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Being Real

Posted By: Randy GageDecember 22, 2010

Would you like to have a loyal group of real friends?  Not casual acquaintances, but real friends.  People that you would put your hand on fire for, and they would put their hand on fire for you...

It’s been said many times that to have a friend, you must be a friend.  Good advice.  And one of the best ways to be a friend is to tell people the truth.  That means the real truth, not what they want to hear.

Of course that doesn’t mean you have to be mean-spirited and nasty.  It does mean that you will be a voice of reason and reality, calling your friends on “their stuff” when the need arises.

It also means that you tell them when their talents don’t necessarily support an endeavor they want to try.  That doesn’t mean being negative or raining on their parade.  Real friends don’t ridicule or pour water on other people’s dreams.  But they do give advice to help them reach their highest good.

But most people don’t do this.  They’re afraid to hurt anyone’s feelings and afraid of confrontation, so they make it a practice to only tell people what they want to hear.  And that is most definitely not being a friend.

So here are two of the most important questions to ask for manifesting prosperity and happiness in your life…

Are you real with your friends?  And more importantly, do you want and encourage them to be real with you?

-RG

51 comments on “Being Real”

  1. To answer your 2 questions, yes & yes!
    I think you are right on the money, as usual, Randy, but real friends that you can not only be yourself with, but be truthful to & with, are very few.
    Most people would rather live in denial or something, because as soon as you tell them what you see in them- be it talent, opportunity or something they could improve on- they many times change the subject into something superficial, routine busy-ness or even a comment to joke about.
    I am so open to hear my friends be real with me, that sometimes I even get needy about that: tell me what you really think about this issue, be it personal of Professional...
    I believe in laughing every day, and many times a day, but a good & real friendship is something extremely valuable, not to be taken for granted.

  2. Great topic! I may have over 400 facebook friends but I have less than 10 real friends. What makes them my real friends is that they will tell me exactly what I need to hear and not what I necessary want! And they will hear the same from me!

  3. This is very serious problem, that people are not honest with their friends. And it happens, that we are breaking wishes of family. we don't support them. it's essential to change ourselves.

  4. How about spouses??? You often read and hear that your partner should be your best friend and I agree... it's a beautiful thing when you see it among couples as you so rarely see it... but it's a delicate balance to keep the so-called advice and comments that women love to give their men, before it gets real irritating...
    One thing I still love and appreciate about my ex, she actually listened when I jibed back or made a point without mindlessly fighting back like most people do...

  5. Interesting that you should write about this on your blog this week. I've got a close girlfriend that's going through some relationship difficulties. She confessed to me just this week that the reason she likes to talk to me about it is because I don't tell her what I think she wants to hear like her other girlfriend do. I tell her what I think is really going on, and that includes pointing out patterns she's repeating and what belief system is keeping her there. Quite often things shift after we've had conversations, so I know she goes away and thinks about it. Your last question made me think though. Maybe I need to be encourage her to be like that for me.

  6. Absolutely! Actually i have a mastermind of real friends and we keep accountable to each others daily through email and monthly to a conference call where we go deeper. Fired up and focused!

  7. Ha! love this topic!! I have "lost" some friends in my life cause I called them on their sh!t. However, those that have stuck around are honest, real, accountable, and kinda in my face as well. I love it!!

    1. Melissa, just as a thought (and, because I don't know you at all and have nothing other than your above words to base this on, it is "just" a thought and I could be way off base): It looks as though you possibly equate "truth" with "being in someone's face" and, while that could be positive at times and with the right person, that's not necessarily what it takes to communicate truth and honesty. With many people, they can accept the truth, but it needs to be done with tact and kindness or they might be so offended (or simply upset) by the messenger that they will near hear the truth. Now, one could say, "well, that's their tough luck; that's just the way I do things." And, that's fine, but it might not necessarily be the way to connect with that person. So, it might not be the truth that "lost" them as friends but perhaps the way it was communicated. Again, I don't know you so that is strictly a leap on my part. If I'm wrong, please accept my apologies. By the way, I'm reminded of a saying, "those who boast about being "brutally honest" are generally more interested in being brutal than they are in being honest." :-). In terms of Randy's message of friendship and truth, I agree 100 percent. I'm so grateful for those in my life who have told me what I "needed" to hear rather than what I "wanted" to hear and I hope I've been able to do the same for them.

