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What to Do When Your Best Friend Betrays You?

Updated on February 8, 2014
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When your best friend betrays you it can feel like your life is ruined. But that doesn't have to be the case, this article will show you how to manage the situa

The act of betrayal is the violation of trust. A situation where someone who know's better has violated your - often unspoken - code of values, moral and right and wrong. This time of incident is not without psychological impact and usually leads to conflict between two individuals, and even a group.

This is simple enough to understand, but what exactly falls into the category of betrayal? We'll that's hard to say, but I imagine you would consider a wide range of things like: lying, cheating, stealing, to be of poor character at best, and betrayal, at worst.

Betrayal or even the suspicion of it can be the beginning of a large amount of damage to any type of relationship. This is because almost all relationships are based on one simple principle: Trust. And When that trust is violated, it’s usually safe to assume the relationship has been as well.

Because betrayal is a very tricky concept and all people have their differences, it can be difficult to spot right away. Realising that a close friend has done something horribly wrong to you is a traumatic experience, and it could be just as traumatic for the person being told they have overstepped the mark, especially if they don’t realize what they’ve done is wrong.

However, we are only human and such differences can be chalked up to personality, individuality, culture, and in some cases a person’s upbringing. These things that make you different and unique also make a major difference in how betrayal affects you.

Some basic questions

  1. Why did the situation make you feel betrayed?
  2. What is the worst part of the betrayal, and why?
  3. What do you want to do about the betrayal?
  4. What do you think you should do about the betrayal, and is this different from what you want to do?

So, how does betrayal affect you?

Knowing that betrayal can be viewed differently by different people means that figuring out how it affects you can be quite a chore. Some common examples of how you may feel after a betrayal include:

  • sadness
  • anger
  • a desire for revenge
  • confused
  • disappointed

Along with these feelings, betrayal can make you feel rejected, and depending on the extent of the situation can even be the cause of a period of depression. That's not to mention that this type of situation can cause loss of self-worth, have a negative effect on other valued relationships, and cause you to take up some unhealthy habits.

You smoke more. Drink more. Eat more. Stop working out. Do any of these sound familiar?

Your health can start to slip, as well as your motivation and the feeling of hopelessness can seem impossible to shake in such a time.

An interesting thing about betrayal is that some people are able to move on from it, while others simply cannot let go of the negativity that took place. To protect yourself from the dangers of a nagging betrayal, one of the first steps is to ask yourself some basic questions.

Managing Your Feelings After Betrayal

One of the first questions you may ask after suffering a betrayal is: Why? You may never receive an answer to this, but something you can do is focus on one of the other most commonly asked questions: What should I do?

From personal experience I have a few suggestions you could follow for the do’s and don’ts of betrayal. Asking for advice from friends and family can be helpful but their opinions or suggestions can be wildly differing, confusing, and sometimes even negative.

A few things to do include:

  1. Resist the urge to bad mouth the other person
  2. Avoid email communication
  3. Find someone you trust and talk it out

A few things to not do are:

  1. Don’t pretend like it didn’t happen.
  2. Don’t discuss the situation so often with friends they lose empathy
  3. Don’t beat yourself up about the situation.

Never forget that there are many do’s and don’ts when it comes to managing your feelings after a betrayal, but these are some of the more important ones to keep in mind. These have been some of the things that have worked best for me, and many others.

Coping with Betrayal

What About the Relationship?

Once you’ve come to terms with and recognized the betrayal, along with your feelings, you’ll have to decide on what to do with the relationship. Do you want to stay friends with the person that has betrayed you? Do you think that your friendship is entirely over?

Some logical ways of figuring this out include looking at what remains of the relationship, and how your friend has handled it. Do you think you’ll be able to forgive this person over time? The answers to any of the questions you ask yourself should help you reach a reasonable conclusion.

Forcing yourself to think this stuff over will be painful and upsetting, but it’s all part of the mending process that will help you move along. Avoiding snap decisions is very important, and these questions you’re asking yourself are meant to help you figure out if you can forgive this person or move along.

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Forgive, or Let Them Go?

Forgiving someone after a betrayal is a huge step that must be thoroughly thought out, as well as choosing to let them go. You need to make sure you’re fully committed to your decision because if you’re not it will be a major mistake for you.

To forgive you must fully come to terms with what happened and ultimately forget about it. If you choose to dwell on the betrayal then forgiveness will be impossible. Consider forgiveness to be one of the last and major steps of moving forward with the situation and your life. That is unless you're unlucky enough to have betrayal rears its ugly head once more.

Maybe you’ve thought it out and this betrayal in particular can’t be forgiven or forgotten. No matter what anyone else says, your decision is totally acceptable. This choice is yours and only yours, but now you have to keep to yourself and move along. Always make sure that you don’t let your decision take control over your life in a negative manner.

What to do next? How do I fix this?

A betrayal of any sort is not easy to overcome, but when your best friend betrays you the feeling of loss can be comparable to a death in the family. Often times dealing with such negativity shouldn’t happen by yourself. Luckily it doesn’t have to. I've created in-depth guide that will help you to quickly manage a situation where your best friend has betrayed you, and you can grab yourself a free chapter. You'll also get a free worksheet that will help do complete the exercise laid out within this short but effective, guide. To Grab your copy, go here.

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    • profile image

      anneinstein 

      19 months ago

      my bestfriend betrayed me..n i was so lost i think half of my life was death like the way u said im so deppresed n dissapointed for what we share before till now its still in my heart the pain the she made...but i move on i always see her because we both in the same work..i dont to see her face even her sound of her voice i recalled what she done..but i recovered n i didnt talked to her like before just we talk only work..but i learnt from her that dont give 100% trust to anyone n give myself importance than some1...

    • louiseelcross profile image

      Louise Elcross 

      21 months ago from UK

      I have been betrayed by a good friend and it was a very painful experience. I have just written a hub about a process to deal with the pain of betrayal by a loved one and you are right when you say that the hurt is comparable to a death in the family. That is how it felt for me. I will recover from the pain of the loss and will learn from the experience. Thanks again.

    • profile image

      Danielle 

      2 years ago

      My best friend exposed my deepest secrets to a common friend in bad faith.I felt so hurt but decided not to confront her.I tried to look at the positive in her and I learnt that she can't be trusted with my secrets but can be a really good friend.so I remained friends but never shared nothing about my private life with her no more

    • profile image

      stella ezekiel kevin 

      3 years ago

      I jst had to let go of ma frnd n srt up a new lyf cz it was meaningless frndship nw

    • profile image

      Rena 

      3 years ago

      Been betrayed by trust and constant lies but I still care about her I wish so much we could be again liking each other I'm so sad I miss her dearly from my heart.

    • profile image

      sam123456789 

      3 years ago

      My best friend betrayed me for somebody she barely knew over us, her best friends. She didn't even acknowledge the fact that she hurt me and my sister. But i know she'll never realize what she lost until my enemy leaves her.

    • deecoleworld profile image

      deecoleworld 

      4 years ago from USA

      if a friend betrayed me i will smack a b*tch down lol ..... jk it depends on the relationship and if this disrespect is worth it .... anyway good hub :)

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 

      4 years ago from USA

      This one is near and dear to my heart. I've written about this topic and even created a blog that touches upon this, as well as other things that can go wrong in female friendships. Great article and I wish you the very best of luck with your book.

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