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RELATIONSHIP: What Do You Do When Someone Lies To You?

I’d just discovered a friend lied to me. It was about something senseless, which only made it worse. As days go by, I wrestled through troubling thoughts. Why would he lie about THAT? Were we ever really friends?

It's Love-Wednesday! Let's talk.

When Your Friend Lied

I tend to totally trust people from the first minute I meet them, meaning that people can only lose my trust. This doesn't mean that anybody I get to know immediately becomes my friend; it simply means that I have no prejudice towards them about the possibility of being friends with them.

So, this article is going to cover both friends, bae's and acquaintances. What we do when we discover that people we trust lied to us?

My Quick Response Is:

I casually expose their lie and see their reaction: if they finally tell me, I confront them and ask them why they lied to me. As a deterrent for future temptations; if they don't tell me, I just keep it for the record and see how the matter evolves. If I notice repeated lies, I'll present the whole case all at once and I will probably delete them from my real or potential friends' list forever.

No healthy relationship grows on lies.

My Thoughtful Response Is:

It actually depends on the nature of the lie and the nature of your friendship with this person. For the purpose of blogging, I'm going to break up the lies into two categories:

1. Arrant Nonsense

Arrant nonsense are lies your friend tells about himself/herself that do not directly have any effect on you:

When your friend lied about the amount of money s/he made last year, or about the person s/he is dating, or about where s/he got what they wear, or about their age, or about an aspect of their life, this kind of lie only hurts your friend, not you, not really, not directly.

Unless the lie will affect you personally in some way, it's probably better to stay calm and keep quiet. Unless the lying is a chronic, addictive condition, in that case, you may want to distance yourself from this friend because s/he has some serious issues.

End it already. Save yourself from Heart Stealers

2. Injurious Craft

Painful deceit are lies you friend tells to deceive you or hurt you. These lies effect you directly.

When your best friend said something nasty about you behind your back, you heard about it and now s/he is denying they said it. This kind of lie is important to confront.

If you are certain it is a lie, you may wish to confront tell them how their actions made you feel, both the nasty stuff s/he said and their inability to own up to it. Whether you choose to remain friends with this liar is up to you. Personally, I'm willing to forgive but if it happens again, I'm so breaking up with them.

When I discovered my friend lied to me I confronted him, and he rubbed it back in my face. I felt betrayed and  heartbroken. I couldn't process it for days. The combination of hurt and middle-of-the-night thinking was toxic, forming a very subtle bitterness in me. Imagine a sweetheart allowing bitterness to be sown in her heart? It is deadly! I decided I no longer had room in my life to deal with someone like that. So in my heart, I just unfriended this friend.

Has your friend lied to you? Now,
Here Is What To Do

“My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them for they will refresh your soul.”
~ Proverbs 3:21-22a (NLT)

God has given us two trustworthy filters to help us see things as what they really are: common sense and discernment.

Using God’s Word as my filter, rather than my emotions, allowed me to work through the hurtful issue with my friend. God used that experience to prepare my heart to be strong, secure, and stable for the next phase.

Two choices:

  • Let your friend know that you know

To tell them is the honest thing to do. I like it. Radical honesty can be a good thing. It may cause you to be disliked and your friendship may die, but perhaps that is for the best.

How you tell them you know will affect the outcome of your relationship.
Do you accuse them and yell at them?
Do you keep detached?
Do you cry at their feet?

Creating a new level of open conflict with your friend is a positive path to take. Two things may likely happen:

(a) They will deny it if they can, but if it is clearly true, they will blame you for the reasons they lied. Please, I beg you, avoid being manipulated. Run!

(b)They may feel bad. They made a mistake based on fear and self interest. Depending on the lie, you can forgive and forget. And the discussion could result in you having a better understanding of what you expect from each other.

I once told someone who was lying to me and abusing intimate trust that I knew he was lying to me. He was. But I did not tell him what lie I knew he was telling me. I made him reveal the lies by himself. And three or four new lies surfaced. I tried to make it work with him, but my trust was too broken. That path was messy, and maybe useful for both of us, but it was also destructive.

  • Don't let your friend know that you know

Knowledge is power. You now have a certain amount of power. You now know that you cannot totally trust your friend. You now know who they really are. You can decide to observe the other ways in which they may be lying. You may wish to consider allowing them to continue and see how far it goes. 

It's risky tho!

Dealing with a liar can be emotionally exhausting. Just when you think trust has been restored, you might catch the person in the act again, and be forced to start all over. Phew.

If the lies are important, you should take some time to protect yourself and your sweet heart from further damage.

When you let your friend know that you know, you are more likely to avoid being hurt.

Generally I blow off the small lies people tell me. I be like, "you said your phone was off, but it rang. How is that?"

Personally, I don't want pretence in my relationships. I prefer brutal honesty. The truth hurts, but I'd rather we be open than protective. In the long run, we all feel safer, more secured and free-ing.

I think it is better to let your friend know that you know rather than secretly suspect them.

I still find it a shocking reality that people who lie, accuse other people of having trust issues. The lack of trust issues people have are often caused by the lack of trustworthiness issues liars have. Jeez!

On Heart Rays, we strive to live life filled with positivity, inspiration, and love.

I pray we share a more honest world. We are pretty far from it now. There is dishonesty from top to bottom; Side to side and left to right. Scary. So scary.

Most of us are not even honest with ourselves. Let's start by looking within.

Share your thoughts.

Written by Nwamaka Ajaegbu 
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Heart Rays . . . giving light.

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