One thing that can damage a friendship at best, or else just completely ruin it is when people tell lies. Recently I had someone who was supposed to be a good friend lie to me about something quite big. They told me that another person we know had died. Not some symbolic death of an avatar, but an actual death in real life. They went so far as to say that the person had been buried in the ground and that their “organs had been donated.”
It is not my aim to ruin this person by saying their name on a public website. Actually, my hope is that they will come to their senses and be genuinely sorry for telling lies. Not sorry they got caught or had to face negative consequences, but sorry because it’s wrong to lie.
How did all this come to a head? Well, for a while now my friend has not spoken to me, which is quite out of character. At first I chalked it up to the grief of losing the girl who had supposedly died, but something did not set right about it. Everything about it was fishy.
After not hearing from this person for ages, and even seeing him run and logout once when I walked near, he decided to send me an IM out of the blue and ask “Hey, can I have 2000 lindens?”
No friendly greeting or asking what’s new, how I am; not even an “I’ll pay you back.” No. This was just can he HAVE 2000 lindens.
So, I asked what was up with him, and then did something that many people would have thought harsh if I been wrong about it. I asked him point blank if I’d been lied to about that girl’s death.
I didn’t ask this without good reason. There had been false alarms of the girl’s impending doom before and other weird stuff, not to mention bizarre behaviour; so I was already suspicious. Had I been wrong it would have been insensitive of me to say “did she really die” but I just felt it in my gut something was really off and said it anyway.
Well, I was right. He admitted the girl was still alive, but seemed to have no remorse for telling the lie. In fact, after admitting she was still alive, he continued to lie about the circumstances surrounding it to cover for others involved in the charade. I have lost most of the people I love in real life to actual death, so to be dishonest about something like this is especially uncool to me.
Since talking to him seemed like speaking to a wall I thought I needed to send a bigger message. I deleted him from my friend list. Though I was supposed to be someone he cared for like a sister, he did not seem to mind being deleted, and was only concerned about the “stuff” on my land owned by the girl who was supposed to be dead. In his favour he did want to pay to keep her things there, but by this point I’d had enough. This girl had gone along with the lie too, so I returned all of their stuff, and even sent a bit of money for any inconvenience doing so might have caused them (though items should have been safe in their lost and found folders anyway). I learned from someone else that the undead girl had deleted her avatar so may have lost that stuff. Ah well. These things happen when you pretend to be dead.
My “friend” freaked out at this point and said he hated me, that I was full of “sanctimonious bullsh*t” and that nothing I said ever made sense; he had to be patient with me, and that I was a snob due to the land I have and the sim I manage, which he seemed to believe was “given” to me.
That last bit about the land, of course, was silly, but in a way is worth addressing. Last time I checked I pay for my land in SL. I do this from money I earn from making clothes, ad revenue, and the occasional DJ-ing. Yes, I was asked to manage a sim, but you know why? Because the sim owner knows he can TRUST me. I’m not perfect, but he’s known me for five years and I have a track record for honesty. When you don’t go around telling people big whopping LIES you tend to get put in charge of things. (That’s worth remembering.)
If this friend came with a sincere apology, and promised never to lie to me again, I’d forgive it. I believe in giving people a break when they’re truly sorry, though trust would take a while to get back. However, if I do not receive a real apology, this person can consider that they’ve lost a friend for good.