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Dr. Tom
Dr. Tom, Tom Smith, Ph.D.
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 23
Experience:  Dr. Smith has been offering counseling for over 37 years.
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I am familiar with people who have had this happen to them,

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I am familiar with people who have had this happen to them, and also people who have done this to someone: a friend of theirs goes behind their back and says negative things to a third party or even a group of two or more people, about them without their knowing. They usually find out about it from someone else, but sometimes people they don't know are not as receptive to them or don't behave like people usually do towards them, not open to starting a relationship or already think something is wrong and the person does not know what it was. My question is, if you think someone has done this to you, and you ask if anything is wrong and they insist it isn't, can you have a normal relationship with them if they have done that without your knowledge? Can it ever be apologized for generally and overcome or is there not going to be a friendship? If someone lies to you are they still your friend? A certain amount of favortism for someone else is not critical, won't end a friendship, if it goes beyond that it will, and once that happens is it ever recovered or just not possible? And in the instance of talking or acting behind someone's back, can't people see through that usually? One of the worst things is when the group seems to be too big and someone is eliminated before it happens to someone else. I have been in groups where it is a surprise that someone was "in trouble", is that a weak position? Is there anything the "victim" or weak person can do in all of these instances, or is that it for them? I'm talking about people here who don't have antisocial mental and/or physical disabilities or challenges. What do you do if someone does not like the person you want to be friends with and tells you? Who can you be friends with, how to choose, and how to do this if neither is a good friend of yours?
Greetings. If you genuinely know that a person has been spreading rumors about you, I would not consider that person a friend, but rather someone of whom to be wary and to limit your interactions with that person because they apparently cannot be trusted. I would not consider someone who lies to me to be my friend, but rather someone who betrays others. It is wise to avoid groups where people talk about each other without the other's knowledge. If a person is telling you that they do not like the person with whom you want to be friends, you could ask why and at least consider their reasons. We choose our friends by how they treat us. Friends do not lie, cheat or steal from us. Friends are honest and give us their time and an ear when we need to be heard. Friends respect us and our boundaries. Friends are the good people in our life. There are lost of sharks out there and it is prudent to pick your friends wisely. I hope this helps with your internal struggle.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Part of this question is, what if there is no proof of the going behind the back with bad rumors, and you ask the person and they said to go back to the beginning, and act like nothing is wrong before and after you ask if there is anything wrong and then say nothing is wrong, how to be friends if they are important? Should you check with someone who may have heard the rumor to find out? That would reassure if it happened. If it did, is there a friendship? Does checking about it ruin the friendship? If something did happen and you are aware, let the person know and they apologize and say to go back to the beginning, then act like your friend and tell you they are, does that ever work or is it over once and for all if that happens? Would she say and act like friends partly but leave things out so you realize on your own that she is not? Do you know if people would do that, for a long time? I think so.

I asked someone if she was my friend and she said yes, so is that it, how to test it out, can I ask if she is just acting that way? This is an important person you don't meet everyday.

If there is no proof, why do you suspect this person who says there is nothing wrong that they have said something disparaging behind your back? If they have said that they have not done so, accept that and then see what happens and you can let the friendship develop. Remember, friendships start out as acquaintances and over time trust develops and the acquaintance transforms into a friendship. Friendships are sometimes tested and if a friend behaves in an untoward way, or say something that you find offensive, they can be forgiven, but it is important to let the "friend" know how you feel and that you expect it not to happen again. If it does, you then know that you must choose whether you want that person in your life or not because if it happens twice, they cannot be trusted. The old phrase is "Hurt me once, shame on you; hurt me twice shame on me (for letting it happen)". Friendships sometimes come and go. Some people are friends for a period of time in our life and then they are not ... for many reasons. Some friendships last a lifetime. I hope this helps you untangle a rather convoluted question.
Dr. Tom, Tom Smith, Ph.D.
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 23
Experience: Dr. Smith has been offering counseling for over 37 years.
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