Drew Barrymore's Tips on How to Have Hard Conversations With Friends

It’s time for another round of advice from ET’s personal Dear Abby, Drew Barrymore. On this week’s Dear Drew, the talk show host is getting real about having hard conversations with your friends. Barrymore, who tells ET’s Nischelle Turner that her friendships are a really high priority for her, says it’s all about finding the balance between being honest and being harsh, and this first question is all about treading that line.

“Dear Drew, my friend recently got a crazy, unflattering haircut. When she asked what I thought of it, I said I love it, but should I just be honest and tell her the truth?” Turner asks The Drew Barrymore Show star.

The admitted girls’ girl opts for kind honesty here.

“Oooh, OK, I think you don’t have to lie and be, like, I love it, and you don’t have to be, like, it’s horrible. I think you can say, you know, what do you think?” Barrymore suggests. “I think you can just sort of be honest but not harsh and definitely don’t say you love it, if you don’t.”

The question has Turner wondering if Barrymore ever had a cut of her own that she regretted, and the actress turned TV host sure did, calling the look, “Bon Jovi on a really bad day.”

“Oh, I got a perm when I was, like, 13 or 14 and then the woman cut bangs. I looked like Peppermint Patty meets, like, Stevie Nicks after being electrically shocked. It was so bad and I just walked out of the salon hysterically crying,” Barrymore reveals. “I couldn’t believe, like, I couldn’t hold back the tears as I walked out. It was awful.”

The next question requires both friends getting in on the fun.

“Dear Drew, I am dying to give my friend a makeover. She’s beautiful, but she could use a more updated look. How do I offer to help without offending her?” Turner asks.

“Well, I think, like, movie makeovers are so fun. Why doesn’t she plan a movie makeover for both of them?” Barrymore suggests. “So instead of it being like, ‘I think you need to, like, improve,’ it’s like, ‘how fun would it be if we both went out, did our hair, got some clothes, maybe got a mani-pedi and just did a full-blown movie makeover and I can do one on you and you can do one on me or we can do it together and collaborate?’ Make it really fun and celebratory and about both of them.”

It may be easy to do a movie makeover with your friend, but how about admitting you’re jealous of their success? The next question is one our Dear Drew says you shouldn’t bring up with your friend.

“Dear Drew, my friend recently got a promotion at work. I am so happy for her but I can’t help but feel jealous too. Why does her happy news have me feeling so down about myself?” Turner reads. “Do you ever talk to your friend about it? Or do you just have to work that thing out in yourself?” the ET host asks Barrymore.

“I would not,” the Santa Clarita Diet star responds. “I think her friend might feel then like she can’t express the good things that happen to her and she can’t make her friend’s successes about her.”

While she acknowledges that jealousy is a normal emotion to feel, Barrymore calls it a wasted one and encourages the viewer to instead support her friend.

“You got to realize that jealousy is sort of a wasted emotion. There’s plenty to go around for everyone and if you let it inspire and motivate you to go work harder,” Barrymore advises. “But I would not bring it up with your friend because you should talk about your friends with things that they can control.”

“This is not something she needs to control,” she adds. “She needs to be on a positive trajectory and we need to support our friends. But it’s understandable, it doesn’t make her a bad person and it’s not an emotion that people don’t feel.”

The last question veers into the territory of girl code.

“Dear Drew, one of my friends has a new boyfriend and my group of friends cannot stand him. We think he’s all wrong for her. How do we tell her without hurting her feelings?” Turner asks.

For Barrymore, how she responds is on a case-by-case basis.

“Well, the question is, do they think he’s wrong for her because he’s a toxic person or because he’s just annoying?” she says.”If he is a toxic person, you should intervene. If he is just annoying, that is their journey and you will only alienate yourself by rejecting him and make your friend feel bad for liking them. They’re going to probably figure it out at a certain point and if they don’t, you don’t want to be the guy that said I don’t like him because then your friend will pull away.”

Both Turner and Barrymore say they have been in these situations and while they definitely ride hard for their girlfriends, they advise intervening in need-to-know situations, like if you find out a friend is being cheated on, and even then it’s never easy being the messenger.

For more Dear Drew, be sure to tune into Entertainment Tonight every Thursday. Check your local listings here. 

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