What to do when your best friend lies to you? Tips to deal with a friend who is a liar
My best friend lied to me, what do I do? He is such a liar, do I still continue being friends with him? My bff lied to me and talked behind my back, what do I do?
Unfortunately, lying, betrayal of trust, talking behind someone's back and a broken heart are a part and parcel of any relationship, including friendship. If you don't know what to when your friend lies to you, read on for tips that will help put your worries to rest.
1) Stop sharing stuff with your friend – Set your communication boundaries
One of the first things to do when your friend lies to you is to set communication boundaries. Knowing that your friend has lied to you, the last thing you'd want to happen is to let a betrayal of trust happen again before you sort things out. Maintain a distance from your friend when it comes to sharing stuff without letting your efforts to do so become apparent.
It will take nerves of steel to restrict yourself from offloading the usual barrage of gossip, secrets and other chit-chat on to your best friend. But remember that it is in the interest of your friendship that you refrain from talking openly with your friend like you always did, at least for the time being.
2) Reflect on your own behavior - Did you provoke a lie?
Did you say something that caused your friend to lie to you? Did any of your actions influence your bff hide the truth from you? Did your dominant behavior drive your friend to lie to you? Questions like these are a mere introspection to see if your own behavior was the root cause leading to a situation where your friend said a lie.
In no way does this mean to inflict self-guilt. Because at the end of the day, your friend is not supposed to lie to you regardless of a situation where your behavior caused him /her to do so – Friends are supposed to be honest and trustworthy no matter what. But it pays to be armed with insight and a little introspection into your own behavior will allow you to be more open minded.
3) Ask mutual connections if your best friend has been hiding things from you
Chances are that you and your friend have mutual connections and other friends in common. Ask around casually to see if your friend has been up to strange antics or has been talking behind your back.
Don't make your attempts to snoop around very obvious. Subtly navigate your way through some of your common connections and see if there is more to your friend's lie than what meets the eye. The more information you have, the better it is.
4) Confrontation: Ask your friend why he/she lied to you
Once you are armed with all there is to know, ask your friend why he/she lied to you. Below are some of the most important aspects of this confrontation
- Be calm and relaxed
- Allow your friend to speak – Don't interrupt
- Hide your emotions – Being too emotional can let other people have their way in conversations
- Avoid a knee jerk reaction and brand your friend a liar – Just absorb your friend's side of the story
The key to having a firm yet friendly confrontation is to be calm and remember that you want to know why the lie happened, from the horse's mouth. Allow your friend to lay bare his/her heart and mind.
Make a decision: Do you still want to be friends?
Building trust in a relationship is a very difficult thing to do. It is an uphill battle that is worth fighting only if a relationship is worth saving. Now that you have confronted your friend and you know why he/she lied to you, you are armed with making the penultimate decision – Do I still want to be friends with someone who is a liar? Before you answer that, know some of these classic situations your friendship can fall into.
- You and your friend look past this minor hurdle in your relationship. You build trust in your friendship again and the both of you continue being bff.
- Your friend is no longer your best friend. However both of you continue to maintain a friendship which, however, is a far cry away from the magical 'real friendship' that you both had before the lie.
- You decide that your friendship is no longer worth keeping. Both of you go your own ways and bid your once beautiful friendship goodbye.
- You have a fall out with your friend over the lie. Once the best of buddies, the both of you now hold a very strong grudge and animosity towards each other.
Where do you see your relationship with your friend going at? After you have confronted him/her, the ball is now in your court and you need to decide whether you want to remain best friends, just friends, ex friends or current enemies. Confused? The below metaphor might help.
'A good friend is like a rough diamond. Once polished and nurtured, it becomes the brilliance of your life. Beautiful diamonds also have edges that can sometimes hurt. You can either tolerate the slight discomfort for its brilliance or you can move over to polishing another one, or not having one at all. What are you going to do?'
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