I have a friend who may be a compulsive liar. She tells me things that I know aren’t true and I’m getting tired of it. But she is also very sensitive and I know if I confront her about it, she’ll react very negatively.
What is the best way to approach her without hurting her too badly?
I think there’s a couple of things you need to ask yourself. Are you a concerned friend, or are you a tired, frustrated friend who wants to catch her in a lie so you can pull an “in your face” moment and the cafeteria will erupt in applause and everyone will give you their chicken nuggets??? Sorry, I just woke up from the weirdest dream… But I think it’s a fair thing to think about. If someone is lying to you, they’re not being a good friend. And if you’re unwilling to clear the air because you don’t want to hurt their feelings, you’re not being a good friend. I mean sure, we could go into great detail about setting up a hidden camera and an elaborate scheme of catching her in a lie, but what would be the point – as awesome as that sounds, it would be hurtful. If you don’t feel comfortable enough to say “I don’t believe you” then there’s more wrong with this friendship than a slew of untruths (that’s a fancy way to say lie – I got a synonym app!)
If you really want keep this friendship going, and you simply can’t stand listening to them talk about their 2nd trip to Mars, then you need to confront them. Privately. Someone who is unhappy enough to live in a fake reality doesn’t need any public ridicule. Be open, be patient, be sympathetic and try to find out why they lie. Yeah, it’s gonna be awkward…VERY awkward. But if sitting through a couple of really uncomfortable conversations seems like too much, then maybe this friendship isn’t meant to last. But if you can swallow that fear and show them that you care about them, the real them, you might just end up with a lifelong camaraderie (synonym: friendship).