Do Not Be That “Yes” Friend
Over the past years I have lost many friends – some through arguments and others through the ending of a season. One of the biggest contributing factors to the conclusions of my friendships was being a “yes” friend or having a “yes” friend. A “yes” friend is someone who simply tells you all the positives of your life and is basically just your hype man. They never tell you when you are wrong, when you are about to fall off a cliff, or even when you hurt them. This failure of communication can lead to emotions being swept under the rug. These emotions will eventually explode and can lead to a friendship ending.
If I am honest it is hard not falling into the “yes” friend trap. Here are a few tips that I have learned from over the years:
1. Use Forgiveness and Grace – We are called to forgive our sisters and brothers. Matthew 6:14-15 says “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others of their sins, your Father will not forgive you of your sins.” When we do not forgive others for their wrongdoings towards us we are negatively impacting our relationship with our heavenly father. Moreover, when we are providing correction to our friends we should have grace. It is important to stay humble and remember that we are not perfect. When we are communicating to our friends we should be able to communicate with them in love. It may hurt their feelings short-term but should impact them positively long-term.
2. Seek Counsel From God and Elders – In order for us to seek forgiveness and communicate with grace we must seek counsel from God and Elders. If we are honest with ourselves sometimes our arguments with our friends can be “petty.” This is why it is important to be still in the Lord in order to understand what direction he would like us to take in the friendship. Secondly, we should be surrounded by wise counsel who also tells us when we are wrong or right. In order to not be a “yes” friend, you do not need to surround yourself with “yes” friends. After you evaluate the situation you should also ask God and your counsel what the next steps in the relationship are. This could be having an honest conversation with your friends or ending the relationship. Either way, you must make sure that you are making wise decisions and acting in order.
It can be hard not being that “yes” friend however, it is even harder to accept correction from your friends especially when you do not believe that you are in the wrong. Here are a few suggestions on being on the other side of a friendship:
1. Listen! – Hopefully when your friend comes to you with a problem or correction, you are able to intentionally listen to them. This means not coming into the conversation defensive and remembering you have two ears and one month. When you are listening to someone, in your head continuously say “wait.” This will allow you to re-think about how you will respond and force you to continue to listen to your friend for a little while longer. Truly, try to understand where your friend is coming from and acknowledge that their feelings are valid and real.
2. Express Your Feelings – You may not agree with your friend or feel that they are taking things out of context. First, you should seek counsel from your community of friends and God as well. After reflection and conversation, fully express your feelings towards the situation. Do not bottle up your feelings because it will not make the situation any better. Express how you feel, and how the confrontation made you feel. Being mature is being able to accept your mistakes and then express how you feel.
Yes!- it is amazing to have #sisterhoodsunday and empowering our fellow women . However, we must learn that empowerment is hyping our sisters, while letting them know when they are wrong. Being a reliable and true friend means falling out the trap of a “yes” friend. Seek advice from wise counsel and God will allow you to step up into becoming a true friend.