Friendships level up when we give each other permission to call each other out.

I once heard this called “Giving your buddy a hunting license.” Explicit permission granted.

Talk about a DTR (Defining The Relationship)!

One of the trickiest features of life is that we can see faults in others easier than in ourselves. We’re tremendously skilled at self-justifying ourselves into significant blind spots.

Which leaves us vulnerable to stagnation and stunted growth. We’re especially vulnerable if we issue warnings to our friends and family that they had better not confront us. If we actually define friendship as refusing to correct one another–if this is actually the foundation of our friendship and the covenant on which the relationship depends–then the relationship is built on sand.

We have to move beyond the belief that unsolicited advice is a cardinal sin.

Far better to issue “hunting licenses” to our friends with whom we enjoy high levels of mutual respect, vulnerability, and regard for their stock of wisdom. Ask them to call it when they see it–and to please be as gentle and tactful as possible. But not so gentle so as to be merely hinting when frankness is needed.

And I do NOT recommend giving this type of permission to someone who has proven themselves to lack sound judgment.

For those of you who have cared enough to call me out, I salute you.

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
    but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Proverbs 27:6