My good friend
I mean, we probably agree that if you do nice things for people you like you are a good friend to them. If you say nice things to people you like you're probably a good friend to them. If you think nice things about people you like you're probably a good friend to them.
And we base all this on the assumption that you do all the nice things for people you care about - friends.
But when your friend needs to hear some bad news, can you deliver it?
I have a friend who is a drunk. He gets lit frequently. And it occurred to me in a conversation with him earlier today that I don't think I've ever called him out over his excess boozing. We've talked about the after-effects a million times. I have laughed with him over his descriptions of feeling and looked wretched the next morning. I've poked fun at him for it and teased him about not being able to "hold" his. I've coyly asked him if he remembered who he hooked up with the night before.
The only reason it struck me today that I may be doing this friend a disservice was that he called and told me about his recent wild nights...and then he went on to talk about how bummed out he was about his life.
For all the times this buddy has called me to tell me about his escapades I've never once told him "Go to AA, go straight to AA, do not pass go, do not collect $200."
Nothing. Not even a hint like "You think maybe you should cut back a little?"
Don't get me wrong. I'm not on a soap box. I'm not even on a bar of soap right now. I have had my share of "the day after."
But then I got old...er, and tired of feeling like re-heated crap from late Friday/early Saturday morning till Sunday evening every weekend. And booze got expensive. And I had things to do that required me to be clear-headed, etc., etc. The list could go on. And no doubt some of you could add a few items to it.
My point is you grow up at some point and stop the goofy behavior, just because. If you're 30 or older and nowhere near the goals you've set for yourself but yet you still find time to get hammered every night? You have issues. And if you can't or aren't willing to stop you might have a problem that goes beyond your overwhelming desire to have fun. And if this description fits you, you're not likely to get "it" on your own, which leaves the job of making you get "it" to your friends.
But friends aren't always willing to tell you're goofy and/or you need help. And yet, you may need to hear that more than a joke. I know all the arguments: we don't want to hurt our friends' feelings. We don't want to come off as the bad guy. I've heard 'em all. I've used 'em to rationalize my own unwillingness to put a friend in check.
Still, it's strange to me. It should be easy. The truth shall set you free, and all that jazz, right?
I think I am a good friend to this guy. But I've never told him to get help.