      1. Bob, if my post appeared harsh to you, how do you handle Randy's rawness and honesty??? 🙂

        Being a social worker by trade, I live with this belief: "Hysterical is Historical". If something triggers a reaction in me, instead of confronting the person, I look in the mirror and say, wow, why did i find that person’s behavior or perhaps innocent post inflammatory? Who has spoken to me in the past using such words that I got such a reaction to their perhaps innocent post? Then I work through that issue, let it go, and bam, suddenly the post is just a post!

        And yes, I do have a tendency to use loud flowerily language-perhaps you misread that!(here comes a smiley of me blowing kisses to you!!)

        1. Hi Melissa, thank you for your thoughtful response. I appreciate it. Actually, I'm fine with someone being in my face if that's their style of communication. I was just saying that a lot of people are not able to handle that. As for me, I'd like to think I'm able to see pas t the delivery and take in the essence. And, I have so much respect for Randy's wisdom that I'm more apt to take seriously what he says, regardless of how he says it (though, even Randy said in the article that that one doesn't need to be "mean spirited or nasty" in order to communicate the truth.

          And, regarding the smiley of you blowing kisses to me?...I'll see that kiss, and raise you a big hug. Thank you, my friend!!

          1. I do consent, Bob. One of my close friends just told me that I used to be a thunderstorm and now I’ve turned into the soft shiny dew on the grass on an early sunny morning!

            Apparently, online, my subconscious thunder is still visible!!!

      2. “Those who boast about being “brutally honest” are generally more interested in being brutal than they are in being honest.”

        Love it! And it's so true, so true.

  8. This is one of the reasons most people, though they seem to have a lot of "friends", cannot succeed in network marketing. When it comes down to it, few of their so-called friends will follow them into something they deeply believe in.

    Something about our culture has divided us. Most Americans, from what I can see, have no deep friendships with people who would truly listen and consider their friend's request that they join in a business venture.

    No amount of reasoning with them will change this because they aren't really friends.

    It is a great loss and we need to be finding quality people to build real friendships with.

  9. Be careful. Giving someone (solicited) advice to help them reach their highest self can be very different than calling them on their stuff or telling someone the truth. The truth? The truth according to whom? Seems like a fine line between making it about helping the friend and making it about yourself and your opinions.

    1. Agreed, but this post is about nurturing and keeping "best" friendships with true friends. Anyone who is doing out advice for their own benefit is not being a true friend, and should very simply and easily cut loose to go be a problem to someone else.

      The situation you described in your post is very common. There are many people out there who are only interested in #1, and manouvering the rest of the world to suit their needs. We have to be able to deal with them on a superficial level, but allow them near us as friends? No way.

      True friends are few. That's the way it should be. We don't need a million people, just a few good ones. It's recognizing them that can be tricky!

  10. Love the points you guys are making here. And Melissa, you seem to be under the impression I'm writing this blog for you guys. In fact, all the lessons I'm writing about are the one I need to learn! 🙂

    Yes I'm good about being real with people. However my tact is a work in progress!

    -RG

    1. One of the things I value more than anything in all my relationships is real honesty – in both directions - that’s for sure. But I also think it takes time for each relationship we are involved in to mature to the deep level that makes complete honesty a safe territory. To earn that privilege with someone requires nurturing the connection with mutual trust, respect and love. That’s where we get to the good, raw, real stuff in life.

      Randy, I think it is your commitment to tell it like you see it while also making yourself approachable through sharing your own challenges, history and humanness that fosters the endearment of your readers, followers, students. And it’s that earned trust, that intimacy you develop, which eventually allows a good friend or a good teacher the access to impact people’s belief systems and ultimately their lives.

      I really do believe that at the core, we all want and need someone(s) to tell us things we need to hear … it just takes us some time to grow up to figure that out!

      Being in the position you are brings with it great responsibility, which you so obviously take totally to heart.

      It's somewhat different here on the blog, because when someone finds you and your message for the first time, you don't have the history with them that so much entitles you to go to the core right away, so people can get a little offended. In this case, I understand about the tact vs. shock value struggle - but I, for one, don't think you do such a bad job at balancing the two.

      This analogy came to me when I was thinking about it, not that I am a fisherman, but ...

