Post # 1
I know people change and friendships change – that’s a given. I know that there will always be times that you don’t agree and have healthy debates. However, if one of your friends was doing something you really didn’t respect and thus you end up losing respect for her, would you stay friends with her? Would you address the behaviour or ignore it?
One example I can think of is cheating – if you are adamantly against cheating and found out your friend was engaging in this behaviour, would you want to continue being friends with her? If they were having children they couldn’t afford, staying in a relationship they *shouldn’t* be, or engaging in unethical behaviour, what would you do? There are tons of examples out there.
One of these situations has come up in my life and I’m just not sure I can continue to be friends with someone I have little to no respect for :-
Post # 3
@MrsPanda99: Tough question!
In the end, if it is really so bad that my every being is appalled, yes, I probably won’t be able to stand even saying her name. Having said that I am also quite easy going. I do believe in the whole its their life bit. I can overlook cheating but I can’t overlook bullying. I can overlook stealing but I can’t overlook bigotry. etc
What is it about her that you are having an issue with? If you can’t say details how about just general category.
Post # 4
Thats a tough question. I am very morally against cheating but one of my friends ended up cheating on her bf. They broke up in the end and it was rather messy for everyone involved. It was very hard for me to acknowledge this and I honestly felt quite conflicted. At the end I recognized she was human, made a mistake and honestly did not want to harm anyone. She was a good person who took a cowardly way out of a situation. Although we are still friends I won’t deny, our relationship slightly suffered over it.
The first thing I would do is of course try to address it, but some people take that approach really really poorly. In fact, I’ve found that the best way to see if the relationship can be saved is to see how the person reacts towards being approached with the issue in question. Utlimately tough, It will depend on how big an issue this is for you and if you can undertand/see their point of view and accept it (e.g. human beings make mistakes). If it got to a point where you have absolutely no respect for them and can’t or won’t (both acceptable feelings btw) accept their choices/errors then perhaps its time to let it go.
For me the line is now drawn at unethical behaviour without any remorse for the pain/suffereing they may have caused. In otherwords, selfish, greedy, and reckless behaviour.
I”m sorry you’re dealing this but I believe in life people come to your life for a reason and like a chapter they also end. Acknowledging that ending is okay especially if dragging it on will lead to more hate/resentment/bitterness to all parties involved.
My humble opinion of course.
Post # 5
If a friend was doing something I didn’t respect I would probably slowly go my own way(stop hanging out as much, limit conversations) but this completely depends on the situation. If it was a really close friend I would confront them about the situation and help them as much as I could. If itwas beyond my help then like I said I would slowly loose contact.
It would have to be a big problem I might add. like not being able to afford children. Living pay check to pay check making ends meet when they are trying and raising kids in a loving atmosphere. Is a whole lot different then parents that live on food stamps and party every night that have five kids.
Post # 6
I think it’s silly to make your friends conform to your exact moral ideals.
Post # 7
@MrsPanda99: I have an incredibly difficult time hiding my feelings. My face is easy to read, I tend to be outspoken and I don’t try to disguise who I am and what I believe in. I can’t imagine that a friendship would last long if the friend in question was someone that I didn’t have any respect for. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t try to move past it if it was someone that I really cared about, but in the end it would probably start to taint our conversations, our trust, whatever, and the relationship would likely just fizzle out and die.
Post # 8
@winstonchurchill: It’s not about making your friends conform to anything. What it comes down to is surrounding yourself with people that you love and respect, and if a friend is doing something that you don’t respect, how are you supposed to continue to cherish and support them?
Post # 9
To me, friendship is a form of love – platonic love – and for any loving relationship to work, there has to be mutual respect. So if respect is lost, it’s difficult to continue the friendship.
I dropped a lifelong friend a couple of years ago because of behavior I just couldn’t ignore. Without going into too much detail, she was making life decisions for her family that were directly negatively impacting my family due to our friendship. So I made the decision to cut her family out of my life entirely.
