Making friends isn't always easy, and being able to trust them can be even harder. Also, some people have a hard time finding friends who really care about them. In an ideal world, our friends would only have love and respect to offer and would never betray a friendship, but unfortunately, not everyone is like that. The hard truth is that sometimes people end up betraying each other's trust-even their best friends. While it is far from simple, learning to forgive and turn the page is a very important task and, thankfully, possible.
Method 1 of 3: Understanding the Situation
Step 1. Ask yourself if it was all just a misunderstanding
No one is happy when they feel betrayed by someone, but you will need to be sure that your friend was really disloyal - perhaps he acted unintentionally, so make sure he is really guilty.
- What was your role in the incident? Did you jump to a conclusion that led to a fight or a misunderstanding?
- Talking to others who are aware of the situation to be able to determine what really happened.
- Take all the information into account, including your opinion - if you really did something wrong, did this friend take responsibility for his or her actions?
- A confession, of course, is not the only evidence that someone is guilty, but it should be taken into account - without it, you will need to reflect on the possibility of a misunderstanding. This is not to say, however, that all guilty people confess their mistakes, as many insist to the very end on their innocence. Therefore, evaluate all the evidence to decide whether or not there was a betrayal.
- Let's say you've told the person a secret, and suddenly the subject has become the gossip of choice at school - this will likely lead you to distrust your friend's loyalty. Ask him if he told anyone the secret, even if he didn't mean to. It was an accident? Did he let the story slip?
Step 2. Reflect on how he feels
If your friend is as upset as you are, try to understand their point of view, putting yourself in the other's shoes. Was something you said misinterpreted by him, or vice versa?
- It's also important to keep in mind that you don't know what's going on in the other person's life, so look at the situation from their point of view. If your friend is willing to talk, ask him how he's been feeling - we have no idea what's going on in other people's lives: make an effort to understand your friend's perspective.
- In the situation mentioned above, you might ask how he felt about keeping the secret - was it very difficult not to tell anyone? In addition, assess whether he feels bad for what he did.
Step 3. Put yourself in his shoes
Every story has more than one side, and many factors influence events, so strive to assess circumstances objectively. We can see things in a completely different way when we step out of the situation and look at it as if it happened to someone else, so this can help you make other conclusions about the incident.
- This is not to say that you will discover that your friend has not made a mistake. Perhaps the conclusion is the same as before: there was betrayal, regardless of point of view - in that case, think about what you want to do going forward.
- After analyzing the situation objectively, you'll likely develop some empathy for your friend, but that doesn't mean you'll forgive his behavior, just that you'll see circumstances differently. Believe it or not, compassion for that person will help you move forward.
- You may also begin to see how you might have contributed to this or similar situations by turning a blind eye to what was going on. The feeling of opening your eyes to everything that was being ignored or underestimated is very powerful.
- Avoid sharing secrets with your friend in the future if he is chatty and likes to gossip.
Method 2 of 3: Turning the Page
Step 1. Relax and spend some time alone
Meditate, dance, go shopping, or do any other pleasurable activity to take your mind off this situation - do whatever it takes to feel better. It may sound counterproductive, but you're more likely to find a good solution while doing something nice, as many creative responses come during fun times, even if they don't relate to the problem itself.
Following the example above, withdraw from the situation and move away from people who know your secret - try to isolate yourself and do something relaxing
Step 2. Calm down
Avoid putting the blame on yourself by assuming that you are responsible for the situation and that you always screw it up. Avoid generalized thoughts like "It always happens to me" - too many generalizations can lead to depression.
- Mistakes and accidents happen in everyone's life: no one is immune from negative events. Blaming yourself for the situation will only keep you from moving forward and putting an end to this story.
- Don't beat yourself up for relying on a "snitch" - instead of thinking things like "I'm such an idiot. Why did I do this?" henceforth I will know that I cannot share any secrets with that person."
Step 3. Reframe the situation
If you believe you've been betrayed by your friend, but your friend hasn't apologized, reframe your view of the circumstances and stop blaming yourself. Dealing with your own feelings in a healthy way will be critical to moving forward, and this positive reframing will also help you move toward forgiveness.
For example, instead of thinking it's all your fault, think about how you found out that your friend talks too much and can't keep secrets. You had no idea what this person was like when you decided to share a secret with them, so you made the best decision you could make with the knowledge you had at the time
Step 4. Leave the feeling of frustration behind
A lot of people get rid of their feelings of frustration by unburdening themselves to someone, so choose a trusted person who is willing to listen to them talk about the betrayal. Venting will help you to let the negative emotions out, but prefer to talk to someone impartial, who is not involved in the situation, to avoid new conflicts between friends.
