On Jamie Lee Curtis’s podcast Good Friend, she explores the idea of friendship through conversations with close friends. What exactly does it mean to be a “good friend?” How do you know when you’ve met someone who can be a good friend? How do you deepen a superficial connection into a lasting friendship? Many of her conversations have touched on trust and safety, and in this episode, she talks with her own longtime friend, Ruth Pontvianne, about the importance of truth in a friendship. Because Ruth once told Jamie a powerful truth: That she was addicted to drugs and alcohol and that she needed to get help. Jamie remembers the night with vivid detail. “The greatest gift a friend can give you is to tell you the truth,” she says. “And I’m telling you, that moment of truth was the fundamental moment of truth in my life.” A month after their conversation, Jamie got sober – and that was 22 years ago.
Ruth is originally from Brazil, and she had a huge friend and family group from a young age. She had several siblings and they each had best friends, and each of their friends had several siblings of their own, so “there was always like twelve of us,” she laughs. They became so close-knit that they’re still best friends today. So she learned early on what friendship meant to her: “We rely on each other, we’re always there for each other, bad and good.” And just like she was with Jamie about her addiction, she has been brutally honest with them. “I try to always come from a genuine, giving, loving place, and in a playful way, but sometimes it can be very harsh and I don’t really apologize to anyone about that harshness,” Ruth says. “You need me to call you on your bull***t. That’s what friends are for.”
But Ruth also points out that it’s just as important to be truthful with yourself, and know what you need, so you can ask for it. Being a good friend doesn’t mean waiting around for your friend to figure out what you want. If you’re truly good friends, you should be able to communicate with each other – even if the conversation is hard. They talk about Ruth’s practice as a healer, the power of unconditional acceptance, Ruth’s mindfulness advice for the day, and so much more; hear this reflective conversation about friendship, being present, and being honest on this episode of Good Friend with Jamie Lee Curtis.
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