Michael Toebe

1 year ago · 2 min. reading time · ~10 ·

Michael blog
Leaning In With Friends When Their Judgment and Behavior is Poor

Leaning In With Friends When Their Judgment and Behavior is Poor

Pol: {oe


{— Cs 1

“Some people lean in when their friends take heat, some people lean away.

“I decided I wanted to be a lean-in type, even if I didn’t always agree, even if it was their fault.”

Ryan Holiday

There is so much being communicated here and it’s important to recognize what is and isn’t being said and what else can be learned and valued.

Often, people step away from their friends when those friends are under attack because they are afraid of being too closely associate with them and getting their reputations (and maybe, well-being) “burned.” That’s natural though, for us to want to protect ourselves. Yet it can leave our friends feeling abandoned and questioning the legitimacy or strength of the friendship.

Ryan Holiday wants to choose instead to lean in and be there for support. He wants to be there, even if what you, his friend, did was your “fault” and you were not in the “right.” That’s admirable, and a more reliable friendship, no?

This doesn’t mean in the slightest, I don’t think, that Holiday means he will, under all circumstances and forever, stay committed to a friend if that person is not humble in face of the criticism they are receiving. I don’t believe Holiday is saying he will continue to lean in for long if a friend is rejecting truth and an urgent desire to learn, or is revealing rotted character and not seeking to improve and “do the right thing.”

From reading Holiday’s writing semi-regularly, I know that’s not what he’s communicating.

As humans, we need and crave support, especially when we’re taking “heat.” It’s an uncomfortable and often, emotionally, psychologically and yes, physically, a painful experience.

It’s therefore comforting and helpful to have our friends lean in instead of leaning away or fully rejecting and abandoning us.

Yet we have to do our part too, to show we respect our friends and deeply value their sacrifice (?), commitment (!), steadiness and love to stick with us and be there for encouragement and support.

We have to show highly admirable character in response to the negativity being aimed at and raining down on us. We must do what is expected and “right,” by taking corrective measures in sincere, humble words and honorable, compassionate deeds.

We can’t deny, hide, aggress and otherwise conduct ourselves in any other foolhardy, arrogant, selfish, reckless behavior.

How we choose to initially react to “heat” and then thoughtfully respond can largely determine how often and to what degree our friends will lean in, even when they disagree with us and we’ve either contributed to our own misery or been, at fault.

Michael Toebe is a founder and specialist who helps individuals and organizations with further building, protecting, restoring or reconstructing reputation quality. He helps at Reputation-Quality.com, Reputation-Interviews.com and QSR-Guide.com. He is also the author of “Your Reputation Signature: What It Is, Why It Matters and How to Protect, Restore and Reconstruct It,” and On Apology, What We Can Learn and Do Better.”

Red Diamonds Podcast (available on many podcast platforms)
@RepQuality on Twitter
Connect on LinkedIn


Articles from Michael Toebe

View blog
2 years ago · 2 min. reading time

Rock bottom. No one wants to be there yet people end up in the pit anyway. Sometimes, that’s been, i ...

1 year ago · 1 min. reading time

Do you have the humility, courage and strength to confess significant errors to those who count on y ...

2 years ago · 2 min. reading time

It feels good to be confident, to believe and know you’re accurate in your assessments, to feel “I’m ...

You may be interested in these jobs

  • Cortland

    Senior Maintenance Technician

    Found in: Jooble US - 3 days ago

    Cortland Charlotte, NC Full time

    At Cortland, you map the story of your success. We don't adhere to the status quo, we love outside industry perspective, and we thrive on exploring possibilities and reimagining solutions. As an innovative leader in multifamily, our high performance continues to drive exponential ...

  • Duly Health and Care

    Certified/Registered Medical Assistant

    Found in: beBee S2 US - 6 days ago

    Duly Health and Care Lisle Full time

    Overview: · This position is eligible for a $1,500 Sign On Bonus · Good enough isn't for us. Duly Health and Care's team members show up every day driven to exceed expectations. We challenge assumptions and invite dissent to accomplish bold goals and unleash the most extraordinar ...

  • LifeCare Health Partners

    Charge Nurse

    Found in: Jooble US - 6 days ago

    LifeCare Health Partners Fort Worth, TX

    We have an immediate opportunity for Charge Nurses.General Summary: The Charge Nurse (RN) in a designated charge role coordinates with nursing leadership to ensure that the activities of the nursing staff are providing nursing care to assigned patients utilizing the nursing proce ...