• Resolving Problems

How can I get my friend to forgive me for a lie?

Published: June 27, 2015 | By | 12 Replies Continue Reading
A young teen wants to be forgiven for a lie but isn’t sure how to apologize.



I am having a bit of a crisis here. A few days ago my best friend found out I was lying to her. I tried to apologize and explained that it would never happen again but she won’t believe me.

We didn’t speak for two days and then she started on me again, calling me a hypocrite, a psycho and a manipulator—which I am not. She is really hurting me and I don’t know what to do because I am suffering from depression and I am very sensitive but she doesn’t care.

I really don’t know if she is a true friend because she has often broken promises to me but I never say anything. I know it was wrong of me to lie to her but I am really sorry. Please help me because I am really confused on what to do now.

Signed, Sara


Hi Sara,

I’m sorry you’re having problems with your friendship and hope that your friend forgives you for lying to her. If you want that to happen, you probably need to change your perspective and approach.

She is the injured party. You are the one who lied to her. Have you offered a sincere apology without making excuses?

Right Apology:

“I’m so sorry for lying to you. I’m not going to make excuses for what I did. I was completely wrong and I will be honest from now on.”

Wrong Apology:

“I’m sorry but______” When you add “but” to an apology, that’s basically the same as saying “It’s not really my fault” or “It’s your fault.”

Being depressed or anxious might be reasons you can use to understand your behavior and keep from repeating it, but they sound like excuses for bad behavior when they’re used as part of an apology.

Your friend shouldn’t have called you names, though you should examine whether there’s truth in those statements anyway. Telling her you’re depressed or very sensitive might sound manipulative to her. She might think you’re trying to escape consequences for lying by attempting to get her to feel sorry for you, which many people would call manipulative.

Try to keep in mind she has every right to her feelings and reactions to your lie and her feelings don’t have anything to do with the type of friend she is or isn’t. Her job is to take care of her feelings and your job is to take care of your feelings of sensitivity and depression. I hope you have professional help to deal with these things, and if you don’t, then you can ask your parents to help you find someone to talk to.

Your friend breaking promises is an entirely different situation, and that’s something you should address with her at a separate time than when she isn’t mad at you. Even though you chose not to say anything to your friend, your friend still has a right to react to what you did.

Open, honest, direct communication is a great way to avoid conflict and misunderstanding. Those are skills that take time to learn and improve. At your age, and everyone is still learning and most of us are still perfecting these skills into adulthood.

Why don’t you give your friend some space? After a few days, make sure you’ve given your friend a pure apology, acknowledging what you’ve done wrong and how you will do better in the future. Don’t ask her for anything, make any demands or refer to your sensitivity and depression.

I hope things work out for you and your friend and also that you’re getting some help for your depression and hyper-sensitivity.

*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Angelina Brill says:

    I have this Girl Diana that I work with and she told 4 girls to block me on Facebook including a Supervisor that is gone out sick and she has been doing it to all of my friends and being very mean to me and my friend Yvette ..I don’t what else to do ..What can do fix this friendship circle?

  2. Maya says:

    I have a friend she called someone a jerk I told him and he asked her if it is true she said that it isn’t. She’s mad at me how do I make her happy again.

  3. stephanie says:

    I treated my best friend like crap in the past. always pushing her away, and she on the other hand, always coming back. Standing by me despite my flaws. Now she`s moved on (or at least i think she has). I want to make things right, but i`m scared she doesn`t want me anymore plus my pride wont let me.

  4. Mary says:


    Why would you say— as you did —

    — * I hope you have professional help to deal with these things, and if you don’t, then you can ask your parents to help you find someone to talk to.*

    A teenager has had a fall out with another . Shes smart enough to know shes done wrong and apologized . All healthy moves –she apologized. She entitled to not be judged –especially after ”one comment on the internet .
    It is my opinion your just trying to get your name out there.
    Once somebody goes anywhere near a Councillor of phys its on their record for LIFE.
    Do try to act in a responsible manner in the future.

    • Laura says:

      Mary, the counselor was suggested because the girl said she’s depressed, not because she told a lie to her friend. Depression is an illness that needs treatment. There’s no stigma seeing a mental health professional. I’m not sure what you mean about it being on someone’s record for life? What record other than a person’s medical record which is private, protected by HIPPA?

  5. Mrs. Chen says:

    you should give a pure apology, like Amy says. No “buts”, no excuses, and definitely no “well, you did this/that to me and I never said anything…” If you bring up the hurtful things she has done to you when you are apologizing to her, then all she’ll hear is that you think she is an even worse friend than you. She will not hear the apology. Not only will she not be appeased, she’ll be even angrier at you.

    You don’t mention what it is that you lied about. But obviously it bothered her a lot if she keeps bringing it up. If even after you have given her a pure apology, she still can’t let go, then you should move on.

    We all make mistakes. The best of us try to learn from our mistakes. And if you have learned to make a sincere apology from this one mistake, then you’ve gotten a great deal out of it. Don’t beat yourself up too much and don’t worry — You will go on to find many other good friends in the future and so will she.

    You are young, go out and explore and have fun!

  6. Florence says:

    We all make mistakes because we are imperfect humans & when someone asks for forgiveness it’s good to forgive & forget.Jesus set a very fine example that we need to forgive even those persecuting us & he said we should forgive 77 * 77 times.If your friend is not forgiving you,then let her be because you have tried & can’t forgive.I’m sure she waited for this time so that she can get you out of her life.Too bad dear for this but you need to pray you will find a true friend indeed.Cheer up!!

    • lottie says:

      Excellent advice Florence. I am a great believer in prayer.Unfortunately many people don’t even give it a chance.

      Have you read the wonderful verse “I dreamt I had an interview with God”. When I read it I always have tears.

      I don’t want to be Bible bashing when we are posting to help Sara but prayer is a great comfort at all times. There are times when I sit quietly and talk to him. Sara made a mistake and will be forgiven. I say no more. Lottie

    • Patti says:

      sara, it’s ok if u don’t pray or if ur not cristian. u dont need religion to or prayer to feel better. i stop reading when adults start preaching.

  7. lottie says:

    Hello Sara,

    It is never too young to learn a lesson. Youngsters think they are grown up far too early these days,and then do not know how to deal with the consequences of their behaviour.
    The reply suggested without any “buts” is good.
    It also depends on the severity of the lie. If it has involved more people and done someone an injustice then it will be a case of eating humble pie for longer than you thought.
    In the meantime all you can do is wait and maybe contact your friend after the weekend. Think before you speak next time.
    Keep busy it will help your depression. Go for a walk the exercise will will be good for you. Take good care. Lottie

  8. Mary says:

    A young teen wants to be forgiven for a lie but isn’t sure how to apologize.
    We are’ talking about a couple of young teenagers here.
    for goodness sake.

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