      When you are trying to land a fish (or in this case, lead someone to their higher potential), the first time you feel a nibble, you have to pull back hard and fast to 'set the hook'. That's what secures the fish to the line (or in your case, grabs the reader/student's interest) ... but as you then begin to reel the fish in, you don't continue to yank that hard with every turn of the reel - only when you need to - because at that point it becomes more of a dance between you and the fish.

      You know this. You do this.

      And I suppose the proof of this is in the fact that your readership continues to grow and even those (no, maybe ... especially those) whom you've challenged the hardest do not go away. And if they do for a few moments, they come back - because they want what you've got. Wisdom, heart, and a passion and commitment to help others become free that's hard to find a distant comparison to elsewhere.

      Not everyone's going to appreciate your style at first - but it is not the main job of the teacher to be liked, it is the main job of the teacher to teach. Does that mean you shouldn't revisit how much lion and how much pussycat you bring to your exchanges? No. First, do no harm. But please, take care not to dilute the impact of the message for fear of offending. The work you do and the way you do it is far too important. You are desperately needed. 🙂

      K

        1. Melissa, would you have said that if a man sid that about Randy? I still work on tact myself as anyone who has read these blogs knows. I am pretty sure this first comment is a violation, even when you aggree with her later. Kimbralee is one of the most well intentioned commenters around.

          1. Perhaps I'm wrong on this point, but I think that I detect heterosexual bias in the "call out" of Melissa by Annie. Just calling attention to an assumption. This is a blog about memes, so I felt that it was a safe place to raise the point.

            A few years ago, a boss of mine said something in passing that impacted me, in talking about the way someone was trying to treat him. He said, "Dont mistake kindness for weakness." To use kind words does not make a person weak, nor mean that they have an ulterior motive to some ends. It might just mean that they are speaking the truth as they see it, and have the courage to be positive and complimentary to another person, without apology or awkwardness. In gentleness there is true strength. For anyone, try it and see how much courage it takes with another person who is not your immediate family member. See what feelings it elicits in you. When I started putting it into practice in my life, I saw how much more courage it took than making glib, unconscious comments which i had convinced myself were somehow funny, but weren't. I saw that the comments just lacked respect. I didn't mean to disrespect the person, I just didn't know any better, nor have good teachers at the time nor the ability to hear them if they were there.

            I appreciate your comments, Kimbralee.

          2. Yeah okay. I don't mean to be heterosexually biased. Maybe she would have said it to a man too. Who knows. I reallly didn't know what to say to something like that. I just felt angry because I likeKimbralee, and I didn't want her to be disrespected. My apologies for any biases. Good point.

          3. Was that a political comment you made? It seemed like a personal one to me. Oh well, on the bright side Melissa, maybe you gave Randy a good idea.(where Kimbralee is concerned).

          1. That's for the first comment. You maybe "Cavalier". It is still a very good adult to adult communication.

    2. All that having been said, Randy, a real friend can see past my passionate self and look at what I am trying to say-as long as I am coming from a genuine sincere place.

      The way I do that is living with this line: "Is this your issue, or mine?" Is what I am saying based on universal truths or are my own limitations and issues being triggered here?

      One of my guy friends GENTLY told me not to get my doctorate because it will emasculate my man!! Instead of either agreeing with him, or even getting hurt I asked, what in his belief system states that a woman must limit herself down in order to please her man? And, instead of he getting hurt, we got into a long conversation about our beliefs of men/women, etc. To me, that’s real friendship, real relationships, real mutual respect, and a great way of living!

      Randy, we are all a work in progress. So glad you created a forum where we can all share some of that journey together…

    3. Wow. You go away for a few hours and look what you miss while you’re gone…

      Wasn’t the topic of this blog post ‘being real’? Well, for better or worse, what I posted on this page was just me … being real. I’ve done it here many times, with many people.

      Before Melissa jumps on here and feels like she needs to explain herself, I’m totally fine. 🙂 (but thanks to those who felt compelled to defend my honor. LOL!) I find it funny because I actually interpreted her comment a bit differently than some of you, and I took no offense. However, the discussion did bring out some interesting points, didn’t it?

