When you feel like a friend has betrayed you, the experience is much like infidelity in a marriage. Your trust is shaken and your feelings are hurt. You question your judgement and you may lose a relationship that’s important to you.
Sometimes a friend may make an honest mistake or lack the capacity to stand by you through a serious illness or other hardship. Sometimes they may even harm you deliberately.
Whatever the reasons, try these tips to help you promote healing, whether you decide to salvage your friendship or go your separate ways.
Steps to Take with Yourself:
Clarify the Situation. You don’t know what You don’t know!
Friendships have natural ups and downs. Did your friend snub you or are they just busy with a new job or baby? Is your relationship with your old college roommate too valuable to lose over one careless remark?
Hold Yourself Accountable.
Take responsibility for your role in the situation. You may find that you have contributed to the rift.
Boost Your Self-Esteem.
Feeling betrayed can make you question yourself and your worth. Remember that you deserve love and respect. Engage in activities that build your confidence. Tackle new challenges like running a charity race or indulge your creativity by taking a painting class.
You may be tempted to hide yourself away when a friend turns on you, but it’s more constructive to address the facts directly. Speak up and advocate for yourself.
Catch Your Breath.
At the same time, you need to be gentle with yourself. You may want to put off making any long-term decisions about the future of your friendship until you have time to sort things out.
If you notice troubling patterns in your friendship or a recent conflict stirs up old issues, you may want to speak with a therapist. A counsellor can help you make positive changes that can lead to more satisfying friendships.
Losing a friend is difficult, especially when you think they’ve let you down.
By working through your feelings, you can restore your trust in yourself and others and you’ll be able to repair your friendship or build new and more supportive friendships.
Next we are looking at Part 2 “Steps to Take with Others”…
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