Be Frank With Friends

Posted by on Apr 1, 2011 in Success!Ezine For You



E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2011

Friends are important to your success. Value them. But return the favor by advancing their success too. Be frank when you’re asked your opinion or when you see them getting off track. That’s what makes you a friend and a valuable member of their Success Entourage. They don’t need empty support or only a cheering section — they need candid feedback to help them deal with the stresses of our times and to get ahead.

  • Speak Up

As a good friend, you don’t have to “mind your own business” or keep your opinions to yourself. That’s what makes you a friend and not simply an acquaintance or an indifferent coworker. People need a candid critique of their decisions and behavior at times and who best to get that from than those who are “like family” but who are not bogged down with all the baggage that sometimes prevents relatives from giving helpful advice.

  • Stick to the Point

If there’s something painful that must be said, make your point and leave it at that. Don’t go on about other issues or pile on criticisms that pummel your friend. You can always comment about other things another day. Stick to the concern that they present to you today or that you feel is important to bring up because it’s holding them back in some way. The feedback may sting, but they’ll be glad you had the concern for them to “tell it like it is.”

  • Suggest Solutions

Your friend needs the critique, but they’ll appreciate your concrete suggestions for improvement even more. Sometimes people can’t figure things out on their own, so they value your advice, even if they don’t ask for it directly. Let them talk it out and actively help them identify strategies to solve the problems they may be experiencing. Remind them of their strengths and how they may not be using them to their advantage. And don’t hesitate to jump in to help where you can. You have power and influence, but may fail to pick up the phone or take action to “make it happen” for others. As corny as it sounds – “That’s what friends are for.”

It takes courage to be a good friend. You can’t always avoid the unpleasant times when you must be frank with those you care about. Speak up when necessary and go the extra mile to help when you can.


About the Author:

Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,

The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at or call 954.797.9766.

E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262  Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317

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