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5 Times It's OK To Be Brutally Honest With A Friend

Sometimes you need to have a filter. And sometimes you don't.

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two women best friends having serious conversation outside
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Honesty is the best policy. Whoever came up with that cliché probably never had a truly close female friend. We love her to death, consider her a sister. But we tend to sidestep the unvarnished truth — especially when it’s needed the most — to protect her feelings. But sometimes telling it exactly like it is the only option. Be supportive, be open, and to quote the Elvis Presley classic, don’t be cruel.

1. When She’s in a Crap Relationship

The signs are all too clear: He won’t meet the parents. He seems disinterested in her career. He blew off her birthday. This guy needs to be dumped to the curb yesterday. So why can’t she see it? Because women — no matter the age — tend to wear blurry love goggles when they’re in dating mode, unaware of the reality of the situation. It’s your job to tell her she’s too precious to settle for a guy that doesn’t appreciate her. If you can’t say it, nobody else will.

2. When She’s Upset You

Having a close friend is not dissimilar to having a partner. Little things that annoy you? Let it go. Big things — such as constantly canceling plans — will eat at your insides. Instead of letting the problem fester until you explode (or gossip about your pal to another pal), confront the problem head-on. Apologize if you’ve offended her. If the friendship is worth saving, a few moments of discomfort will lead to many more moments of joy.

3. When She’s Had One Too Many

Hey, we’ve all been there. One innocent after-hours glass of vino at dinner turns into full-on sorority-girl drunk. Next thing you know, you’re firing off a missive to the boss or texting the ex or hitting on the wrong guy. If you see your bestie in an altered state, put a hard kibosh on any action she’ll surely regret when the sun comes up. Do not let her press “send” — or worse. And, of course, make sure she gets home safely.

4. When She’s in the Wrong

Uh-oh. She just told you she sneered at her sister’s new boyfriend. And she’d rather sit and Netflix binge than go to her coworker’s engagement party. No question, you’re there to be a sounding board. You’re also there to knock some sense into her before she makes a huge mistake. During the next bitch session, listen intently … then steer her in the right direction. She’ll thank you later.

5. When She’s Shopping With You

“How does this look?” It’s not a trap. If she wants your opinion about a sweater, shade of lipstick or [insert weird accessory here], do not play cheerleader. The girl works hard for the money, so tell her the truth! (“It’s not flattering” always works like a charm.) But keep quiet about her appearance if you’re already out and about — it will just make her feel self-conscious. Lone exception: food between the teeth. You’d want her to tell you, right?