Recently, my best friend told me something I needed to hear for a long time. She and I prepare food together a lot, usually at my house so I can keep one ear on the baby monitor, and over time, she noticed something about my life that bothered her.
So, she finally told me.
"You need to sharpen your knives more often," she said. "I've wanted to tell you this, Edler, for a while."
We both laughed when she said this. She didn't mean to, but she said it in a way as if she told me I drink too much or have B.O.
But she's right. Knife sharpening is not one of my strong points. I don't have an electric knife sharpener, and only occasionally I bust out a manual hand-sharpening tool. I might as well sharpen my pencils with a Swiss Army Knife.
This event started me thinking about how difficult it is to tell a friend about something you think they need to change. I have been there, and so have you.
Most of us say we want constructive criticism, and in theory, it's the role of a "good friend" to acknowledge blind spots and kindly alert us to them when we didn't notice or are too deep in denial to accept the obvious.
But it's hard to process when they do, and event harder to instigate.
I conducted a mini intervention once. My sister and I met with someone to tell her we were concerned about her relationship with a man who we thought was truly detrimental for her. This was one of the most difficult conversations I ever had.
But there are other times when things have gone unsaid, because I was concerned with hurting someone's feelings or because I just didn't have the time or energy to open the proverbial can of worms. And truly, especially after writing this blog, I want to say I'm going to be more open to the helpful messages of others and willing to deliver a few more myself.
Right after I sharpen my knives.