Q. I am not sure whether you are the right people to ask this, but I will ask anyway. I work in the same department with a close friend’s boyfriend and I know for a fact that he is cheating on her with a colleague in the opposite work station. I know for sure because she told me about the relationship recently.
She does not know that her new ‘boyfriend’ is someone else’s boyfriend. Do I tell my friend and this colleague what I know?
Faced with the undesirable possibility of impairing your relationships with those involved and appearing to be meddlesome, it is important to establish your objective for intervening in the situation that you have described.
Do you seek to preserve the relationship between your close friend and your colleague? Do you shield your friend from treachery? Would your intervention be more about indulging your personal instincts or taking a benevolent step to mend the situation in the interest of your close friend and your colleague?
If you choose to intervene, it is useful to consider taking an approach that achieves the desired result whilst mitigating needless emotional upheaval.
An altered emotional state may adversely affect one’s wellness, ability to relate with others meaningfully, engagement at work as well as productivity.
Aware of the values that your close friend holds concerning relationships, what action on your part would constitute the highest expression of fidelity to your friendship? What approach might reflect the fairest versions of your discretion and sensibility?
How might you disclose the information without causing undue alarm or share your sentiments without taking a condescending tone? Is your urge to upset the apple cart as strong as your readiness and ability to help pick up the pieces?
Assuming that you were in your close friend’s shoes and she in yours, how would you expect her to behave in such circumstances?
Would you desire to know what is happening or prefer to wallow in ignorant bliss? In making your decision, consider the words of George Washington: ‘...my tenets are few and simple.
The leading one of which, and indeed that which embraces most others, is to be honest and just ourselves and to exact it from others, meddling as little as possible in their affairs where our own are not involved’.