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07 Dec 2012

reborn Christian friend annoys me intensely
I have a lovely friend. I have know her for 8 years, we did salsa together, enjoy walks in the forest and she is good conversatiionalist and a caring and loyal friend. The problem is, she is a RADICAL reborn Christian, and cannot see there are other ideas/philosophies in the world. I was actually " reborn"  myself 25 years ago, and still go to church sometimes. I believe in a God and believe in prayers being answered. (i dont believe only reborn Christians go to heaven)
She annoys me intensely when she tells me how pivotal her relationship with God is. She does live her faith, but I feel I cannot even try to challenge her as I will hit a concrete wall. I avoid talking about religion but it creeps in.. like tonight she mentioned this guy she met, and said " he is Catholic. great guy but has no relationship with God? He believes in a spiritual power but not a God you can have a " personal relationship with" . I told her she might not know what his relationship is with God. Afterwards I was so annoyed, finding her views close-minded and judgmental. And I suppose annoyed that she probably thinks I have no connection to God, and am doomed to the fires of Hell. I have considered ending this friendship, but value much of it too. How does one handle this?? She is also 43 and has never had any sort of relationship, sometimes i wonder if she is hiding behind religion.
thanx, aaaahhmen!
Answer 1,004 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

I understand and I know what you mean. Such groups, some apparently entirely sincere, some seemingly exploitative, too often seem to feel compelled to try to force others to see things the way they do, and without any idea that their methods actually repel and drive away the very people they want to encourage to see things their way. Its their smugness, absolutism, and total inability to see that any other variation even on the same faith they claim to have, could be valid and satisfying for other people.
Some, and your friend sounds like this, chatter on about their relationship with their God in the same way that a love-sick girl raves about her new boy-friend. We may be pleased that they're happy, but not share their view that we ned to hear about this constantly. And their tendency to make huge and sweeping assumptions about other people and their inner faith and views, are truly arrogant.
And as in the person you describe, apparently she has never in her whole previous life had any strong close personal relationship with anyone else, so she can't keep this sense of a new relationship in any sort of perspective.
You need to weigh the benefits and deficits of continuing such a relationship with her. She's not likely to change, and its entirely rational and sensible for one to choose to end a relationship with someone so obsessive and compulsiveand actually uninterested in you as an independent person.
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