I value these friends and I think they've probably saved my life on several occasions. Small pushes like these from people I respect tend to correct my course before I drift far enough to get in serious trouble. Here in Minnesota, it is probably more prevalent for people to be polite and not mention your problems or just slowly drift away as you get more and more in trouble. The genial asshole is a novelty and a boon.
I try to return the favor now and then and hope that I don't offend more than I help. In the end, however, I'm trying to help people I care about and if they hate my guts because of what I've said and live to do so for a good long time, that's reward enough.