True friendship acknowledges imperfections, accepts them as part of our individual makeup, and focuses on our positive aspects instead of expounding upon our faults. Your friends don’t like you to comment upon their failings any more than you like them to criticize you. When your friends are discouraged or disappointed in themselves, a word of encouragement will serve much better than a sermonette. To be the kind of friend you would like to have, be a good listener, offer advice when you are asked for it, and treasure the trust that your friends have placed in you. Praise them for their achievements and sympathize when they fall short, but avoid offering “constructive criticism” or playing devil’s advocate. Most of us expect more from ourselves than anyone else ever would, and we are painfully aware of our shortcomings. We don’t need to be reminded of them by our friends.