Do you think people want to know the truth about themselves? Do you think people can handle it? And, do you think it will lead to change or to hard feelings?
As a counsellor, it is my job to tell people what they need to do to deal with their problems. Yes, much of my job is about listening. But if all I do is listen, I'm not really helping them. It's about guiding them and "helping" them discover (read: telling them) what they need to do to change the situation. I'm no good if I don't do that. I hear the same thing over and over from people and occaisionally, I have to say "STOP. Stop talking about it and deal with it. Either do something or stop talking about it." Sometimes it's what people need to hear.
Ky and I have a continued debate as to whether or not friends should be able to do the same thing. Whether or not friends can tell each other the truth about themselves so they can work on making themselves better people. She says yes. I say, this probably should be true, but it's not likely going to work. Maybe how I approach it is faulty. I'm a blunt, BLUNT, BLUNT person. Sometimes, that's not helpful. However, I always feel fake when I tip-toe around the subject of anything and I usually (read: always) say the wrong thing. I don't want hurt feelings in my friends. I don't want to "social work" them to death - unless they ask. So, at what point am I trying to be a good friend or trying to avoid the whole issue?
Do I want to hear the truth? Maybe. But, again, probably not. I hate being wrong. I hate acting wrong. I hate being less than the person I want to be. I hate being a disappointment. I know I can be wrong. It drives me crazy. And, I don't react well to knowing that other people have spotted it too. For me, someone telling me about something I have done makes me embarrassed and then I get angry that I did it and react to that person poorly. Who am I to do that to someone else?
In my job, it's expected and even necessary. In my friendships? There are some people I can tell the truth no matter what, no matter how blunt, no matter if they want to hear it and they can do the same for me. For other friendships though? Not as much. So, does the fault lie in me, the other person, or the friendship itself?
(I've been thinking a lot about friendship vs counselling of late... This is me processing.)