friendship

"I lie to my friends in the changeroom. But in my defence, it's necessary."

As someone who’s scared of disagreement, there’s one situation that poses quite the pickle for me: accompanying my friends to the changerooms as they try on clothes… and then ask me for my opinion on them.

Usually I resort to the classic, “Oooohhhh I like it!” or a personal favourite of mine that cleverly dawdles around the question being asked: “That is sooooo you.” As if no one else on this entire planet would think that skirt is nice. No one. Only you.

That’s not necessarily lying right?

It just seems so much easier to fib if that means putting a smile on a friend’s face, rather than being honest and watching their expression collapse in seeming slow motion. Much like the face of Matty J as the love he possessed for Georgia Love was murdered on The Bachelorette (ahem.. still not over it).

The face of heartbreak, you guys. Image via Channel 10.

Pure heartbreak. Heartbreak of the same magnitude, obviously.

Lying to our friends can be necessary.

Here's my take on the situation: when I’m loving a piece of clothing I've tried on, I’ll strut out of the changeroom confidently, while at the same time making sure to not look like I think I look absolutely smashing.

It’s a balancing act we’ve all mastered, let’s be honest.

In essence, I want you to lie to me, because I’m already sold on what I’m wearing.

Is this not what you do in change rooms? via GIPHY

My brain is a stubborn little thing, so when I’m sure of something and how it looks on me all I’m after is that tiny extra push; a much-appreciated confidence boost. But this stubborn brain of mine will shrivel from self-consciousness if any opposing comments are within earshot.

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They say ignorance is bliss, and bliss it is. Sometimes, I'd rather stay unaware of what people think of me, or what they think of my outfit. If I'm feeling fabulous wearing a dress that might not be up your alley, then I’d rather not hear your opinion.

So, to remain my usual happy self, this - *motions generally to body* - needs to be a negativity free zone. Any hint of criticism will completely ruin my vibe. Please don’t ruin my vibe. It’s all I have.

lie-to-my-friends-when-giving-fashion-advice
"Yes, sometimes I lie to my friends in the changerooms." Image: supplied, iStock.

But… sometimes friends need to hear honesty from another friend.

Of course, there are exceptions.

If your friend is openly torn, and an honest opinion wouldn’t cause offence and might be a kind service to his/her bank account, then go right ahead and do what you have to do.

The motto I’ve always lived by is if you have a shred of doubt, don’t buy it. If you’re feeling iffy while wearing something, that iffy-ness will only amplify when you have time to ponder your decision later. If you have said iffy tendencies, a friend who'll tell it like it is would be ideal in this situation.

Almost every time I’m not too sure of an item but buy it regardless, I try it on at home and Everybody Hurts by R.E.M immediately starts playing in my head on repeat. My wallet, my eyes, it all hurts.

"That looks so bad on you I can't even look you the eye."- Brutally honest friend. Image: Giphy.
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It’s the worst knowing you have to go back and return it — or if that’s not an option, live with the knowledge that your friend betrayed you by purposefully giving you false fashion advice. You just can’t win.

So how do we differentiate these two circumstances? Does your friend want you to say “girl you look so damn fine,” or “girl take that off right now and burn it”?

Some (liars) may say real friends are honest with each other no matter what, irrespective of what the other might want you to say. That itself is a freakin’ lie because we all lie to our friends and family, whether it be a conscious act or not. It comes with being human.

Listen: Robin Bailey and Bec Sparrow talk about making friends as a grown-up. (Post continues after audio.)

Lying forms a portion of what constitutes friendship.

Sure, some friends lie more than others. But maybe it’s because none of us weak-yet-friendly folk can bear to see our friends looking/feeling miserable.

If that’s the case, and you’re sitting outside a friend's change room with their emotions in the palm of your hands, why shove them further down into a deep pit of despair when you can make them feel like Beyonce in a body suit?

Not that I’ve ever worn a bodysuit, but I bet I’d feel like a goddess. See? (Post continues after gallery.)

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Take me or leave me.

Being a friend is confusingly intricate. A lie may be justified, or honesty may be required, but unfortunately it’s all up to our very flawed discretion.

Luckily, there’s no such thing as the perfect friend. If there was, competing with that would be a tough gig and my friendship count would fall from the current two to a devastatingly low zero. I’m still at two, thank goodness, so there’s hope for all.

In the wise words of Hannah Montana, Nobody’s Perfect and Everybody Makes Mistakes - fashion advice mistakes included. Do what you think is best, and your friends will indisputably appreciate it.

Listen to the full episode of The Well below, where Rebecca Sparrow and Robin Bailey talk about the good, the bad and the toxic of friendships. 

For more episodes of The Well, subscribe to the show in iTunes, find us on the Mamamia Podcast App, or download it via your favourite podcast app. 

Image: supplied.

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