justaskingquestions

How to talk to best friend about religion

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Hi folks,

 

I have a really, really close friend that means the world to me. I also live with them (roommate). I'm proud to say that we have a healthy relationship, except that I have been unable to be truthful about me becoming an atheist. This is mostly because religion was a huge part of our friendship for about 2+ years (my friend is still religious). My friend has told me to my face that they value me as a close Christian friend, as almost a "solace" from our other friends who don't share those beliefs and values. My fear is not that my friend will ostracize me, rather that this foundational part of our relationship will be pulled out from underneath them and they won't know how to view me.

 

Any tips that you found were helpful? What's the best way to approach this?

 

Thank you all ❤️ 

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Friendship is a form of intimacy and requires trust and honesty.  Consider telling your friend that your religious beliefs have changed.  Provide him with a short version of how and why they have changed.  Don't be offensive or defensive...just be honest about it.  Carefully observe your friend's reaction(s) because that will tell you what she believes about friendship.  You may need to set some boundaries based on her reaction.  You may also find that she is an acquaintance and not a friend at all.

 

Yes, you risk the friendship with disclosure, but being honest about it is the noble course.

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I will say it simply.  If your friend cannot accept you for who you are, regardless of what you believe, then is he/she a friend? 

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I went through this with a lot of former missionary friends once I left the church. At the end of the day, the majority of them still respected me even if our dynamic shifted a little. If this person is really your friend, they’ll accept and love you for who you are, but there probably is gonna be a little bit of adjustment for both of you.

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Hey there!

Honesty is a big part of friendship.

I haven't explicitly told all my Xian friends that I'm not in anymore, but the most important do know. I didn't even have to tell them. They knew me too well.

I've found that those I really liked and respected and loved back then have remained "loyal" friends. I guess true friendship is much more about character than about beliefs.

All the best, stay strong. You will be okay!

OTRR

 

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P.S. I make a point of not arguing with friends about their faith. I respect my friends beliefs. I. e. I don't want them to convert me, so I won't try to deconvert them. Talking about doubts is okay, though, I think. They are, so to say, "safe" with me and can be who they are (at least I hope so).

When they start telling me how they feel like God wants this or that from them or similar, I'll give "secular"/"rational" advice. In case Xian friends would be suspicious about that advice, I'd tell them if  "God" gave them a brain, he'd want them to use it. Usually, they're not suspicious, though, because they know (I hope) I wouldn't want to harm them. However, part of this is also that my friends are not die hard fundies, and the one who was has transitioned to a lighter form of fundieness.

 

Again -- you'll be okay!

 

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