The closest to us often stand in our way. Being frank is the solution. Some individuals, and in my experience, certain peoples, see intellectual challenge from friends and family not as loving concern, but as obstacles and violence to their purposes and state of mind. This may be unpopular to say, but in the spirit of being honest, this is my observation. The proof is in the pudding, which I offer to loved ones and people of a certain culture, lovingly, but which they often see as virtual dog excrement.
You may know what I mean. You try to encourage someone you love to see something by way of gentle critique, and s/he sees it as an attack. More egregeous, at other times, you are not even criticizing, but what you say is seen as such, because that is what the listener is used to. It happens among all of us.
It all depends on what one believes. If you believe someone truly loves you-and this is based on actions, not only words-you see what he or she says as positive in some way. If you do not believe in love, do not know what love is, or do not believe a person loves you, everything s/he says is supsect.
I find living here very challenging because I generally believe that Confucianists believe in romance, but to a large extent, do not believe in “love”. They rest the bulk of their trust in “Woo Jung”, instead, and Confucianist norms of respect, rather than equality, which are falsehoods, in reality, in my view; subjective holdovers of the kingdoms period in their history, and supportive of their egos, not the their hearts or the true general good.
On another note, this is why spreading true democracy to premodern cultures always fails, I believe, at least for several decades if not a century. A society has to agree on love before it can agree on governance. People of different faiths and traditions have vastly different understandings of love, if they have true love at all.