      When Randy made the comment he did today, it sounded to me like he was questioning his approach with people – and to the extent that it applies to this blog topic and in this forum, I had an opinion about that (as well as some experience in working with people)and I shared it. My feedback may have been unsolicited, but this has never felt to me like a classroom where it’s not safe to raise your hand and speak up. Am I mistaken? I sure hope not.

      So, as an addition to our previous definition of ‘being real’, maybe we will all agree at this point that sometimes bringing your real self to any relationship includes, not only helping others see their shortcomings and their blind spots when they can’t see them for themselves, but also reminding them what they do extremely well when the right opportunity presents itself. That’s my take away.

      No ulterior motives … just plain ‘call it as I see it’.

      K

      And … BTW, Heather – you were tracking me perfectly. Thank you. 🙂

  11. I vacillate with this one. I have learned that I can only control myself being truthful. Is what I think as the truth, really the truth. Experience has taught me that things I thought were true in the past, really were not. I don't think I am in a position to decide what someone else's truth should be. I think the best we can do, in this area, is to say yes and mean yes, and say no and mean no. Everything in between is untruth. We are all works in progress, and the one truth we can all bank on, if we believe, is that we will never be alone or forsaken and that if we choose we are all saved by our savior Jesus Christ. I hope we all remember in the midst of the hustle and bustle of this season, what it is really all about, the celebration of the birth of Christ.

  12. Great discussion on a sensitve topic. As I work with people I attempt to "speak the truth with love" otherwise known as hitting them with the "velvet brick". We sometimes are allowed the oportunity to speak in to someone's life. That position is usually earned through time, trust, and respect. People need to know the truth because the truth that you know will set you free.

  13. I know a lot of people and have very very few 'friends'. I have had great friendships and for different reasons those people are no longer in my life. I like to think that we came together to serve a single purpose for each other and when that came to an end it was time to move on and those friends did move, some to another province and more to another city. During those friendships though, I was the listener and was told from them that they always felt so much better, more positive after our visits. I did not judge them for their situations or choices and I did support them in their choices even if they weren't in their best interests. I knew even then (before my enlightenment) that they needed to be on their own path and I had no business 'TELLING' them what to do. I listened and asked questions, THEY came up with their own answers, thinking I was the one that knew the answers. LOL OH, the lessens I learned from those people.

  14. One additional point is that we can at times be our own best friends and our own worst enemies.

    While it is very important that we have friends to call us on our issues, as we should for them, we also have to be very honest with ourselves. We have to wake up to our own issues and call ourselves on that.

    Its also important that we are forgiving, compassionate and understanding to ourselves, just as we should be stern aswell.

    Thanks for the post Randy!

  15. I am intrigued you read that book by Dr. Berne. That is not the kind of book the average person picks up and reads, pretty weighty material. Did you really read it?

    What game are we playing? Are you "Here to help"? Or are you a "Homely sage"? Perhaps an innocent game of dissembled "Peasant"?

    Do you still have your book? Or did you check it out from a library(do Libertarians do that?)?

    Hmm. Friends. It is important to know one's own truth first, isn't it? Otherwise ulterior motives and hidden agendas could pop up.

    Loving others can be a delicate balancing act. When to tell, and when to just be. That can be the difficult question.

    So, Mr. Gage in the world of no Christmas trees and Santas with shorts, I hope you are spending Christmas with honest friends and loving family.

    1. P.S. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and you will be visited by three spirits. The first spirit will be Charles Dickens himself. The second spirit will be Che Guevara(the good news, you might get a motorcycle ride). The last spirit and by far the scariest will be Karl Marx(who knows what will happen).

      On Christmas morning you will awake with a strange desire to underwrite and produce a local theatrical production of a Clifford Odets play.

      Merry Christmas to you Mr. Gage.

  16. It has been said that our need for approval is the biggest check we'll ever write. It gets in our way in virtually all areas of our lives, including being real with others and allowing them to be real with us. It is best to get permission first in providing feedback and advice. Once we have permission, do it in a nurturing way. Lastly, we should all resign our position as general manager of the universe. Save yourself first. Be the example instead of telling others what they should or shouldn't do.

  17. This is a tricky one cause it's so easy to jump to conclusions about what people mean and although most people might say they like to hear the 'truth,' they don't always want to when it actually comes down to it.

    It's a really fine line between telling people what you think they need to hear and them receiving it that way!

