We all know what they say: honesty is always the best policy... Or is it?
It's no secret that the closer we get to someone, the more comfortable we are with telling them what's truly on our minds. But, sometimes, when we are less careful with our words, it can translate into us being less careful with our friends' feelings.
And, some things just can't be unsaid. As much as honesty is crucial to maintain a strong friendship, these are things you might want to keep to yourself:
1) You don't like their significant other/other friends/family.
This one is a big no-no. Let's be real here: it is highly unlikely that your friend is going to have some epiphany upon hearing you badmouth the person they're with, and then break up with them. In actuality, it's more likely that your friend will start giving you the distance instead, because now they feel like they have to defend their partner against you.
Unless your friend's significant other is abusing your friend or actually did something to you (and no, getting on your last nerve does not count) , then you don't have the right to complain to your friend about him. The same goes for their other friends or family members that you aren't particularly fond of. Do yourself and your friendship a favor and just don't go there.
2) You heard someone talking badly about them.
As a good friend, it is only instinct to want to defend your friend when you hear someone talking crap about them. And you should defend them, but after you do, drop the subject. Keeping that little bit of information from your friend does not make you fake or two-faced. In fact, if you were to go back and tell your friend what was said about them, then, technically, you would be the one hurting their feelings, not whoever was doing the sh*t talking.
3) You don't like their fashion sense.
At the risk of making myself sound like a vain, arrogant b****, I'll admit that I sometimes have trouble with this one. I love my friends, so if an outfit looks mismatched or unflattering, a part of me feels this intense obligation to tell them so they can fix it. Because not saying anything would make me a fake friend, right?
Wrong with a capital R (because that's how wrong that idea is). Even if the criticism comes from a place of love, I guarantee that your friend won't see it that way. Telling your friend that something is stuck in their teeth is one thing. But, telling them you don't like something they have chosen to wear is not helpful - it's just judgmental and rude.
4) You think their crush is ugly.
We've all been there. You're friend is gushing nonstop about how good-looking somebody is. From the way they are talking, you expect someone drop dead gorgeous... but then your friend shows you a picture of someone who - at least in your eyes - isn't all that hot. You probably think to yourself, "Come on, you can do better than that!" But, you'd better not say it.
It's just like making fun of their wardrobe - essentially, you would be telling them that you think they have bad taste. Now, you may be wondering, what do you say if they press you for an opinion? If you don't want to lie, then you can just say that he/she isn't your type. But, unless your friend asks, keep your opinion to yourself.
5) You find some of their quirks and habits annoying.
Maybe your friend tips cheaply (or - yikes - not at all) when you guys go out to eat. Or maybe she lacks certain social graces at times. We all have things about us that other people may find annoying, but a friendship is somewhere you should feel safe letting those quirks be seen.
Unless their annoying habits are negatively affecting you (for example, constantly forgetting to pay you back), then you should either accept them as they are or stop being their friend. Besides, I'm sure we all know from experience that it gets really hard to open up and maintain a friendship with someone that constantly judges you to your face. And when one or both parties have trouble opening up, the friendship is doomed.
6) You think they are bad at something that they really like.
So I have a little story for you. One of my friends had this friend who loved to sing, but was horrible at it. His friend also liked to fish for compliments, so she would ask him all the time, "Am I a good singer? I sang that last piece in choir really well, right?"
So, one day, when she asked, yet again, what my friend thought of her singing, my friend replied, "Well, you have improved a lot" - which was the perfect response. He didn't just bust out and tell his friend that she was a bad singer, but he didn't outright lie either...because either of those responses would have been unnecessary.
With that being said, if your friend sucks at something they really love doing, there is no reason to crush their dreams. If they ask you for an opinion, point out something positive (and true) and offer constructive criticism. But, simply telling them they're no good won't help them get better and definitely won't be appreciated.
7) You disagree with their life choices.
No two people are going to agree on everything, nor do they have to. But, as long as your friend is not harming you, themselves, or others, then it's not your place to say anything about how they live their life. Even if you strongly disagree with certain decisions they make, your friend's life is their own, and your job as their friend is to support them when they need it.