How To Handle A Friend’s Betrayal
Friendship is where we seek solace – it’s the ultimate safe space where you can be yourself. So when someone betrays that trust, it’s a wound that hurts deep. Dealing with a friend’s betrayal is a delicate matter and you need to remind yourself that if they don’t support you or confront you with issues to your face, you deserve better.
First of all, you need to figure out if the friendship is worth salvaging, and that will have a lot to do with the context of the betrayal? Did she sleep with your boyfriend, or did she say something that could be misconstrued as hurtful behind your back?
If it’s the former, cut that toxicity out of your life. Someone that acts like this doesn’t have respect for themselves or others, and is going down and is going down a negative and self-destructive path that you don’t need to join them on.
If it’s the latter and you’d put the betrayal under the petty category, there are still some things to consider. Has she done a series of petty acts over the history of your friendship, or is she acting out because she feels under-appreciated in the friendship? Ask her if she’s alright. Step into her shoes, for a moment. Putting a context to it and remembering to recognize your accountability in a situation is a big part of this process too. If you’re confident you’ve done nothing wrong, be straight-forward and direct with her in a non-confrontational way. Whatever happens next, trust your instincts.
Use constructive criticism, if you want to keep this friend in your life. Reinforce her good qualities and the parts of her that you adore, which will act as padding when you dole out the hard truth about what she needs to work on, and what’s not ok. Listen with an open heart to her responses, and understand that its natural for people to get defensive when they hear something about themselves that they’re in denial of,
Consider how long this person has been in your life. Are they a life-long friend that made a singular mistake, or have they been in your life for a short amount of time and you might not know this individual fully? Knowing someone inside and out, as well as the factor of repetition (if this betrayal is isolated or part of a bigger picture).
Realize if you need space, and that space doesn’t necessary mean a friend break-up. Sometimes, distance can make you remember and reaffirm why you were friends in the first place. Or sometimes, it can help give you the clarity to realize that the friendship isn’t what it once was.
Take all of these observations and bolster yourself with the notions of self-respect, and boundaries. You deserve both of those things, and even if a friend has an amazing, effervescent personality, if she doesn’t put values in those two things, your friendship won’t be able to flourish – now or ever. So be the bigger woman and calmly approach your girlfriend about her questionable actions, rather than sweeping it under the rug and letting resentment grow. These vulnerable and honest moments, though they might be scary to approach, could be where you too create an even closer bond and sense of understanding.