  18. I've found that sometimes people, in a quest to prove that they are indeed your "friends", tell you the "harsh truth"... "'cause that's what friends do."

    They don't realize that they've got it backwards --- first, you prove yourself to be a friend, then you lay the truth on them. Telling the "truth" doesn't prove you're a friend, it just proves you're a critic.
    jim

  19. "With love all things are possible."

    If we are in a state of loving ourselves, we can only express truth.

    When we feel the need to share less than truth, look first inside and cheer yourself on to a better place.

    Words from the heart always connect with love,
    Cynthia

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  • 51 comments on “Being Real”

    1. To answer your 2 questions, yes & yes!
      I think you are right on the money, as usual, Randy, but real friends that you can not only be yourself with, but be truthful to & with, are very few.
      Most people would rather live in denial or something, because as soon as you tell them what you see in them- be it talent, opportunity or something they could improve on- they many times change the subject into something superficial, routine busy-ness or even a comment to joke about.
      I am so open to hear my friends be real with me, that sometimes I even get needy about that: tell me what you really think about this issue, be it personal of Professional...
      I believe in laughing every day, and many times a day, but a good & real friendship is something extremely valuable, not to be taken for granted.

    2. Great topic! I may have over 400 facebook friends but I have less than 10 real friends. What makes them my real friends is that they will tell me exactly what I need to hear and not what I necessary want! And they will hear the same from me!

    3. This is very serious problem, that people are not honest with their friends. And it happens, that we are breaking wishes of family. we don't support them. it's essential to change ourselves.

    4. How about spouses??? You often read and hear that your partner should be your best friend and I agree... it's a beautiful thing when you see it among couples as you so rarely see it... but it's a delicate balance to keep the so-called advice and comments that women love to give their men, before it gets real irritating...
      One thing I still love and appreciate about my ex, she actually listened when I jibed back or made a point without mindlessly fighting back like most people do...

    5. Interesting that you should write about this on your blog this week. I've got a close girlfriend that's going through some relationship difficulties. She confessed to me just this week that the reason she likes to talk to me about it is because I don't tell her what I think she wants to hear like her other girlfriend do. I tell her what I think is really going on, and that includes pointing out patterns she's repeating and what belief system is keeping her there. Quite often things shift after we've had conversations, so I know she goes away and thinks about it. Your last question made me think though. Maybe I need to be encourage her to be like that for me.

    6. Absolutely! Actually i have a mastermind of real friends and we keep accountable to each others daily through email and monthly to a conference call where we go deeper. Fired up and focused!

    7. Ha! love this topic!! I have "lost" some friends in my life cause I called them on their sh!t. However, those that have stuck around are honest, real, accountable, and kinda in my face as well. I love it!!

      1. Melissa, just as a thought (and, because I don't know you at all and have nothing other than your above words to base this on, it is "just" a thought and I could be way off base): It looks as though you possibly equate "truth" with "being in someone's face" and, while that could be positive at times and with the right person, that's not necessarily what it takes to communicate truth and honesty. With many people, they can accept the truth, but it needs to be done with tact and kindness or they might be so offended (or simply upset) by the messenger that they will near hear the truth. Now, one could say, "well, that's their tough luck; that's just the way I do things." And, that's fine, but it might not necessarily be the way to connect with that person. So, it might not be the truth that "lost" them as friends but perhaps the way it was communicated. Again, I don't know you so that is strictly a leap on my part. If I'm wrong, please accept my apologies. By the way, I'm reminded of a saying, "those who boast about being "brutally honest" are generally more interested in being brutal than they are in being honest." :-). In terms of Randy's message of friendship and truth, I agree 100 percent. I'm so grateful for those in my life who have told me what I "needed" to hear rather than what I "wanted" to hear and I hope I've been able to do the same for them.

        1. Bob, if my post appeared harsh to you, how do you handle Randy's rawness and honesty??? 🙂

          Being a social worker by trade, I live with this belief: "Hysterical is Historical". If something triggers a reaction in me, instead of confronting the person, I look in the mirror and say, wow, why did i find that person’s behavior or perhaps innocent post inflammatory? Who has spoken to me in the past using such words that I got such a reaction to their perhaps innocent post? Then I work through that issue, let it go, and bam, suddenly the post is just a post!

