May 6, 2013 at 10:50 am #35184
Hi there – I wanted to ask this forum whether you believe it is possible to be friends with someone who is consistently not truthful.
My best friend since early teenage years is a magnificently fun and optimistic person with a wonderful, sharp wit. I love being around because she’s fun, generous, and uninhibited. I marvel at the effortlessness with which she connects with people so wholly and positively. However, with very few exceptions, people don’t stay in her life for very long only to be replenished by an ever-evolving cast of characters. She uses people, doesn’t pay bills, sleeps around, drinks/drugs, can’t hold on to a job but worst of all she is very untruthful. She lies constantly and over the years I just accepted this as part of who she is but it has been hard. After a twenty year friendship, we fell out two years ago under the strain of the cumulative effects of her dishonesty and now I struggle to know whether I should let her back into my life. She won’t change. She has never been honest and these lies are a fundamental part of who she is. Her lies hurt me and have caused me harm but I feel bound to her by our shared history and a genuine fondness for her as a person. Can any form of friendship exist on the broken foundation of perpetual untruthfulness? Is there a way for me to shield myself from the harmful effects of her lies so that I can enjoy the other aspects of her personality or should I let go and focus my energy on other people?
I’d love any insights people have on this topic! It has really been tearing me apart. Thank you in advance for any responses!May 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm #35195Carlos CotoParticipant
A friendship, and even more, a best friendship, needs to reside on the knowledge that there are common values, attitudes, etc. Truthfulness is a pillar that makes up the base of the relationship. You need to be able to really count with that person in the good and the bad times. Just answer this truthfully,… would you give her your children or your most precious possesion, and be able to go peacefully, and knowing that she will take great care, like you would…? If your answer is positive, then… she probably has the same values, and attitudes as yourself… if the answer is a negative, then…. you know what to do.
Sometimes the path of life goes along, and sometimes it divides in a crossroad. If this happens treasure the past times, but move on in your path of life. Be grateful to the past times, but go forward in life… maybe in the future your paths will meet again.
Godspeed to you…
Carlos.May 7, 2013 at 8:39 am #35206
Carlos – thank you for your thoughtful response. It’s an awfully high standard you set for friendships but it’s strikingly appropriate for my circumstance. There’s a childish quality to the lies she tells and for many years I was fine going along with her shifting realities but, as I grow older, I’ve lost interest in her foibles. Maybe I put up with her dishonesty for all these years because I assumed that one day she’d change. I thought that when push came to shove, she’d step up to the plate but we are in our late 30s now and she hasn’t and I don’t think she ever will. In answer to your question, I would not give my children to her because she is irresponsible. In the past, I would explain away her behavior because I believed she had a good heart. I never doubted her intentions but sadly I am starting to look at her in a different light. The degree to which she is reckless comes from a selfish place and not from a place of kindness. Do you believe it is possible for your life’s choices to be driven by selfishness but still be a good person at heart?
Thanks once more for your helpful answer!
DailymouseMay 7, 2013 at 8:59 am #35207Carlos CotoParticipant
Dailymouse, I think that sometimes the heart may be good, but the brain and its choices go far into dangerous ground. She may be having what is know as a Cognitive Dissonance, in which her Thoughts, her feelings and her behavior are NOT the same. This is a dangerous position for everyone else… and guess what… YOU are everyone else… You are not her Mother, to be supportive of everything… I bet you have become more responsible in life… and it comes with a more MATURE SELF. She is pretty much immature, as you where a couple of years back… but life has changed you, made you move on… taken another path.
You may still be fond of her, and be friends… but know that your paths are different now.
Cheers for life.
Carlos.May 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm #35214DavinaParticipant
I have been faced with this dilemma several times and it’s a really tough decision to stick with, especially if your friend won’t let go of you.
I agree wholeheartedly with Carlos, you should move on from this friendship if you feel she is not good for your self growth and inner peace. Friends should contribute positive things to your life not detract from it. Otherwise, what’s the point of the friendship? In some ways you are also detracting from her life. She uses you as a crutch to make her bad habits stronger because you simply enable it to happen.
It has been my experience that once you let someone go because they aren’t treating you well (or themselves well for that matter) they will eventually realize what they are doing wrong. They will try to change because they want you back in their life or they want to prove to you that they are a good person. If not, you obviously don’t need the person in your life nor you in hers. If you never give them the space to understand their wrongful actions then how can they learn?
Sometimes they can’t change… I’ve had both scenarios happen to me. The friend that changed is still in my life and although she’s still kind of wild she has grown immensely. The other friend who hasn’t proven to me she’s changed, I no longer talk to. It took me months to get over it (and will probably take you even longer since you’ve been friends for so long) but I’m glad I don’t have to worry about her anymore (though we had a lot of great times together). I feel free from her negativity and manipulation and I can focus on being healthy and loving the friends respect me and add good things to my life.
Take it from someone who attracts soul suckers like nobody’s business, acknoledge who will benefit you in life and who will detract form it. Stay away from those who detract, they are a huge waste of time and energy. Yes, lessons can be learned etc… but for the most part they will just cause problems. The best thing you can do for her is give her enough space to find her own path to inner peace. If she always has you to fall back on, she will never find it because the path has to be walked in solidarity – it has to come from her own heart and soul.
There’s an article about dealing with difficult people on this blog “10 ways to handle difficult people” or something like that. Give it a read, it may help you deal with the situation.
DavinaMay 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm #35291
Carlos and Davina – thank you both for your considerate advice. I cut off contact with my friend more than two years ago and the lack of contact since then has been organic and has felt like the right thing. However, I am getting married in three months and it has put me at a crossroad. It tears me apart that she will not be there, an absence that would have been inconceivable to me in the past. I want to make sure that I am making the right decision. Thank you both for your feedback. It has helped clarify the issue.