A friend should be a master at guessing and keeping still.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud. I am arrived at last in the presence of a man so real and equal, that I may drop even those undermost garments of dissimulation, courtesy, and second thought, which men never put off, and may deal with him with the simplicity and wholeness with which one chemical atom meets another.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
The truth that is suppressed by friends is the readiest weapon of the enemy.
—Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94) Scottish Novelist
It is the weak and confused who worship the pseudo-simplicities of brutal directness.
—Marshall Mcluhan (1911–80) Canadian Writer, Thinker, Educator
If we were all given by magic the power to read each other’s thoughts, I suppose the first effect would be to dissolve all friendships.
—Bertrand A. Russell (1872–1970) British Philosopher, Mathematician, Social Critic
Flattery makes friends, truth enemies.
It is great and manly to disdain disguise; it shows our spirit, and prove our strength.
—Edward Young (1683–1765) English Poet
The diligent fostering of a candid habit of mind, even in trifles, is a matter of high moment both to character and opinions.
—John Saul Howson
There is not so good an understanding between any two, but the exposure by the one of a serious fault in the other will produce a misunderstanding in proportion to its heinousness.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
What a wonderful thing it is to have a good friend. He identities your innermost desires, and spares you the embarrassment of disclosing them to him yourself.
—Jean de La Fontaine (1621–95) French Poet, Short Story Writer
To be candid, in Middlemarch phraseology, meant, to use an early opportunity of letting your friends know that you did not take a cheerful view of their capacity, their conduct, or their position; and a robust candor never waited to be asked for its opinion.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
Examine what is said, not him who speaks.
You may tell a man thou art a fiend, but not your nose wants blowing; to him alone who can bear a thing of that kind, you may tell all.
—Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741–1801) Swiss Theologian, Poet
The more we love our friends, the less we flatter them; it is by excusing nothing that pure love shows itself.
—Moliere (1622–73) French Playwright
I always felt that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing.
—Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923) New Zealand-born British Author
If all hearts were open and all desires known—as they would be if people showed their souls—how many gapings, sighings, clenched fists, knotted brows, broad grins, and red eyes should we see in the market-place!
—Thomas Hardy (1840–1928) English Novelist, Poet
Don’t believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves.
—Albert Camus (1913–60) Algerian-born French Philosopher, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist, Author
Do not remove a fly from your friend’s forehead with a hatchet.
Friends, if we be honest with ourselves, we shall be honest with each other.
—George MacDonald (1824–1905) Scottish Novelist, Lecturer, Poet
Candor is the brightest gem of criticism.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
Friendship will not stand the strain of very much good advice for very long.
—Robert Wilson Lynd (1879–1949) Irish Essayist, Critic
‘Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and have her nonsense respected.
—Charles Lamb (1775–1834) British Essayist, Poet
Don’t tell your friends their social faults; they will cure the fault and never forgive you.
—Logan Pearsall Smith (1865–1946) American-British Essayist, Bibliophile
There is an unseemly exposure of the mind, as well as of the body.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
It’s important to our friends to believe that we are unreservedly frank with them, and important to the friendship that we are not.
—Mignon McLaughlin (1913–83) American Journalist, Author
Some so speak in exaggerations and superlatives that we need to make a large discount from their statements before we can come at their real meaning.
—Tryon Edwards American Theologian
Frank and explicit; that is the right line to take when you wish to conceal your own mind and to confuse the minds of others.
—Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81) British Head of State
Not to expose your true feelings to an adult seems to be instinctive from the age of seven or eight onwards.
—George Orwell (1903–50) English Novelist, Journalist
I can promise to be candid, though I may not be impartial.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
Flatterers look like friends, as wolves like dogs.
—George Chapman (c.1560–1634) English Poet, Playwright