          And yes, I do have a tendency to use loud flowerily language-perhaps you misread that!(here comes a smiley of me blowing kisses to you!!)

          1. Hi Melissa, thank you for your thoughtful response. I appreciate it. Actually, I'm fine with someone being in my face if that's their style of communication. I was just saying that a lot of people are not able to handle that. As for me, I'd like to think I'm able to see pas t the delivery and take in the essence. And, I have so much respect for Randy's wisdom that I'm more apt to take seriously what he says, regardless of how he says it (though, even Randy said in the article that that one doesn't need to be "mean spirited or nasty" in order to communicate the truth.

            And, regarding the smiley of you blowing kisses to me?...I'll see that kiss, and raise you a big hug. Thank you, my friend!!

            1. I do consent, Bob. One of my close friends just told me that I used to be a thunderstorm and now I’ve turned into the soft shiny dew on the grass on an early sunny morning!

              Apparently, online, my subconscious thunder is still visible!!!

        2. “Those who boast about being “brutally honest” are generally more interested in being brutal than they are in being honest.”

          Love it! And it's so true, so true.

    8. This is one of the reasons most people, though they seem to have a lot of "friends", cannot succeed in network marketing. When it comes down to it, few of their so-called friends will follow them into something they deeply believe in.

      Something about our culture has divided us. Most Americans, from what I can see, have no deep friendships with people who would truly listen and consider their friend's request that they join in a business venture.

      No amount of reasoning with them will change this because they aren't really friends.

      It is a great loss and we need to be finding quality people to build real friendships with.

    9. Be careful. Giving someone (solicited) advice to help them reach their highest self can be very different than calling them on their stuff or telling someone the truth. The truth? The truth according to whom? Seems like a fine line between making it about helping the friend and making it about yourself and your opinions.

      1. Agreed, but this post is about nurturing and keeping "best" friendships with true friends. Anyone who is doing out advice for their own benefit is not being a true friend, and should very simply and easily cut loose to go be a problem to someone else.

        The situation you described in your post is very common. There are many people out there who are only interested in #1, and manouvering the rest of the world to suit their needs. We have to be able to deal with them on a superficial level, but allow them near us as friends? No way.

        True friends are few. That's the way it should be. We don't need a million people, just a few good ones. It's recognizing them that can be tricky!

    10. Love the points you guys are making here. And Melissa, you seem to be under the impression I'm writing this blog for you guys. In fact, all the lessons I'm writing about are the one I need to learn! 🙂

      Yes I'm good about being real with people. However my tact is a work in progress!

      -RG

      1. One of the things I value more than anything in all my relationships is real honesty – in both directions - that’s for sure. But I also think it takes time for each relationship we are involved in to mature to the deep level that makes complete honesty a safe territory. To earn that privilege with someone requires nurturing the connection with mutual trust, respect and love. That’s where we get to the good, raw, real stuff in life.

        Randy, I think it is your commitment to tell it like you see it while also making yourself approachable through sharing your own challenges, history and humanness that fosters the endearment of your readers, followers, students. And it’s that earned trust, that intimacy you develop, which eventually allows a good friend or a good teacher the access to impact people’s belief systems and ultimately their lives.

        I really do believe that at the core, we all want and need someone(s) to tell us things we need to hear … it just takes us some time to grow up to figure that out!

        Being in the position you are brings with it great responsibility, which you so obviously take totally to heart.

        It's somewhat different here on the blog, because when someone finds you and your message for the first time, you don't have the history with them that so much entitles you to go to the core right away, so people can get a little offended. In this case, I understand about the tact vs. shock value struggle - but I, for one, don't think you do such a bad job at balancing the two.

        This analogy came to me when I was thinking about it, not that I am a fisherman, but ...

        When you are trying to land a fish (or in this case, lead someone to their higher potential), the first time you feel a nibble, you have to pull back hard and fast to 'set the hook'. That's what secures the fish to the line (or in your case, grabs the reader/student's interest) ... but as you then begin to reel the fish in, you don't continue to yank that hard with every turn of the reel - only when you need to - because at that point it becomes more of a dance between you and the fish.

        You know this. You do this.

