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Dear Rosanna: 'Our friend keeps telling us lies'

When to confront a liar, or a boyfriend who may be a cheat, and how to handle an ex who is still on the scene

Dear Rosanna,

One of my friends lies all the time. She lies about everything from boys to whose clothes she has borrowed. All of my friends and I are aware of this but we don’t know how to confront her.

We don’t want to start a fight or make her feel intimidated, we just want to let her know that there’s no need for her to do it. It’s really gotten to my friends and I and we don’t know how to put an end to it. We want to know why she’s doing it but most of all we want her to stop. Could you recommend any way that we could go about this or should we just leave the situation and not be friends any more?

ROSANNA SAYS:

Firstly, I don't recommend that you give up on your friendship with her. Friends are supposed to support each other through each and every situation in life, not give up and walk away when things get uncomfortable.

You're right to want to avoid making her feel intimidated but you do need to confront her. This habit of lying excessively is already a cause of concern for those around her and will undoubtedly land her in more sticky situations, so, for her own sake, it's important to get to the root of it.

Make a note of each time you catch her fibbing when you know what the truth is. Then nominate just one other friend to calmly speak to her about it along with you. Tell her you're not there to make her feel like a bad person, but you know what she's been doing and you're genuinely worried that it will get her into serious trouble if it continues. If she seems okay about admitting to it, probe a little deeper into the cause for her lying.

There's generally a reason for such behaviour, and encouraging her to open up in a supportive and understanding environment should help to release her demons. Good luck.

Dear Rosanna,

I’ve been going out with my boyfriend for a year and things seemed to be going really well between us. He was at a party a couple of weeks ago and he stayed there all night. A couple of my friends were at the same party and said they saw him go off with another girl during the night. Although I trust my boyfriend, he said nothing happened when I mentioned the incident.

Someone is lying to me. Who should I believe?

ROSANNA SAYS:

It's a horrible feeling when you receive different versions of a story and you must decide which one to believe. As you say you enjoy a trusting relationship with your boyfriend, would your friends have any reason to lie to you or try to upset you?

There may also be a simple and innocent explanation for somebody spotting your boyfriend with another girl and it's easy to jump to conclusions. To ease your mind speak to as many people as possible who attended the party and you know well enough to ask. If you get confirmation that your boyfriend was seen with somebody else, you will have to confront him and demand an explanation.

Either way I think it's important that you trust your instincts and get to the bottom of what exactly happened before you make any decisions on what to do next.

Dear Rosanna,

I’m 28 and I’ve recently started seeing a guy who I really like. All my friends think he’s perfect for me and very sweet. The problem is that he’s still friends with his ex. They broke up about a year ago but she’s still in his circle of friends. I’ve been in her company a couple of times and she’s made some really snide comments to me. She also still rings my boyfriend’s mum once a week and has even called around to their house. I think his family prefer her to me. He tells me that I am being paranoid and to stop worrying. But I think she desperately wants him back.

ROSANNA SAYS:

While it's always good to see ex-partners remain on civil terms, and in this case it is testament to what a kind person your boyfriend is, it really is not fair on you. He possibly doesn't realise how disrespectful it is towards you for her to remain in his social group and to call into his family home. It also seems like she's finding it difficult to accept that he's with you now and she's feeling jealous, judging by her catty comments. So you're not being entirely paranoid.

But she's his ex for a reason and he's with you now so don't allow her presence to come between you. I advise you to confront him properly about her and tell him that if he doesn't remove her from his life as much as possible, it will ultimately damage your relationship. He needs to understand this properly from your point of view and take action.


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