Question: Dear Luise: I have had a friend for about 7 years. During these 7 years, I had heard that she has been talking behind my back or I had seen that she has insecurity around me. I had tried to make her see that I was her true friend and I would ignore her talking behind my back but just yesterday, I heard that she has been spreading viscous rumors around. I knew that she was cheating in her university works like asking people to write it for her or copying from another person’s work but I did not know that she has been buying essays from an organization. Long story short…she was reported by someone who went through her email. She might have been expelled from university, which did not happen. Anyway, now she wants to find proof that I have done this act and she is pressuring our common friends to check my bag or my home to find some kinds of proof that it was me that has reported her. My question is that what do you think I should do to stop this person of spreading more unbelievable stuff against me. I know so much damaging secrets of her that she does not want people to know and I don’t want to get to her level and talk behind her back. How can I stop this please help me and advise me. F.
Answer: Dear F.: You can’t stop her. We can’t make other people change their behavior, ever. “They are who and what they are” and so are we. Just remember that there are others who know what she has done and see through her back-stabbing behavior. They won’t be quick to believe anything she says and if there are any doubting-Thomas’s among them, they aren’t going to find anything.
As we mature over the years, we sometimes outgrow friends. You have been loyal and true to someone who has been unable to return the same level of integrity. Knowing what you do at the moment, would you pick her for a new friend at this time?
You are wise as well as kind not to get drawn into battle. Keep her secrets and keep your dignity. This whole situation is all about her, not you. Blaming you without any concrete evidence, and there isn’t any, doesn’t involve you…not really. Can you see that? It just adds lying to her cheating and paints a clearer picture of how she is choosing to deal (or not deal) with life situations.
Say as little as possible. If asked if you know what is going on, smile and tell others that you have heard but you are not concerned. Don’t talk about her behind her back even to clear your self. She is her own worst enemy.
You aren’t the person you were seven years ago. Look around you and note the kind of people you are drawn to and you will see that they are drawn to you in a like manner. It’s a natural process. There are lessons to be learned in your present situation about discretion. Often friends made at school become lifetime friends. I am close to a woman to this day that I knew in high school…and we are both great grandmothers! It has been a rich experience. Blessings, Luise