How many times have you heard someone complain “why can’t you just be on my side?” when someone important in their lives disagrees with something they have said or done? The inherent misunderstanding is that someone must say “yes”, otherwise they are against you. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sometimes, those who agree with you are looking out for their interests, not yours.
If someone really supports you, they will not always agree with you. Depending on the personalities involved, this can get rather heated at times. The fact that they are discussing it with you is the first step in giving you support. Listening (not hearing) is a big part of the process, but sometimes they might need to shush you before you get carried away. If they disagree with your course of action, hear them out. They don’t have to “know you” to understand the situation as you describe it.
Offering a different persective is not always meant as an argument. Another viewpoint can be used to add more depth to your perception and distance to your vantage point. Being truly self-aware is extremely difficult, so don’t be surprised to hear that you have helped make your own mess. Real support is laying out the facts and truths that you may be overlooking.
In the end, being “on your side” is much more than backing you up no matter what. It means helping you be the best person you can be, choose wisely, and avoiding trouble. Don’t forget these ideas when it is your turn to be on someone else’s side. They are counting on you.