Dealing With Betrayal
Betrayal hurts deeply, I know this first hand. Having people in our life that are close to us is an important thing for various reasons. The sense of security and understanding felt in our inner circles of confidants allows us to deal with the ups and downs of life without the dreaded sense of feeling alone.
We turn to these people with our biggest issues and mistakes. Trusting that they have our best interests at heart and will keep sensitive information off of the record.
It is this same sense of security that can unfortunately cause a lot of heartache. It is when those we trust do not fulfill the role that we assumed. Realizing that someone we trust has betrayed us, is one of the biggest gut punches one can emotionally endure. This can occur in a variety of ways.
The initial shock, usually followed by anger and then reflecting on all past situations they may have done the same thing and not gotten caught is quite the tumultuous experience.
So, how do you deal with betrayal?
How do you pick up the pieces of broken trust and make it through to the other side without unnecessary damage long-term? In this article, we will discuss several key things to keep in mind in these situations that will hopefully allow you better navigate through one of life’s more painful social experiences.
Address The Issue
For whatever reason, people often avoid confronting the person that betrayed them in order to avoid conflict or an awkward conversation. Ironically, they feel that pointing out the issue to the offender might be rude or hurtful. However, getting the issue out in the open is important for several reasons.
First of all, you should confront the betrayer and make it very clearly that you are aware of what they’ve done. There is a good chance they will assume they’ve gotten away with it.
The palpable tension you will surely feel when they go about interacting with you as if nothing has happened is only going to result in you feeling more negative emotions. Furthermore, the individual is going to feel much more comfortable stabbing you in the back again at some point if they feel like they didn’t get caught the first time.
After someone you trust betrays you, you may decide to cut this person out of your life. While you have every right to do so, this may not be the case. Assuming you want to resolve the issue and repair your relationship with your offender, addressing the issue and having that difficult conversations is the only way you are going to move forward with any sense of genuine friendship.
Understand The Inherent Nature Of Self-Interests
While this is not the case with every person, the general nature of human beings is to act in their own best interests. Regardless of how close a relationship between two people is, making the decision to refrain from using personal information the one’s own personal advantage is not an automatic response.
While the inherent nature of our species is far from a valid excuse for betrayal, it is a relevant thing to realize when you are betrayed. Simply being aware of this trait can help mitigate some of the shock and disbelief that is easy to feel when the offender is a person you confided in on a deep level.
Betrayal – Forgive, Don’t Forget
While the whole, “forgive and forget,” notion sounds pleasant, it does not hold up when applied to real life. The forgiveness part of the equation is useful; the same cannot be said about forgetting.
If you realize you’ve been betrayed, forgiving, and forgetting the betrayer’s actions does nothing but extend them an open invitation to do it again. Don’t assume they are going to learn from their lesson. That their deep regret will ensure they never do it again. After all, you assumed they wouldn’t betray you in the first place, right?
Forgiving someone who betrays you benefits you. Holding on to resentment and anger can hurt you emotionally long after the situation occurs. However, never forget what the person did. More importantly, how it made you feel.
This will remind you to be more selective. Selective with what you allow this person to know about you. Saving you the possibility of future heartache caused by a similar situation.