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They are going to tell you the harsh reality of any situation you find yourself in. Because they know you better than you know yourself. Your real friends are going to tell you when you look like a hot mess. And they are fully aware that this could ruin your day, but they are just looking out for you. They will notice the tiny little things that set you off.


When I was going through my divorce, I was talking to my sister on a particularly rough day.

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She told me I make it very hard to let people in and it takes a lot of work to make sure I am okay. She would rather tell me her honest opinion and point out something I am doing that could be potentially harmful than not say anything. My best friend is the same way.

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Of course, I was mad and hurt, but she was right. He was a player and an all-around asshole.

That’s what real friends are for. to tell you what you already know in your gut, but are too scared to admit.

But still they tell it to me straight. In fact, they care about you too much to see you make a mistake you might not see coming. And they care about you too much to let you wallow in self-pity for too long if you are whining about your life and need a kick in the butt instead.

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They challenge you to do something about the situation, to take care of yourself, and live your best life. They believe in you, they know what you are capable, and they know your friendship can endure their honesty even if you are initially hurt by their words.

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As they say, the truth hurts. But having friendships like these has saved me during really hard times in my life and made the fantastic times even better.

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We are never done growing, we can always do better. These honest friends push us out of our comfort zone, and when that happens, a lot of growth can take place.

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GettyImages-praetorianphoto When I was going through my divorce, I was talking to my sister on a particularly rough day. Get daily updates, kick-ass content, and curated recommendations.

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Louisa and I were part of a small group of friends who became close in college.


Honesty does not always come easily to me.


Juli Slattery is the co-founder of Authentic Intimacy , a nonprofit organization.