How to Be Cruel To Be Kind
You have a badly behaved friend who causes wreckage or drama. It’s one of those things where something happens, no one says anything and everyone talks about her behind her back but smiles to her face. She has no idea because she can’t see it. One friend in the group finally says in a loving way, “hey, when you do X it feels really shitty and it makes me not want to hang out with you in those circumstances.”
So it’s a very uncomfortable thing to call someone out on their behavior but here is a great formula that works:
When you did X it made me feel Y and this is what my desire is.
What this achieves is:
1) you identify the behavior in a factual non-judgmental way — “When we go out to and you get so drunk you can’t stand”
2) vulnerability “I get really angry because I love you and I worry about you ”
3) desire “and I would like for you to take care of yourself so we can all have a good time.”
If you approach your friend like this you will fail:
You are such a bitch when you do X and it is so horrible when you do W to me. You need to apologize.
1) Name calling never works. It’s not loving. It is not kind and it will never get you the desired result. — “You are such a dumb drunk when we go out..”
2) When you tell someone they did something TO you they have no other option but to get defensive. “You always get so drunk and make me take care of you..”
If you are really her friend you absolutely want to reflect to her how she is acting because it isn’t serving her and it’s hurting her. But you have to do it in a way that is honest, doesn’t collude, justify or gloss over and is super clean from blame or resentment.