Circles of trust
Like you and any other social being, I have different circles of trust in witch my relatives, friends and acquaintances are positioned. This trust is the measure we all use when interacting with other people.
And this is where it starts to be counter-intuitive - to my inner circles I can be as blunt as I want, sometimes even rude. It’s not my real intention to be rude, I’m just very sincere in my feedback. If I’m unhappy with you doing something stupid and express myself accordingly, is because I really care and don’t want to put a sugar coating on it just for you to have it easy.
If I am to do the same thing with someone witch I’ve only met last week, most probably I’ll be avoided in the future and our relation will end before it even starts. That doesn’t mean I won’t give sincere feedback to that person, just it won’t be my main concern if she will choose to discard it and it won’t affect me directly if she continues on a wrong path.
Everybody is searching and investing (mostly subconsciously) in relations that rewards them in a positive way (that’s why flattery, excessive friendliness, hypocrisy, etc works so well with a lot of people). Most of the time, as this overly nice relations evolve and you move deeper in the circles of trust, the sincerity is sacrificed in the name of friendship. Because if you receive the treatment of blunt truth, your first self-defense mechanism will be to block yourself to that negative feedback and regard the person who did it as the bad guy. Nobody wants to be the bad guy and that’s why you’ll end up hearing what you want to hear from all the close people around you.
For the same reason, one basic advice any future entrepreneur gets, is that you never ask feedback for your marvelous startup idea from your friends. You won’t get any real feedback from there, only reassurances of how smart you are.
So maybe we need to look a little deeply into the chemistry of relationships and start to judge our social interactions no only with our guts, but with our brains too.