Real friends do two really important things -- they listen to your tales and they ask you uncomfortable questions. You spread out your who-did-what-to-whom story in front of them the way you see it (which usually means you're somewhere near center-stage wearing mostly all white). Your friend listens and feels it all again with you, but he doesn't stop there. After he hears your tale your way, he starts to ask you things that help you hear it another way. He asks things like "What about you? Are there things you could do differently?" He asks gently, like it's an invitation, and, before you know it, you hear yourself saying yes.
“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort, of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keeping what is worth keeping and then, with the breath of kindness, blowing the rest away.” George Eliot