- Avoid putting too many emotions or negativity into the situation - you won't be able to express yourself properly if you're sunk in feelings of guilt or denial.
- Choose someone who won't encourage you to identify yourself as a victim - don't talk to someone who will be sad and hopeless after hearing the story, particularly if you're already feeling that way on your own. Talk to a loved one who can stay positive and offer good suggestions for what to do going forward.
- If you don't like to vent to other people, find other ways to let the frustration out - a jog or walk is a great way to release some of the negative emotions, no matter if you're more active or sedentary. Practice some individual or team sport, or participate in boxing, kickboxing, or yoga classes - all of these are good options for eliminating some of the stress from your body.
- Talk to another friend about your feelings, or if you don't have any friends or family to vent to, put your emotions in a journal.
Method 3 of 3: Moving Forward
Step 1. Forgive or at least be willing to forgive
Even if your friend never apologizes, you'll still need to be willing to forgive him if you're going to move forward - see forgiveness as a gift to yourself, not the other.
- By forgiving, we are able to let go of the past and move on with our lives - otherwise we are stuck forever in that situation. You're going to spend a lot of time holding a grudge if you don't forgive your friend, and you may even remain months or years feeling just as upset as you are now, as if the situation had just happened.
- Ideally, the person who has betrayed your trust will apologize, and that request will be considered when deciding whether or not you want to forgive. However, many situations end with no expression of regret or a false request for forgiveness, which cannot influence your decision - you may need to make an effort to be able to forgive the other person, regardless of their attitude.
- Don't dwell on the subject - after forgiving, turn the page and start a new chapter in your life. A good way to avoid obsessive thoughts is to put a rubber band around your wrist - snap it against your skin whenever you find yourself thinking about it.
- Forgive yourself for trusting this friend - you didn't know he wouldn't be able to keep a secret.
Step 2. Decide if you still want to keep the friendship
Many friends who cheat once are likely to cheat again, but that depends on the individual and situation - so consider the context and determine whether you want to keep the person in your life, either as a friend or just an acquaintance.
- You can look at the person as an acquaintance if you decide to keep in touch with them, but you don't want a relationship that close; or you can cut off relationships altogether if you feel this is the best option.
- Cut off all ties if you decide you don't want this friendship anymore, but don't act mean - the person will be aware of your hurt if you've already talked about the situation, so putting an end to the friendship should be easier.
- The best thing to do when a good friend leaves you for other friends is not to go down to his level - focus on what's worth it! A person who doesn't care about your friendship isn't important, so put yourself first. If you two study at the same school, a good way to get even is by getting higher grades than she is, so start trying harder in your studies. A friend who leaves another is not a real friend, and one day he will regret having done so.
- If you decide to preserve the friendship, make it very clear how you feel so that the person understands that they did wrong, but let them know that you forgive them and that you still want to be friends with them.
- Think twice before resuming the friendship if the person hasn't apologized or shown any kind of regret, as the situation may reoccur in the future.
- Another option is to keep the friendship going, but avoid sharing big secrets with the person - if you feel the need to talk about your life with all your friends, you may need to rethink your relationship with this gossip.
Step 3. View the situation as a life lesson
Now, you already know the signs and symptoms of a betrayal, and you can identify them more easily going forward - this will help you not to make the same mistake in the future and, perhaps, you will not be betrayed again. Obviously, we will never have control over the actions of others and we will not be able to prevent a betrayal, but this experience will teach you how to handle the situation better, as well as helping you not to be taken by surprise.
Now you know that some individuals cannot keep secrets, even if they are your best friends. Next time, you'll take into account whether or not the person knows how to keep secrets, and you'll think twice before telling someone something very important
- When it comes to trusting someone, listen to your instincts and learn from past experiences - you will never be able to trust certain people.
- Don't open your life to everyone else - that way you're less likely to be betrayed.
- Say how you feel, even when you're upset, but be careful not to say things without thinking.
- Before a new conversation, give yourself and your friend a few weeks, or even a month, so you can both clear your head - otherwise, you'll end up fighting all over again.
- Don't ignore each other! Don't pretend you're not listening if he asks a question - answer him politely rather than ignoring him and making him feel even worse for what he's done.
- Most betrayed people prefer to leave the betrayer behind, so don't feel bad about wanting to do this: the choice is yours.
- Watch out for people who easily reveal too many details about themselves or other people's lives - they probably don't have the vocation to keep secrets.
- Humans are social animals and cannot live without friends, so be careful not to lose all your friendships to a silly fight.