When I was a teenager a friend in our Saturday night group confessed a secret, she had a brain tumor. Shocked and upset we all rallied around and supported her. She was going in for an operation, which always seemed to get postponed. Through all of this, she remained hopeful yet somber. The brain tumor was a lie that lead to many other friend lies that lasted months. No tumor no operation no recovery.
Before we knew the truth, we hugged and loved her until she finally did leave for her “big operation.” After a week or so she returned, no shaved head, no scar, and she looked healthy and almost perky. How did the operation go? We all asked, suspiciously. Fine, a success. She kept up this farce for a while until we stopped asking questions.
I realize now is that she was looking for love. Seeking out attention like this was a clever way to rally her friends around her. Give her emotional support at that time because, as I remember, she had mood swings and was often somber. We put it down to the operation, of course.
We rally around friends who are sick or break a leg, and especially those going in for brain surgery. However, we are not so quick to rally for a friend who demands attention because they’re depressed. Mental anguish isn’t as tangible, you can’t make a chicken casserole to help their pain go away.
The brain tumor was a lie, yet her pain wasn’t.
Breaking the Cycle of Friend Lies
If this incident happened today, I’d ask her what was really going on in her life. What does she want from her friends right now? And what does she feel she’s not getting from friends or life that she has to lie?
If one friend had questioned and listened to her, she may have revealed her suffering and what was really going on in her life. But, we were all teens and too self-involved to see the pain behind this action.
Friend lies can simply be a cover up for suffering. (Find help tips for depression.)
Let Go Your Lies
One friend asked me, what if I’ve lied – what can I do? If you can, sit down with the friend you lied to and let that person know why you lied. Then, express what you were really feeling at the time and why you felt the need to lie to them.
You may be surprised how many friends know the truth but are waiting for you to open the conversation.
Be safe, be careful, change your lies into truths as this, my dear friends, is the path to a healthier and happy life.
Remember… a great friends starts with you!
Story caveat: If confessing a lie will cause you or a friend harm, I strongly suggest you seek out legal or therapeutic counseling first.
Image courtesy: Infomatique at flickr.com
© Glenda Shaw_Superfriendgroups.com & GshawMedia 2014
Please note: I hide specific and identifiable details in my friend stories as these stories are examples of behavior and not meant to hurt anyone. These stories are based on my opinion and perspective, except when the people written about are in the public domain. Any advice in this blog is from my insights, research and opinion only, and must not be considered as legal or medical advice.