As we strive to create genuine community, we learn that holding one another accountable and confronting each other with love are both important components of building lasting relationships. While we’d rather focus on the aspects of friendship that bring us joy — the quality time we spend together, for example, or the fun memories we share — we have to balance easygoing conversations and laughter with thought-provoking discussions and, sometimes, difficult confrontations.
We show love to others by treating them well, certainly, but also by standing up during difficult times to serve as a mirror — as a reflection of the truth — and approaching someone about certain behaviors, attitudes or actions that are negatively affecting themselves and others. This not only helps us remain honest with one another, but it also creates depth within our relationships, a richness that helps our friendships stand the test of time.
So, how do we go about confronting someone in a loving way? How do we initiate conversations about difficult topics and simultaneously ensure that we don’t isolate or irrevocably hurt the people we love the most?
Image via Allie Jeffers