Kara (karabooo) wrote,

The Difference Between the True Friend and the Honest Friend

For the purpose of this discussion, I'm going to draw a distinction between behaving in a manner which is True and behaving in manner that is Honest.

The friend who is always Honest says plainly the things they think or feel in a given moment.
The friend who is always True bases what they communicate not solely on their present thoughts or feelings, but also on their underlying, unchanging feelings and thoughts surrounding the other person.

At this time I'd like to make a case in defense of being True, as I fear it is often dismissed in favor of the simpler policy of Honesty. I would like to pose the idea that the True friend is not dishonest, but rather is a person who always communicates the message that best aligns with their core intent: to nurture and care for the other and help them along their way to being their best and happiest selves.

Whereas the Honest friend might say, "I don't think this idea is one of your best. It's a bit cliche compared to some of the other ideas you've had in the past" ... the True friend would say, "You have some good ideas, here. Where do you ultimately want to take it? I get the sense it's not quite in its final form, yet."

Is the True response dishonest? I would argue that, in fact, the True friend is responding in a manner that is truer to their love for their friend by encouraging them to keep working on their idea. The Honest friend is being true to their opinion in that given moment, but they are not acting in alignment with their own underlying good will toward their friend. In fact, they are unnecessarily damaging the trust and confidence of their friend, either because they haven't considered the impact of their words or because they want to be able to tell themselves that they are a person of "integrity."

I admire honesty and integrity. In an ideal world, we could at all times be both Honest and True, but often these two are at odds. I guess, when I must err, I often choose to err on the side of love, and I have no regrets about this decision. Though we may love and respect them for who they are, Honest friends will always be the ones who leave us with silent tears and invisible scars.
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