My friends tell me the truth, whether it’s brutal, fantastic, or otherwise. For that, I love them.

As a former swim coach once told me, I can be “a bit of a space cadet.” I often have my head in the clouds, and miss the warnings that consequences are coming.

The other night, I called one of my friends for some advice. He was brutally honest with me, to the point where I needed the night to recover from his comments. He essentially let me know I was rushing, being a fool and that I needed to come down from cloud nine.

He’s going to read this and say something along the lines of “Damn straight I did.”

I used to have friends that told me the sun shined out every orifice of my body. Years of that led me to a place where I was unhappy and alone. Sometimes it’s nice to hear positive feedback from your friends.

Whether it feels good or not, honest feedback is more valuable. Surround yourself with those people, because they’ll help you improve as an adult.

All of my friends are that way now, or at least the ones I count as friends. Despite a bevy of personal struggles over the last year, I feel improved. Most of that can be attributed to them.

At one time or another, everyone needs to hear the words “Get your head out of your ass.” I may have heard different variations of that statement upwards of 100 times over the last few months.

Not enough people tell the straight truth anymore. Some of it has to do with the fact that our generation’s collective skin appears to be thinner. We’re in an age where a sports coach yelling at their athlete can warrant a firing. It’s pathetic.

I had teammates and coaches that yelled at me often, and while it’s not always the most pleasant thing in the world, my skin is thick enough to realize that their yelling just means they care.

I knew not to become worried when I was getting chewed out. I became worried when the coach began to ignore me.

Hear what you need to hear, even if it sucks to hear it. You’ll never be more thankful for real friends.