All are not friends that speak us fair. (Dictionary of English Proverbs/Thomas Preston)

It’s a sad and sobering reality when you discover that someone you thought was a friend really was not.  We’ve all been warned to beware of flattery but at the same time we are tempted to go along with it.  Sure, it’s nice to hear good things said about us.  Part of us still knows that deep down it’s not necessarily true.  Real friends will speak highly of us but not exclusively.  A true friend does not ignore our weaknesses or deficits but likes us in spite of these things.  A good rule is that it’s not likely that a given person is 100% bad nor 100% good.  Anytime too glowing a picture is painted of someone, the less likely it’s all to be true.  By the same standard, when someone is described as all bad, then that assessment, too, is suspect.  The reality is that all of us, myself included, have good traits and bad traits.  For a friendship to flourish, the good in the relationship should greatly outweigh the bad.  However, the bad does not have to be ignored or hidden.  A friend who knows us well enough to know our good as well as our bad is a better friend because they know us and can decide to be friends based on truth.  Ultimately, truth will reveal itself anyway so it’s better to let people know us well (good and bad) if we want to have real, honest, and strong friendships. (Picture from



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