I felt it was time for an essay again. Let us talk and think about friendship. About delight, truth and inspiration.
I could not resist the pun. I took this picture while being out with a friend. And of course she is delightful. But being a delight is not all what friendship is about. Many people look for friends to have a good time with, to share common interests, to feel relaxed, to be able to rely on someone during tough times and quite often to not be judged but accepted as one is.
I would argue that what really makes a good friend is someone who judges you within this friendship. Because who else than a good friend who you trust and who trusts you is in a position to offer judgement about you? Imagine a friend who only ever supports your opinion and actions, who only says good things about you and is always considerate of your feelings? That is not a true friend but a yes-man. You may have delightful times together but you will never really learn anything or grow through this friendship.
Now imagine a friend who in recognition of your mutual trust does judge your opinion and actions. A friend who will speak the uncomfortable truth about things you might not want to know or hear. Sure it will painful. But it might just allow you to learn something about yourself. To change and grow. To become a better human being.
If you find such a friend. Keep him or her close. Value the honest view from that person. See it as an inspiration. To inspiring and delightful friends.