April 04, 2013
Last year I was at a charity event when a friend's name came up.
This friend has supported me both personally and professionally for several years.
I know him to be a loyal and trustworthy individual.
Thus I was surprised when his name, in the course of conversation, was linked to less than favorable comments.
The accusations that were made, simply by virtue of having been made at all, could have impacted my friend's career and livelihood.
The accuser, someone I had never met (who happened to be in the same industry as my friend), made his claims boldly and in the presence of an entire table full of charity event-goers.
Fortunately, there were two other people at the table who (like me) knew my friend to be an upstanding and honorable man. We defended this individual, who had impacted each of us positively.
Later, I had a conversation with our friend and let him know about these rumors. Without being angry or upset, he told me that his accuser was a competitor in his field, and that there was no truth to the charges being made.
It was a distinctly difficult conversation to have.
Yet I was willing to have it. I value my friend and all the ways in which he has supported me.
This can be the hardest thing of all: to let someone know that they have been accused of something damaging.
We want to protect our friends, and we want to protect ourselves.
We don't want to get into a distasteful situation where our own motives might be called into question.
We don't want to get into a situation where ugly rumors might actually turn out to be true.
But that is what friends are for.
Friends are those who show up, and have the hard conversations.
They let us know what the world is saying about us, whether or not they believe it to be true.
Friends don't simply wash their hands of us, so that they might create a more comfortable distance for themselves.
A year later, my own friend and I still support one another personally and professionally.
It is good to know who our friends are, and to keep them close.
Loyalty, trust and friendship are precious gems indeed.
The Dr. Lisa Radio Hour & Podcast airs each Sunday at 7 am & noon. Download the podcast through iTunes.