Hard words don’t have to be mean

Sometimes I’m afraid I need to confront my friends about very hard things. I used to be afraid it would sound mean so I didn’t know if I should really do it.

I think remembering this rule can help:

I MUST do what is right, but should do it in a way that is as kind, honest, and helpful as possible. It’s harder, and takes more planning to do it this way. But the difference is that one way will make them feel loved, and the other attacked.

Also, I’ve found that to say a hard word, it is better if I have earned the right to say it with a long history of kindness. This gives them more evidence that I am saying it because I love them.

My friends who are most dear to me are the ones that love me like this. Please love me like this.

What are your ways to do this well? Experiences to share?
3-21-14