The Etiquette of Lying--I have a question
Sometime ago an acquaintance of mine asked me to lie for them.
Specifically, they asked me to help engineer a believable lie for delivery to a third party.
The situation arose when this ex (gasp) acquaintance of mine asked for help. As the dialog progressed it became clear that they didn't actually want help in the conventional sense but simply wanted to plumb the depths of my professional knowledge to serve their own interests in their own way regardless of whether or not I found it insulting or demeaning to even be asked to do such a thing.
Nevertheless, they were in deep trouble, obviously confused and grasping, so I chose to simply decline to assist them without bothering to heap my indignation upon their truly troubled situation.
As you might expect, this individual--this "person" no longer speaks to me. (triple lutz gasp)
Complicating matters, (double triple lutz gasp) I actually extended myself to this person--some time later--and "apologized" for not being "supportive." Now then, obviously I owed them no apology for refusing to be used but I somehow thought it'd be a nice gesture that took into account that their circumstances weren't optimal at the time. (idiot me). My reward was a curt, snotty reply.
I'm embarrassed to ask this at the ripe young age of 50 but I suppose my question is:
To the extent that people like this are--unfortunately--a fact of life--how does one deal with them diplomatically?
Other than "no, I can't do that" is there any way around this type of bs?