Dealing with a close friend who now dislikes me based on my beliefs alone.

I am currently dealing with someone who liked me before but doesn't now that they know I'm an unbeliever. Normally this would make me shake my head and/or laugh but this person and my girlfriend are very close and she is my girlfriend's boss too.

I was in the store today and waved at her and she made sure not even to look up, something she would have never have done before finding out I'm an unbeliever. She also makes snide remarks at my fiancee like "Well what happened to him?" As I said before it wouldn't normally matter but she is a second mom to my fiancee, which puts her in a very awkward position.

Should I could confront her? She is a tough old broad and comes from a generation that hates gay men and women and minorities too, even though they hide it well.

And does anyone else regularly have to deal with this kind of ignorance? How do you deal with it when it's someone who matters?

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That's difficult Bryan.


Normally, engaging this type of person would be a non-effort meaning useless. People who are set in their ways are set in their ways and normally I would avoid engagement. However since this person has so much direct affect on your lives, I would a) somehow make a suggestion that would welcome a discussion with her but make it subtle and non-confrontational and b) more importantly, make sure you are nice to this person and show her none of the disrepect she is showing you. Do not give this person any reason to dislike you. The nicer you are the harder it will be for her to judge you in a negative way.  One of my closet co-workers is an ardent believer but and we joke all the time that "Robert's going to hell but I love him anyway".  This doesn't bother me in the slightest.  I know I'm a good person and she knows it too. Hopefully your atheism will become more and more secondary to her judgements of you as time goes on. There's really nothing else you can do.

I don't know how you could make this person like you again. She clearly is a bigot. The only thing you can do is maybe talk to her & tell her that even though you have your differences you two shouldn't let this ruin either or both your relationships with your girlfriend.

I would just find a time when she is with your girlfriend and ask to be alone with her for a couple of minutes and talk to her and let her know the reasons why you are why you are (you value science, humanity, etc.) and that you respect people of all beliefs and have the same common goal of advancing the cause for the human race...try to find something you can both relate on so that she knows you are not anti-religious and you are the way you are because you base your life on reason, logic, and evidence but of course not in a way that you "both do". I truly feel you can make it "cool" with her but it just depends on your approach and having that alone time to connect w/her..
i just want to say if i were in the same situations...i would doubt that they were very close friends in the first place. while i was still a christian, if you could hardly call me friends knew how I felt and how my personally wouldn't let me believe something just because everyone else did. so..if they didnt know i was going to be an atheist when i later came to the conclusion..they either were not very close friends...or were to blinded by the light of religion to notice.
Thanks for the feedback guys. I am going to wait until it feels right and talk to her. I might offer her some info on secular humanism too?
"Offering info" as to explain to her who you are and why you are who you are but I don't think you should go too deep into it. You want her to think you are just an atheist but not a hardcore atheist; but rather someone who values life and the progress of the common good for humanity. Just my 2-cents and just do it, don't hesitate because "it will never feel right" it is better to do it as soon as you can (just my opinion).
I think that's a good approach.  Have some choice comebacks handy for when she finally broaches the subject.  Not anything mean but things that are simply too true to be denied.   Under the circumstances, I would say that in the meantime don't do anything that seems to "reward" her for her bad behavior but don't do anything to give her a "real" excuse not to like you.  Be distantly pleasant and pleasantly distant.

Well, when it came to dealing with my mom's fundamentalism I just told her to fuck off and I haven't seen her since (going on 20 years now).  I had a phone conversation with her in the late 90's and she was still rambling the same crap so I wound up just putting the phone back on the receiver. 


I've never had to deal with an employer who was overly-religious so I can't say for sure, but I would very likely tell them to 'take this job and shove-it'.


Anyway, telling your mom and/or boss to die in a grease fire just isn't everyone's style, so I guess I don't have much more to offer you here.  I do imagine you'll handle things with much more diplomacy than me, and that is a very admirable trait.

I'm sorry your relationship with your mom is hostile, but I completely cracked up at your comment. I wish I had the courage to tell a few certain people to go "die in a grease fire" lol.
Well it's not hostile at all - I don't even know where she lives anymore.  As I proof read my comment I started laughing too - I didn't really mean for it to sound that way but when I realized it was just a statement of facts that made me laugh I had to leave it as such.

MY advice on this is simple and well reasoned as I deal with this kind a lot in the south. She does not like you and likely never will again. At best she will come to tolerate you.

   You need to tell her " I understand that you don't like me now and that's fine, but we need to get along because this is hurting (your fiancee).

  I would avoid offering her anything to do with religion or the like of for that matter. This is the rub already, no need to pour salt in the wound. This is how she will most likely see it anyway. Just try to make peace as you are not likely to make friends.

Make her feel guilty in the sense that "Jesus loves everyone" mentality


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