        And I suppose the proof of this is in the fact that your readership continues to grow and even those (no, maybe ... especially those) whom you've challenged the hardest do not go away. And if they do for a few moments, they come back - because they want what you've got. Wisdom, heart, and a passion and commitment to help others become free that's hard to find a distant comparison to elsewhere.

        Not everyone's going to appreciate your style at first - but it is not the main job of the teacher to be liked, it is the main job of the teacher to teach. Does that mean you shouldn't revisit how much lion and how much pussycat you bring to your exchanges? No. First, do no harm. But please, take care not to dilute the impact of the message for fear of offending. The work you do and the way you do it is far too important. You are desperately needed. 🙂

        K

          1. Melissa, would you have said that if a man sid that about Randy? I still work on tact myself as anyone who has read these blogs knows. I am pretty sure this first comment is a violation, even when you aggree with her later. Kimbralee is one of the most well intentioned commenters around.

            1. Perhaps I'm wrong on this point, but I think that I detect heterosexual bias in the "call out" of Melissa by Annie. Just calling attention to an assumption. This is a blog about memes, so I felt that it was a safe place to raise the point.

              A few years ago, a boss of mine said something in passing that impacted me, in talking about the way someone was trying to treat him. He said, "Dont mistake kindness for weakness." To use kind words does not make a person weak, nor mean that they have an ulterior motive to some ends. It might just mean that they are speaking the truth as they see it, and have the courage to be positive and complimentary to another person, without apology or awkwardness. In gentleness there is true strength. For anyone, try it and see how much courage it takes with another person who is not your immediate family member. See what feelings it elicits in you. When I started putting it into practice in my life, I saw how much more courage it took than making glib, unconscious comments which i had convinced myself were somehow funny, but weren't. I saw that the comments just lacked respect. I didn't mean to disrespect the person, I just didn't know any better, nor have good teachers at the time nor the ability to hear them if they were there.

              I appreciate your comments, Kimbralee.

            2. Yeah okay. I don't mean to be heterosexually biased. Maybe she would have said it to a man too. Who knows. I reallly didn't know what to say to something like that. I just felt angry because I likeKimbralee, and I didn't want her to be disrespected. My apologies for any biases. Good point.

            3. Was that a political comment you made? It seemed like a personal one to me. Oh well, on the bright side Melissa, maybe you gave Randy a good idea.(where Kimbralee is concerned).

            1. That's for the first comment. You maybe "Cavalier". It is still a very good adult to adult communication.

      2. All that having been said, Randy, a real friend can see past my passionate self and look at what I am trying to say-as long as I am coming from a genuine sincere place.

        The way I do that is living with this line: "Is this your issue, or mine?" Is what I am saying based on universal truths or are my own limitations and issues being triggered here?

        One of my guy friends GENTLY told me not to get my doctorate because it will emasculate my man!! Instead of either agreeing with him, or even getting hurt I asked, what in his belief system states that a woman must limit herself down in order to please her man? And, instead of he getting hurt, we got into a long conversation about our beliefs of men/women, etc. To me, that’s real friendship, real relationships, real mutual respect, and a great way of living!

        Randy, we are all a work in progress. So glad you created a forum where we can all share some of that journey together…

      3. Wow. You go away for a few hours and look what you miss while you’re gone…

        Wasn’t the topic of this blog post ‘being real’? Well, for better or worse, what I posted on this page was just me … being real. I’ve done it here many times, with many people.

        Before Melissa jumps on here and feels like she needs to explain herself, I’m totally fine. 🙂 (but thanks to those who felt compelled to defend my honor. LOL!) I find it funny because I actually interpreted her comment a bit differently than some of you, and I took no offense. However, the discussion did bring out some interesting points, didn’t it?

        When Randy made the comment he did today, it sounded to me like he was questioning his approach with people – and to the extent that it applies to this blog topic and in this forum, I had an opinion about that (as well as some experience in working with people)and I shared it. My feedback may have been unsolicited, but this has never felt to me like a classroom where it’s not safe to raise your hand and speak up. Am I mistaken? I sure hope not.

        So, as an addition to our previous definition of ‘being real’, maybe we will all agree at this point that sometimes bringing your real self to any relationship includes, not only helping others see their shortcomings and their blind spots when they can’t see them for themselves, but also reminding them what they do extremely well when the right opportunity presents itself. That’s my take away.

        No ulterior motives … just plain ‘call it as I see it’.

