her. Apparently that was the wrong thing to do.

She ended up running out of the restaurant. My roommate confided in my friend that she was hurt because she had just wanted to be comforted; yet I spat on her with my commentary.

Things really took a turn for the worse when my closest friend had a breakdown over the fact that she couldn’t talk to me about her relationship because she was afraid of my response. I had never felt so uncomfortable. For once I didn’t know what to say to her. The guy she was dating was a real asshole and the last thing I wanted to do was see her get hurt. Was that so wrong?

I took a long time to reflect on how I felt about the way my friends reacted to me. I want to be there for them, but I wouldn’t be myself without being honest about my feelings. I felt hurt that they didn’t want to share their lives with me.

At first I thought maybe they are just too sensitive, since I have many comrades who don’t seem to be fazed by me, but I’ve since decided to take my honesty down a notch. My friends are important to me and I have discovered not everyone appreciates straightforwardness as much as I do.

XOJane

This post originally appeared on XOJane. Republished with permission. Click here for more
Erica Euse on XOJane!

  • http://gravatar.com/greendoondoon greendoondoon

    There’s honesty, and then there’s being an asshole. In a fair few of the scenarios, OP, you were an asshole. Being smart and a good friend means knowing when a person is looking for the blunt truth and wanting comfort. Nine times out of ten, people don’t want the blunt truth; they want to be eased into it.

    How do you think your friend felt when you told her you think her boyfriend sucked? How do you think she felt about her self-worth and the choices she made? I tend to stay away from “I’m just being honest” people because they are in my experience, the rudest and most touchy people ever and I am no shrinking violet.

    Don’t blame your rudeness on your zodiac sign or any other nonsense and work on yourself.

  • Clara

    I’m blunt with my friends but they appreciate it. And they’re just as honest with me. Especially cause I won’t talk about things I don’t know. Why would someone prefer being comforted with lies?? I’m sure the jerk boyfriend isn’t softening his words to make his girlfriend feel better. That’s probably why your friend is crying in the first place. If it’s coming from a place of genuine caring, I call it tough love. Pretty words don’t always do the trick.

  • JN

    I consider myself a fairly honest person, but I have to constantly bite my tongue, because some of the things I think are fairly horrid. I think, for example, that one of my friends is really overweight, and that her weight issues is a primary reason why men either don’t talk to her, or treat her like she is disposable. I can tell, by the way the men treat her. I can’t tell her that, though. I hate that some of my friends are ridiculous about the way they spend money. One of my friends just had a baby a couple of weeks early, and has no clothes or even a car seat ready–yet was still talking about how they were going to get their nails done, as though this was a priority. Overall, friendship is great, but you have to acknowledge, that just like you have flaws, your friends have flaws too, and you have to see them for who they are and love them in spite of all of that.

  • Kylie

    A lot of people who think themselves honest and real are also tactless, negative, and obnoxious with their “honesty”. You have to know when to just be quiet. I have someone in my family that I do the same way your friend did you because she is f*ucking annoying. You are probably one of those people.

  • LeFuck

    Ugh, your one of those people.

  • Kylie

    Lol, my sentiments exactly.

  • JS

    Good for you! I just think you were being a good friend. Especially if all you did was give her advice when she asked for it/confided in you and you weren’t unnecessarily giving her unsolicited opinions.

    Honestly it might not be what you are saying but how you are saying it. Saying things like “I don’t get why you are still with him after he (etc)” vs “He does (etc), you deserve to be treated better” conveys the same message but the last one is without judgement. The last one makes it more about how the guy should treat her better rather than how she is stupid for staying with him (and really she is stupid, but we are trying to be tactful lol). Your friends probably feel as if you are judging them.

    Realistically though I think its a combination of you being a little rough around the edges when it comes to tactfully giving advice and your friends being straight up drama queens. Because really? Running out of a restaurant over some negro who left her almost a year ago? Ain’t no grown woman alive who should have time for all those dramatics and lingering emotions.

  • http://winonainc.com Edwina@WINONA, INC.

    It’s all in what you say and the way you say it. Spitting out a rough opinion as if you’re reporting on the weather, especially concerning matters of the heart, is not being a good friend. It’s heartless and brash. A true friend will be careful not to hurt your feelings. And sometimes they just keep quiet.

  • GG

    Yes, the people who always have something negative to say i.e miserable. Then funny thing is when there is nothing negative to say they shut up that’s when you get them.

  • Laura Charles

    I agree. I have a friend like this. I have distanced myself from her in the past year because she is always talking about people and judging their decisions and love lives. She ALWAYS has something negative to say and she is miserable… and misery loves company. Funny thing is her love life is a disaster. Of course, she doesn’t disclose that personal information to any of her other friends.

    “I’m just brutally honest” is a bunch of bullshit. If the author is clearly hurting her friends feelings, she knows exactly what she’s doing, has no gage and does not care. If ALL your friends hang out together…without you, that says a lot. You are the poison in the group.

