My boss lies to me persistently. I have, however, no definite proof. He tells me that I am paranoid and imagining things. He has sent me to the College doctor for a check-up, even though I perfectly well. The situation is complicated by the fact that do I have a psychiatric history. How does forgiveness work in this situation? My boss would say there is nothing to forgive, given that he hasn’t lied to me (lying again). Jonny

The first issue here comes down to this: Who is perceiving the reality of this situation correctly, the boss or you? Are you sure he is lying, given the context of his denial? Is there a way to confirm his lying through confirmation with a colleague? Is there any possibility that you have misunderstood something about the boss and so you are incorrect about his lying? This is the first step, to determine the truth of your observation. It is important for you to do so because of the disagreement that you and he are having. There is nothing dishonorable about your being wrong about this. If you are right, it is courageous to forgive.

Let us now suppose that you have determined as objectively as you can that the boss lies. You now have a list of times he lies, including his denial of lying. I would start with the least objectionable lie and forgive him for that. The path to forgiving is outlined for you in my new book, The Forgiving Life, especially chapter 10. After you become familiar with the forgiveness process, I recommend that you forgive him for one more specific lie. From there, you might consider forgiving him for his pattern of lying, including the most recent incident of denying that he lies.

All of this is dependent on your thinking through exactly what your boss does in the lying and how this in fact adds up to lying on a consistent basis. I would proceed with forgiving only after you are convinced that you are the one who is correct.

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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness