There are generally two kinds of people in your life: those that comfort you, and those that help you grow. You may get lucky and have a few friends that are both, but most people fall into one group or another.
Frank A. Clark put it this way:
“We find comfort among those who agree with us, and growth among those who don’t.”
This idea can manifest itself in a few different ways.
First, it’s how people respond to bad decisions you make. Some will help comfort or justify the decision you made, while others will be a bit more straightforward about it. Many politicians and leaders have too many people on the comfort side that say “yes” too often, and not enough challengers to push them forward.
Second, it’s how people’s opinions help shape you. I’ve talked before about some of my friends that are able to see both sides of the aisle politically, and the advantages that this brings. I try to be very intentional about listening to my friends with whom I disagree about something, as that’s the best place to find growth.
It can be a tough thing to balance, particularly from the growth mindset. If someone makes a bad decision, piling on with “advice” isn’t likely to do much good, but neither is justifying the mistake that was made. Understanding and unpacking why the decision was made is likely to be more helpful to everyone involved.