Friendship is not about people who act true to your face. It’s about people who remain true behind your back. – Unknown
This is a relationship blog (among other things). We all have experienced something like this in our lifetime and it doesn’t matter how old you are – yes some older women still experience things like this. Simply put, we are all just flawed human beings. None of us are perfect. Just take it as a learning lesson and try and move on.
It hurts when you find out someone close to you has betrayed you. Recently, I found out someone I cared about had done the same to me. While their act of betrayal need not be disclosed, let’s just say what that person did ran along the lines of duplicity, back-stabbing and denial. At this point, I don’t know if our friendship can be salvaged despite how long we’ve been friends or my love for this person. I believe when people are faced with a similar situation, they can learn from others experiences. If you feel someone in your life has betrayed you, here are my lessons dealing with this situation.
(1). First, access the person who has betrayed you. I say this is the first step because no matter what was said or done, (and I am not discounting the action) who said it should matter in how you should proceed with the next step. Ask yourself this, “Is the person someone you truly value as a friend? Or is this a person you are not close to and is just a passing acquaintance?” If the answer is the latter, I say don’t waste your tears no matter how mad or offended you are by this person. With people like this, there is no reason to hold on to something that never existed. Pay that person dust ( meaning consider this relationship Dead on Arrival, DOA) and move on, unless what they did deserves a mature confrontation. However, if you are faced with having to deal with the betrayal by someone you thought was a “true” friend, then you need to determine whether the action done by your friend is worth the confrontation, forgiveness and ultimately the continuation of that friendship.
(2). When it comes to your friends, no amount of confrontation is a bad thing. As long as it is handled in a civil, mature and thoughtful manner. That is what “true” friendship is about – being able to talk to one another no matter the situation. However, before you talk to your friend, you have to determine whether what was done was really an act of betrayal. Sometimes, we as human beings can overreact to things based on our own perceptions and assumptions. Sometimes, what we think is going on may not always be what is actually happening or that severe. However, if you feel with all certainty that your friend has done something to you that needs to be addressed, talk to that person about it. Be sure to have “solid” proof. In my opinion, it is never wise to get other people involved with the- “Well, Jane said that you said I did X, Y, Z…” It only makes matters messier. Try to keep it to what you have witnessed or experienced that can be personally detailed (even if you did hear something from Jane). Then let your friend know how you felt when you discovered what they did to you. Be honest, let them know it hurt.
(3). Once you have opened up the dialogue with your friend, hear her/him out. You can get so much more out of a person if you just listen. It may not be easy for them because they are scared of your reaction. But a true friend would come clean. More importantly, they would apologize. Depending on the severity of the act, maybe your friendship is worth pressing the reset button. If, on the other hand, there are a lot of denials, push – back and anger then, I would not press any further and say that this friendship has reached its end.
(4). Ok, so even if your friend has apologized, you really need to ask yourself, “Is this friendship worth continuing.” Again, if what your friend did was something you would consider minor, why not forgive and move on. For example, I would consider minor, my friend venting to another friend that I had pissed them off. Or, if my friend took someone else to a party that I wanted to attend – or maybe even passing me up on a business venture to choose someone else who was more qualified for the job as something I would be initially livid about but I could deal with it and get over it – these are (to me) a passable offenses. Egos would be bruised. Not for nothing, the friend had to do what was best for him/her. A true friend wouldn’t be that upset.
On the other hand, if my friend is spreading rumors or negative and untrue information about me to other people (especially people they know do not like me and I’m not fond of them), then it becomes a huge problem. An apology just won’t do. Trust has been broken and it’s hard for me to accept people back in my life when trust has been broken. How could I ever trust this person again? That is the crossroads I am at right now with my friend. A friend I still love. All I can say to anyone is this – if this person means this much to you that you can forgive and move on with this person still in your life, then I wish you and your friend a happy resolution and new beginning. As for myself, I hope this time will allow me to come to the best resolution for my friendship.
(5). As for damage control, if it is not your boss or people that can affect your life financially or any other significant way, don’t worry about it. I know it may make you upset that things were maybe said about you where you feel you want to clear your name. But, you can go on prime time news and spill your heart out and it probably won’t change anything. This is my reason why, “People are going to believe what they want to believe because – they want to believe it (my quote).” It does not matter what you try to do to clear your name. If a person does not care for you, they are going to believe whatever negative thing is said about you because it confirms their dislike for you. As for me, I always say, “I am not a politician. I am not in the business of swaying hearts and changing minds” especially if they are not important to me. Besides, people who truly know you and truly care about you will discount any gossip or slander about you. They will also confront the person spreading the rumors. They are the ones who really know you and are your “real” friends.
Remember: The best way to deal with suspect friends or people who betray you and talk negatively about you is to always stay true to yourself and hold your head up high. Even though it may hurt, you are not easily broken.
By the time you become my age, you will be lucky to have a small number of ‘real’ friends. They don’t say – for a season for nothing.
In addition, this is a month for being thankful. If this person is not truly a friend, then you should be grateful that they are leaving your life for your real friends to step forward.
Have a Wonderful Weekend