        K

        And … BTW, Heather – you were tracking me perfectly. Thank you. 🙂

    11. I vacillate with this one. I have learned that I can only control myself being truthful. Is what I think as the truth, really the truth. Experience has taught me that things I thought were true in the past, really were not. I don't think I am in a position to decide what someone else's truth should be. I think the best we can do, in this area, is to say yes and mean yes, and say no and mean no. Everything in between is untruth. We are all works in progress, and the one truth we can all bank on, if we believe, is that we will never be alone or forsaken and that if we choose we are all saved by our savior Jesus Christ. I hope we all remember in the midst of the hustle and bustle of this season, what it is really all about, the celebration of the birth of Christ.

    12. Great discussion on a sensitve topic. As I work with people I attempt to "speak the truth with love" otherwise known as hitting them with the "velvet brick". We sometimes are allowed the oportunity to speak in to someone's life. That position is usually earned through time, trust, and respect. People need to know the truth because the truth that you know will set you free.

    13. I know a lot of people and have very very few 'friends'. I have had great friendships and for different reasons those people are no longer in my life. I like to think that we came together to serve a single purpose for each other and when that came to an end it was time to move on and those friends did move, some to another province and more to another city. During those friendships though, I was the listener and was told from them that they always felt so much better, more positive after our visits. I did not judge them for their situations or choices and I did support them in their choices even if they weren't in their best interests. I knew even then (before my enlightenment) that they needed to be on their own path and I had no business 'TELLING' them what to do. I listened and asked questions, THEY came up with their own answers, thinking I was the one that knew the answers. LOL OH, the lessens I learned from those people.

    14. One additional point is that we can at times be our own best friends and our own worst enemies.

      While it is very important that we have friends to call us on our issues, as we should for them, we also have to be very honest with ourselves. We have to wake up to our own issues and call ourselves on that.

      Its also important that we are forgiving, compassionate and understanding to ourselves, just as we should be stern aswell.

      Thanks for the post Randy!

    15. I am intrigued you read that book by Dr. Berne. That is not the kind of book the average person picks up and reads, pretty weighty material. Did you really read it?

      What game are we playing? Are you "Here to help"? Or are you a "Homely sage"? Perhaps an innocent game of dissembled "Peasant"?

      Do you still have your book? Or did you check it out from a library(do Libertarians do that?)?

      Hmm. Friends. It is important to know one's own truth first, isn't it? Otherwise ulterior motives and hidden agendas could pop up.

      Loving others can be a delicate balancing act. When to tell, and when to just be. That can be the difficult question.

      So, Mr. Gage in the world of no Christmas trees and Santas with shorts, I hope you are spending Christmas with honest friends and loving family.

      1. P.S. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and you will be visited by three spirits. The first spirit will be Charles Dickens himself. The second spirit will be Che Guevara(the good news, you might get a motorcycle ride). The last spirit and by far the scariest will be Karl Marx(who knows what will happen).

        On Christmas morning you will awake with a strange desire to underwrite and produce a local theatrical production of a Clifford Odets play.

        Merry Christmas to you Mr. Gage.

    16. It has been said that our need for approval is the biggest check we'll ever write. It gets in our way in virtually all areas of our lives, including being real with others and allowing them to be real with us. It is best to get permission first in providing feedback and advice. Once we have permission, do it in a nurturing way. Lastly, we should all resign our position as general manager of the universe. Save yourself first. Be the example instead of telling others what they should or shouldn't do.

    17. This is a tricky one cause it's so easy to jump to conclusions about what people mean and although most people might say they like to hear the 'truth,' they don't always want to when it actually comes down to it.

      It's a really fine line between telling people what you think they need to hear and them receiving it that way!

    18. I've found that sometimes people, in a quest to prove that they are indeed your "friends", tell you the "harsh truth"... "'cause that's what friends do."

      They don't realize that they've got it backwards --- first, you prove yourself to be a friend, then you lay the truth on them. Telling the "truth" doesn't prove you're a friend, it just proves you're a critic.
      jim

    19. "With love all things are possible."

      If we are in a state of loving ourselves, we can only express truth.

      When we feel the need to share less than truth, look first inside and cheer yourself on to a better place.

      Words from the heart always connect with love,
      Cynthia

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