Friendship is a glorious thing, and most of the time it’s full of happiness, laughter, and fabulous selfies. But sometimes being a good vina means that you can’t be nice. It’s our job as vinas to be honest and protect those that we care about. And sometimes that requires a little bit (or a lot) of tough love. But how do you do it? And when? How do you know what situations require real tough love and which can be solved with a text (maybe using the new LOUD setting on iOS 10)? Let’s go over some tips on when to give your vina that tough love and how to do it without messing with your friendship.
Firstly, tough love is not a synonym for “be a b*tch”. Giving a vina tough love doesn’t mean you should lecture them or purposely make them feel bad about something that they’re doing. In essence, don’t be mean. You can be tough and give your vina a kick in the pants without making them feel horrible! Remember, the goal is to help your vina, not hurt them.
SO, WHAT KIND OF THINGS REQUIRE TOUGH LOVE?
- If your vina is acting in a way that is destructive to themselves of those around them.
- If your vina is in a relationship that is unhealthy.
- If your vina is treating herself in a way that is unhealthy.
- If your vina is doing something that you know she shouldn’t be doing.
I know these are all pretty vague, but all vinas and friendships are extremely different, so it’s almost impossible to write an all encompassing list. But how do we give tough love to vinas? How do we approach these topics without putting a heavy burden on our friendship?
I’m big fan of what I call the bittersweet method. You’ve never heard of it because I literally just made up the name (ta-da!), but it’s always been the most effective way for me to give a vina necessary tough love, without the day ending in tears.
SO WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO GIVING TOUGH LOVE?
- Ask your vina to set aside some time for you, perhaps doing something that she loves to do. You want to shoot for a place or activity that is relatively private, so the two of you can have an honest and open discussion.
- Try not to warn your vina in an over the top way. This has been one of my biggest issues. When someone tells you, “we need to talk” it automatically makes you want to run for the hills! So don’t be afraid to just go right into it.
- Once the two of you are comfortable and doing something that is enjoyable for the two of you (I recommend something artistic, like painting) bring up the topic. Don’t tip toe around it, just tell your vina the truth.
- Make sure that you’re not getting too mad. No-one likes being yelled at, and it’s natural for vinas to get defensive when they feel they’re being attacked.
- Realize that you can only do so much. All you can do is try your best to help. If your vina doesn’t want to listen to you, it may be frustrating, but it isn’t on you. People will only change when they’re ready to do it.
So there you have it! Have you had any experiences with giving vinas tough love? How have they worked out for you? Let me know in the comments! (Feature image via @uosandiego)