There are downsides to some friendships and the potential exists for a friend to back-stab or betray you. When this happens, it may feel like the end of the world, especially if this they were someone who you might have turned to in the past during times of need. Part of coping with friends who have turned against you will require that you compassionately pay attention to your own emotions as well as closely considering the status of your current relationship with that person and moving forward accordingly. You can simultaneously learn how to care for your hurt feelings and handle a disloyal friend, too.
First acknowledge the pain of disloyalty. While you’re acknowledging the hurt feelings, remember you are the only one with the power to control how you react. Perhaps this person is now treating you a certain way with the hope that you will react in a big way. So, it is far better to take a step back and reflect on how you are feeling, instead of reacting or “acting out.”
Take time to reflect. Just as some romantic relationships become broken, friendships can also fall apart. Take a break to think about any major choices like considering if it's worth it to directly confront these friends. You may find that you calm down after a few days, or you may find that during the break you are much better off without these friends.
Consider starting a journal. Writing down the experience and your thoughts and feelings associated with it can be incredibly freeing and empowering. You may even come up with some good ideas as to how you want to deal with the aftermath of a friend's betrayal.
Practice self-care on a regular basis. All too often we’ll put our own feelings on the back burner to avoid feeling bad ourselves. When someone steals from you or talks behind your back it is easy to beat yourself up over ever allowing them the chance to use you.
Focus on being the bigger person. Don’t entertain the urge to get revenge or hold grudges. Try to forgive those that do you wrong, if only so you don’t have to carry the burden of anger. You may feel like you are letting the other person off too easy if you let go of the anger and move on, but this is usually not the case. Holding onto the anger hurts you first and foremost. And, more often than not, the person you are angry with has already moved on. You’ll take back your power when you become the bigger person and resist reacting in a vengeful way.
If they tried to damage your reputation, then, it might be time for damage control. Do what you can to rectify any negative statements which had been made about you. Share your side of the story to whoever the negativity was spread to. While it is still up to the other party to make up their conclusion, at least you’ll have had the chance to say your piece in the situation, rather than just leaving things hanging.
Rae Indigo is ERYT 500