Essay About Betrayal Of A Trusted Friend

Essay example on narrative about friend betrayal.

As a child growing up friends are everything. Your best friend is the one you share all your secrets with and trust them not to tell anyone. They are the one who knows everything about you and stands by your side through everything. For some, best friends may change frequently, but that wasn’t the case of Michelle and l. That was the type of friend Michelle was. We had been friends since the first grade and shared everything.

We never kept secrets from one another and more importantly, we never shared those secrets with anyone else. Well at least I didn’t. One fall I learned many important lessons in life.

The most important one was not to trust people. Sounds cynical I know, but I don’t know any other way to put it. I was 12 years old and trust had never been an issue for me, but that year brought on many changes.

On a beautiful Saturday afternoon my whole outlook on life changed. On a day that seemed like so many before, my brother-in-law raped me. Dealing with that was more than I knew how to handle. The betrayal of the one person I thought I could trust only added to the pain. A few weeks passed before I could even bring myself to tell Michelle. He had made me feel like it was my fault, that I had done something to deserve it.

essay about friends betrayal

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He has also convinced me that if my sister found out it would cause her to lose the baby she was carrying. At that time I really didn’t know any better so I believed him. Finally I realized I had to tell someone and of course Michelle was who I turned to. I explained what happened, how it made me feel, how it made me view things. Never in my life did I think she would tell anyone. Once again I was wrong, within three days it seemed the whole school knew. To make matters worse Michelle told people that it had been my fault. That it wasn’t rape at all, that I had agreed to it. Even worse she told them I was pregnant by him.

I couldn’t understand how she could do something like that to me. Here I was trying to cope with what had been done to me physically and she betrayed me in a way that I couldn’t even begin to understand. Granted, in time the talk moved on to something else as it always does in schools, and they all realized that I wasn’t pregnant. Still, the damage to me was already done. I learned the hard way the need to be careful who you trust. It is something that was remained with me to this day. After being betrayed by my best friend, it became nearly impossible to trust anyone. Betrayed by my best friend By eschewing 123

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Essay About Betrayal Of A Trusted Friend

A Conscious Rethink

If You Were Betrayed By A Friend, Here Is What You Should Do

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young woman angry at betrayal by her friend

Betrayal is never pretty.

The focus tends to be on betrayal in romantic relationships, but the reality is that a betrayal by a close friend can be just as upsetting.

If this has happened to you, it’s not necessarily going to be an easy thing to get over.

If you decide that your friendship has come to an end, it’ll take you a while to adjust to life without them in it.

But if you want to keep this friend in your life, you’ll need to face up to what’s happened and work through your feelings before you can start to repair the relationship and move forwards.

Here are the steps you should take either way.

What To Do When A Friend Betrays You

1. accept that being betrayed by a friend is deeply hurtful..

If you find that you’ve been betrayed by a friend, it’s completely normal to be devastated by it.

Some people try to fight these feelings, not understanding why a friend could have such power over them, and why a betrayal on the part of the friend can rock their world so.

That’s largely down to the fact that we tend to place far more value on romantic and even familial relationships in our society and often ignore the power of friendships.

But if we’re honest with ourselves about our feelings, we start to appreciate just how important friendship is to us, and what a big impact it can have on our lives when it goes wrong.

Our friends are the ones who are there for us when we need them and are a constant presence in our lives.

They’re the family we choose, and the people we confide our innermost fears and desires to.

Whereas we don’t get to pick our families, and romantic partners often come and go, good friends are there for the long haul.

They see us at our best, and our worst, and every step along the way. And they love us just the way we are.

So, it’s important to remember that it’s totally legitimate for a friend’s betrayal to have cut you so deeply.

Don’t beat yourself up about it, but accept the feelings, give them their due importance and be prepared to examine them and work through them.

2. If you can, have an honest conversation with your friend.

Your friend might have betrayed you to such an extent that you’re not willing to speak to them face to face (at least not for a long while). And that’s your prerogative.

But if you can bring yourself to speak to them, an honest conversation could be the salvation of your friendship, or could at least help you to move on, even if you choose not to remain friends with them going forwards.

You both need to be totally honest about things, without letting your ego get in the way.

Give them a chance to explain the situation from their point of view. Even if it doesn’t make things better between you, hearing their reasons for acting the way they did might help you to understand the things that have happened.

