my friend shoplifted

dear heather,
My friend and I were shopping, and she really liked a shirt but she didn’t have enough money to pay for it. It was $40. She asked me if she should steal it. I said, “Do whatever you want; personally, I wouldn’t.” In the end, she stole it. Me not being one to say “No, don’t take it,” I now feel so guilty–almost as if I stole it! I have no idea what to do, but feel bad that I actually didn’t say “don’t.” Please give some advice on what to do!!!!!

I can understand that you feel guilty–you were with your friend when she did something illegal, and you didn’t tell her not to steal the shirt. But you told her you wouldn’t have stolen the shirt yourself. It’s not like you dared her to steal it or actually stole it yourself. You may feel guilty by association because you didn’t prevent her from taking the shirt. But then again, you gave your opinion when she asked what you would do. She made her own decision to steal the shirt, which makes it your friend’s problem and not yours.

Have you talked to your friend about how you feel? Does she seem to feel the same way, or worse, than you do? Or is she not worried about it? Is she concerned that you feel guilty about it or does she think you are overreacting?

If your friend’s shoplifting really disturbs you, you may want to figure out how you feel about your relationship. It might be time to reconsider the friendship if she continues to act in a way that makes you feel guilty or uncomfortable.

take care,

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