It is a difficult task to see yourself for who you really are. Self-assessment is not easy, and I would say it is especially more difficult for men. We always want to see, and quite easily do see more often than not, the best in ourselves. We always want to think we are right, and even in our own moments of self-deprecation we think we are humble. We are capable of simultaneously admitting we have faults and seeing the faults of others who offend us as far more egregious. It is a rare man indeed who can see himself for who he really is.
When couples are angry at each other, it is far easier for them to see the changes the other person needs to make in order to "fix" the situation. In one breath admitting they may be at fault for some part of the division that exists, each is internally insisting that their position is due to the actions of the other person, and so it is the other person who must give way, change, and make amends, in order to make things better.
It's not just in close relationships where men have this trouble either. I have seen men walking around who should be embarrassed by the way they have presented themselves in public, but the problem is, they do not see a problem with it. Whether it is the way they dress, the way they talk with others, or their own behaviors, they do not see a need for change because they cannot see themselves for who they really are. In fact, "Reality TV" has built up an entertainment industry around this fact.
If we are going to be genuine and truthful with ourselves, we need to admit we need someone else for help in assessing where we are in life. This is where that friend, unconditional, becomes of great value. If you have a real friend, try stepping into their life for a few minutes to ask them to give you a reality check of the type of person you really are. Remember, this should be a friendship without condition, and one where your friend will keep your best interest at heart while still being completely honest with you even when they know it is going to hurt.
Have you ever seen the making of a sword? The process is quite brutal at times. The process is one of continuous heating and folding of metal that is beaten by weighted hammers against an anvil. Over and over again this process goes. The blade slowly takes shape from a block of iron into a length of metal that is then put to a grinder, and slowly, over time the process becomes more and more delicate as the final blade takes form. In the end, a lethal instrument ready for battle is the result.
This is what the Bible means when it says in Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." That is what a real friend will do for you. When iron sharpens iron there is friction, there is heat, and sparks fly while there is a whittling away of rough bumps so that a razor's edge may be attained and the blade that results will be far more useful and effective in the end. A friend unconditional will not tell you what you want to hear, but they will tell you what you need to hear while still accepting you for who you are right now. In the end, when really good friends do this for each other on a consistent basis, they are both changed into someone far more effective and useful.