I think the key is in your phrase, “faithful friends.” With a faithful friend, you don’t have to worry because you know they are also kind and will use words that are not purposely hurtful or harsh. I have a friend like this. She usually prefaces what she’s about to say with words something like this, “You know how much I love and care about you, so what I’m about to say is not meant to be hurtful, but to encourage and strengthen you.” She doesn’t push for an immediate response, but lets me mull her words over in my mind. And yes, this is what I personally respond positively to, and she knows that about me. I suppose for everyone it’s different. Anyway, that’s my two bits
@LimboLady - Oh, I agree! Having the framework of friendship makes the difference between a sting and a wound.
I was talking to a friend a while back about my father and his capacity to be attentive at times and distant at other times. “Well, you know, I find you to be distant sometimes,” was her reply. I didn’t enjoy thinking of myself that way, but the more I mulled (a great word) it over the more I realized the truth in her assessment.
I think the key is to communicate both the honest evaluation and “I am not going anywhere…I am in it for the long haul with you.” Those experiences have been a type of rebirth for me…amazing grace, from the hands of a friend.