  • Anonin

    I don’t have friends like because it seems like I’m the therapist friend. Luckily I care about them so its not that bad but there was one friend I started ignoring because of her emotional ways.

    The low self esteem always taking an internet bf serious type. Must be a Pisces thing. Now she just submessages to herself on Facebook.

    I understand giving my opinion when its asked for but don’t sit there and ask when in reality you want drama then I’ll really have an opinion to tell you!

  • http://gravatar.com/kshaun black_feminist

    Yep. Even more annoying is how self-congratulatory these people are about being tactless. What an unattractive quality!

  • Me27

    Man this sounds like me. I am honest to a fault and I have a tendency to be very matter-of-fact. In my 20′s, I was the worst. I’ve learned over the years to keep my opinion to myself. I’ve learned that sometimes people are not looking for an opinion; sometimes they just want someone to listen. I try to be a bit more intuitive when it comes to other’s feelings, but there are times when my honesty rears it’s ugly head and things just come out. I think by now my friends have learned that my comments are coming from a good place, but that doesn’t change the harshness. When I meet new people, I always warn them ahead of time of my directness. It’s a learning experience for me. I think the biggest lesson I have learned is that honesty is not always the best policy; sometimes silence, listening, and comforting are the better options.

  • shenika

    You open your mouth too much, giving UNSOLICITED advice.

  • Sonia

    You gotta know when to offer advice and when to nod and say “uh huh” “wow” “i know” “that’s so crazy” stuff like that.
    Sometimes all people want is someone to listen without judging or offering an opinion. They probably wont notice that your response is of the “wow” type because they are so absorbed with what they are telling you.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    This! A lot of times people use the “I am just being honest, I am keeping it real, etc.” lines as excuses of being frankly a—holes or lacking social/active listening skills. But the funny thing is that if you do the same thing to these types of people they will either get mad or try and READ you as if you don’t know what you are talking about. As you mention, a lot of times people just want a sounding board to voice their opinions and thoughts and feelings off of with their friend while coming to a conclusion FOR themselves. Furthermore, again it is not what you say but how you say it and present it, nobody is saying you have to lie, nobody wants to be lied too, but nobody wants to hang around someone that every time they open their mouth it is like a bucket of ice cold water being dumped on you.

  • MimiLuvs

    I have a small circle of friends (about six of them).
    In that circle, there is the “Well, here’s my opinion” friend. She’s blunt, brash and uncouth with her opinions. In other words, she is an a**hole.
    I, on the other hand, am the ‘quiet one’. I don’t voluntarily offer advice. I don’t voluntarily make suggestions either. I rarely compliment. It’s not me. I’m an introvert.
    And we do not get along. We have never gotten along with each other. She opens her mouth to speak and I just scowl at her.
    I am just waiting for the moment when my friends become sick of her antics.

  • Mocha

    I guess I fall into the category of being blunt. I wouldn’t consider myself and a**hole with it though. I will say this: The knife cuts both ways. I have a friend who constantly complains but doesn’t do anything about it. She has a negative outlook on men and relationships..but most of her relationship have been with men who have a girlfriend. So, to me…it seems like she doesn’t acknowledge her role in situations. She doesn’t attempt to change it. For that reason, I have learned to nod and say “uh-huh” but in no way will I agree with stupidity. I would want and have had her call me out when I wasn’t being the best me I could be, and I appreciate it. However, I know some people are more sensitive than others. If it’s annoying to hear someone “disagree” with you, then keep it to yourself the next 10x’s you find yourself going through the cycle. But see here’s another thing. I prefer someone to tell me the truth than to lie in my face and have me look stupid and not even try to warn me. At the end of the day..I think most people just want their friends to be happy..so at least it’s not coming from a malicious place. If it hurts them to hear the truth, why can’t other people understand it hurts the blunt folks to hear the same complaints from the same person time and time again?!

  • Lou

    You are so right……They are rudest…. And first to cry when the tables are turned….

  • SMH

    There comes a time in every adult woman’s life where she learns that when your friends want your opinion they will solicit it from you and sometimes they simply need you to shut the f*ck up and listen to them vent without interjecting your “honest assessment”. Any good friend knows when to lend a ear and when to pull a coat-tail, you don’t appear to be there yet.

  • Rochelle

    you are probably not just honest. You are probably just a bish. Just being honest.

  • Rochelle

    How is she your “friend” if you don’t get along? Women can be so fake sometimes.

  • aDORKable

    If they are close friends, wouldn’t she know how they would take her bluntness and adjust it accordingly? I don’t always agree with my best friends, but I know when to say something and when to listen. I know how to deliver my disagreement without hurting or shutting down their thoughts and feelings and vice versa. Some people can handle and take a hard truth and some need a wee bot of sugarcoating, it just depends on how you deliver it.

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