There are a lot of challenges in life that test our friendships, and some seem to bring them to the breaking point. Lying is particularly disruptive and destructive to otherwise strong relationships. After all, we get close to people based on trust. And lying violates that trust, leaving us feeling betrayed.
When Someone Lies to You
When someone lies to me, I'm often left feeling uncertain about how to move forward in the relationship, and about how much I can trust that person again. But over time, I've found there are ways I can turn my mind and actions toward healing. I hope it encourages you to know that it is possible to forgive someone who's been lying to you, and that you can do so while still protecting yourself.
It's Okay to Be Angry
It's important not to bottle up your anger over being lied to, because that will only cause more problems in your relationship, not to mention it can affect relationships where you otherwise wouldn't have any issues.
Acknowledging that you're angry and expressing anger in a healthy way are key to dealing with conflicts that arise due to lying. Start with being honest about how you feel. And, if you want to talk to the person who lied to you about your feelings, you are allowed to give yourself time to process your feelings in private until you are sure you can re-engage with them without blowing up or saying something you might regret.
You Can Forgive and Keep Your Distance
One of the most valuable things I've ever learned about forgiveness is that it's not about forgetting. And it's not about "everything being okay" between you and the person who hurt you. You can forgive the person who lied to you without continuing the relationship if you don't feel comfortable or safe doing so. That's because forgiveness means letting go of the need to take revenge. You can do that letting go as a part of your healing without having to pretend you're okay or ignore something that caused you pain.
Faith Can Help You Forgive
In the midst of something as painful as being lied to by a friend or loved one, you know forgiveness isn't easy. But it is possible. And when you feel like you can't do it on your own, faith can help you forgive. Praying for the person who needs forgiveness helps me to remember I can't heal my own pain, and that God's unconditional love and forgiveness are present, even when I struggle to see or practice them.
You're Not Alone in the Struggle to Forgive
The feeling of betrayal we have when we are lied to is very isolating. But I want to reassure you, you are not alone in your struggle to forgive.
People everywhere are in relationships that feel stressed, strained, broken, and in need of forgiveness. While that's hard to wrap our minds around, it can be comforting to know that others are there to listen, to support us, and to encourage us to look ahead toward more peaceful relationships, and a more hopeful outlook.
If you've been lied to, TheHopeLine is here for you. We offer mentoring to help you navigate the tough, messy challenges that arise in friendships and relationships. Talk to a HopeCoach today about the pain of lying, and the path to healing from it. We believe in you, and we know you can get through this.
Forgiving someone who has hurt you could be the greatest challenge of your life, but also the most freeing and healing. Here are 6 steps on how to forgive.