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How to Deal With Betrayal by Friends

by Esther M.
2 mins read

Human beings are social beings and building friendships over time, the experts say, is a normal thing.

Well, a time comes when friendships cannot continue.

This can be caused by so many factors, but betrayal is usually the main one.

Ann Munyao, a counselling psychologist, discusses betrayal in friendships and how can deal with them.

Dictionary Definition

– Betrayal means to disappoint, prove undependable to; abandon, forsake, deliver to an enemy by treachery, cause someone to believe an untruth

-It can also mean giving away information about somebody or revealing one’s private information intentionally.

Betrayal is the breaking of trust, or confidence that produces moral, emotional and psychological conflict in a relationship amongst individuals.

It can also mean unhealthy complete disagreement between organizations or between individuals and organisations.

How to deal with it

“It is better to have an enemy who slaps you in the face than to have a friend who stabs you in the back. This expression brings to light the pain of betrayal from a friend,” Munyao explains.

She explains that It can be hard making friends and even harder trusting them.

Here are some of the ways one can deal with betrayal in friendships:


A. Ask yourself if it was a misunderstanding.

 It is easy to get upset when you think that someone close to you has betrayed you. However, one needs to be sure that a betrayal has actually taken place. Perhaps, it was not your friend’s intention to act disloyally. Make sure he or she has really done something wrong.

B. Ask yourself how the other person feels. 

If your friend is just as upset as you are, maybe you should understand the perspective. Try to put yourself in your friend’s shoes. Could you have said something that was misinterpreted by your friend, or vice versa?

C. Put it in perspective. 

There are two sides to every story, and there are many elements that influence events. Try to look at the situation objectively. If you remove yourself from the situation and think about it as if it happened to someone else, it allows you to view the incident differently. You might see the situation and understand it in an entirely different light.


A.Relax and take some time alone. 

Meditate, shop or dance. Do something that you enjoy to take your mind off of everything. Do whatever you have to do to make yourself feel better. You are more likely to find a worthwhile solution while doing something you enjoy or having fun.

B. Self-soothe. 

Avoid self-blame. Don’t assume that everything is all your fault and you always mess things up. Try not over generalise with statements like, “This always happens to me.” Overgeneralising leads to a deep sense of sadness and depression.

C. Re-frame the situation. 

If you believe that your friend has betrayed you, and you have not received an apology, re-frame the incident so that the blame is not placed on you. It’s important that you manage your own feelings about the situation in a way that is healthy for you so that you can move forward. Re-framing also helps you work toward forgiveness,

D. Let out frustration. 

For many people, the best way is to let out frustration. So, choose a person who you trust that does not mind listening to you talk about betrayal. You may want to choose a person who is far removed from the situation to avoid bias or any further conflicts among friends. Venting helps you release your negative emotions about the situation.


A. Forgive. 

Be open to forgiving, or forgive if you choose to do so. Even if you don’t receive an apology from the person who has betrayed you, you still have to be willing to forgive the person so that you can move on. Consider forgiving your friend as a gift to yourself, not as a gift to the friend who betrayed you.

B. Decide if you want to maintain a relationship with the person. 

Many times, a friend who has betrayed you once will do it again, but this depends on the situation and the person. So, you have to decide if you want the person in your life as a friend, an associate or not at all.

C. Consider the event a life lesson. 

Think of it as a lesson learned. Now, you know the signs and symptoms of a betrayal, and you can pinpoint them in the future. This, of course, will keep you from making the same mistake again, or from possibly being betrayed again. Of course, you cannot control it if someone betrays you. However, you can avoid getting caught off guard, and how you will deal with it if it happens.

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