I have another friend that I recently lost almost all respect for. She’s cheating on her husband. She asked me to keep it a secret, and for now I am. The first time it happened, she seemed genuinely sorry and we had a long talk about possible ways to improve her marriage so she didn’t feel the need to to cheat again. However, she has since cheated several more times and has shown no remorse or guilt. I take marriage vows very seriously, so her behavior is abhorrent to me. I’m not sure how much longer I can stick around, honestly.
Post # 10
@winstonchurchill: I agree that we can’t expect people to fit every exact moral ideal we have (and for me this is a bit tough since I have pretty high moral ideals) but everyone does have a line where something becomes inexcusable and this tends to be paired when the other person feels absolutely no remorse for their actions. For example, and I know this may be an extreme example, but someone who treats their child badly but not bad enough to be taken in by child services. Or someone who takes advantage of their elderly parents to get something.
Post # 11
@MrsPanda99: One of my best friends is someone I don’t have a ton of respect for in certain aspects. She can be insanely pretentious, judgemental and inconsiderate. I still love her and she’s still one of my best friends. We were roomates during college for a bit and thats when i wanted to strangle her. We have lived very different lives and she has not had enough experience to really speak about some of the things she does. For example she will often go on and on about how she is so independant and adult she is when her mother pays for all of her expenses. Or she will complain about a lack of money when she refuses jobs that are “beneath” her. Those are the facets of her that I don’t really have a ton of respect for. her intelligence, integrity, and silliness is what makes her such a great friend.
Post # 12
I can’t be friends with someone I don’t respect. However I’ve never been faced with the situation of a good friend doing something quite immoral..
I’m glad you posted this topic because I find it really confusing that other people can be friends with people who consistently cheat, lie, treat their partners badly etc. I am very interested in reading the responses.
Post # 13
@MrsPanda99: Just my experience. I’ve only had this happen once.
When I found my best friend from college exhibiting several behaviors that I consider absolutely inappropriate, I took stance #2. I was absolutely not ok with it. But she was a fabulous, dear friend and I didn’t want to lose her because I couldn’t accept that she is, in fact, human. I expressed my discomfort and disapproval briefly, but she was very upset by it all. I assumed it was a one time circumstance, and our friendship continued.
Three months down the road, she began exhibiting these behaviors again. I sat her down and had a serious discussion with her about how incredibly ethically inappropriate these behaviors were. I essentially took the stance of your response #3. It was hard, but she was still my very best friend. I didn’t want to lose her.
Six months down the road, she began exhibiting these behaviors again. I didn’t bother to have a conversation wiith her about it. She set a precedent for behavior that I cannot respect. I cut our friendship, strike three — you’re out. I didn’t need that in my life, and I certainly didn’t need to be associated with it… because I felt it ultimately reflected on me and my values.
I’m not sure if this behavior is coming from a casual acquaintance, a best friend, or somewhere in between. My heart goes out to you. I know how heartwrenching “friend breakups” can be, no matter how poorly that friend is acting. Good luck making your decision, Mrs. Panda.
Post # 14
There is a difference between not agree with an action or decision/respecting that action etc and not respecting the person.
Good people cheat. Bad people stay faithful.
Its a whole package that I have to respect.
If I didnt respect someone it would go far beyond their decision to cheat or not. If those other circumstances existed as well I would probably not respect that person (that or try to help them because its possible that some people feel “stuck” in a situation) and wouldl extract myself from their lives as best as possible.
Post # 15
One of my best friends does recreational drugs and one of my other best friends cheated on every BF she ever had before her now DH. They’re still my besties and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I don’t judge their actions. They are their own people who can make their own decisions on their actions. If they asked me for advice, I’d give it. If I thought they were going to hurt themselves or someone else or ruin their lives, I’d step in. When they told me what they were doing, I said what I thought once and then moved on. We’re still great friends.
Post # 16
@MrsPanda99: I was in exactly the situation you describe last year and yes I stayed friends with her. We didn’t talk often bc the situation was difficult for me, having been cheated on in the past. But that’s over and we’re better now though not as close as we were :/