The other day when I was venting to my friend about the same issue that I have been complaining about for last few months, I had to ask her this question. Why do you keep listening to my recurrent problem if the advice you give me is the same? You never complain about hearing the same drama over and over again, even when you know it ends the same way every time. You give me real advice, but you’re sensitive and reason with me until I see and accept the solution myself.

She replied very simply: Sometimes you just need to let things out and have someone on your side who’s going to be sensitive yet truthful. I’m on your team.

I’ve realized that many times, it’s not necessarily what you say. Rather it’s the way that you say it that makes all the difference. While it can be harder to find more sensitive and kind ways to say things that might seem illogical to the person venting, it always results in that person reaching the epiphany more successfully.

It may take longer to explain to the person that the issue has a solution they might not be ready to choose. They might, like myself at times, resist advice that might force them to take the more difficult path. It may even be hard to deal with their reactions and comments in the heat of the moment. But, it is these times where they need people like my friend the most.

So, to my friend: You’re a real one and don’t ever forget that I’m listening. I trust your ability to guide me, even when I don’t seem capable of responding or following your advice.

There is so much value in having these kinds of friends in your life. Whether it’s been my parents or close friends, what they offer to me is priceless. Not only do I know that they support me, but I know they also care. They really, truly care, and there’s no superficiality involved. Confiding in these people helps me heal and overcome my obstacles. These friends help me become stronger every day.

However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that these friends need a friend like them too. So, when you find this friend in your life, don’t forget to return the favor and genuinely be their supporter. Root for them, tell them the truth, and also make sure they know you care too. After all, there’s no “I” in team!