This might not be relevant in your case, but you may also need to consider whether you’ve had a role to play in what’s happened.

If you haven’t been the best friend to them in recent times, that might have contributed to their behavior. That’s not an excuse for their betrayal, but it’s something to bear in mind.

3. Figure out why you feel so betrayed.

What is it specifically about what your friend did that has hurt you so?

You need to take some time to yourself to reflect on why this is hurting you so badly. What elements of what they did bothered you the most?

Was it a concrete action that you felt was a betrayal, or was it them withholding the truth about something from you?

It might be fairly obvious, but the main reasons you’re so hurt by it might be more complex than they appear to be on the surface.

4. Ask whether the relationship is worth saving.

So, you’ve had an honest talk with them about what happened, and you’ve had a chance to analyze the way it’s made you feel.

It’s now time to look to the future and decide whether the friendship you had with them is salvageable and, if so, if it’s really worth your while putting the effort in to patching things up with them.

How important are they in your life? Would your life be poorer without them in it? Are you willing to put the necessary work in to rebuild the friendship?

Was this betrayal entirely out of the blue, and out of character? Or has this person never really be the kind of friend you deserve?

Don’t just focus on how they’ve betrayed you in the present, but think back.

If they’ve consistently been a good friend to you in the past, there for you when you need them, providing you with good advice, being loyal, and enriching your life, then one betrayal might not be enough to counteract all that.

Or it might be. It’s entirely your decision.

5. Ask whether they are sorry.

Of course, a large part of how you move forwards will depend on how your friend is dealing with the situation.

If they can’t understand your feelings of betrayal and haven’t apologized or done what they can to improve matters and make things up to you, that might be an indication that the friendship doesn’t have a future.

If, on the other hand, they’ve shown remorse and are doing their best to make things up to you, that might be a sign that your friendship could survive their betrayal.

6. Don’t rush into a decision.

When we’re angry, we all make decisions that we later regret, and you don’t want the loss of a good friend to be the result of an impetuous decision you made in the heat of the moment.

Give yourself time to calm down and mull over the situation before you make any decisions.

It might be best to avoid speaking to the friend in question until you’ve regained some kind of equilibrium, so that you don’t say anything you might want to take back later on.

After all, if you know someone well, you’ll probably know just how to hit them where it hurts.

Try to focus on the fact that it would be horrible to sacrifice a lifetime of friendship by saying something you don’t mean when the red mist comes down.

7. Say goodbye.

Some betrayals are things you can work past and come back from. But sometimes, a betrayal can spell the end of a friendship.

If you’ve decided that that’s the case with this friendship, it’s time to cut the cord.

It’s your decision if you’d like to have a formal break-up conversation with them, or not. But you wouldn’t just end a romantic relationship without letting the other person know that it’s over, so maybe you should apply the same logic here.

It won’t be an easy conversation to have, but you might want to speak to them, letting them know why you can’t find it within you to forgive them, and that you no longer want them to be a part of your life.

That’ll provide closure for you both and might stop them from trying to contact you if you don’t want them to, which can make it easier for you to move on.

8. Or, forgive them.

On the other hand, you might come to the realization that, despite the betrayal, this person is extremely important to you, and you’re willing to forgive them and work toward building the friendship up again.

In order for you to be able to be friends again, you need to forgive them for what they did. You don’t necessarily have to forget about it entirely, and you probably never will, but you do have to genuinely forgive them in your heart of hearts.

Any lingering resentment will only spell trouble further down the line.

9. Don’t expect miracles overnight.

If you’ve decided to try to rebuild a friendship, don’t expect the two of you to be back to normal within the blink of an eye. Your friendship has been through the mill and is going to need some significant time to recover.

You both need time to process what’s happened and figure out what this new stage of your friendship is going to look like as you move forward.

Be patient with one another, and whenever you find things tough, remember why you’ve chosen to keep this person as part of your life.

And remember, just as it won’t be quick, it won’t be easy. When you decide to try to patch things up, you need to be aware that it’s going to take work and determination.

10. Remember: a good friend is a treasure.

If you want to forgive your friend and move on, but you’re finding it tough, just remember that good friends don’t grow on trees, and friendship is worth fighting for.

Betrayal can spell the end of friendships, but with a commitment on both your parts and love and care for one another, the best of friends can overcome anything.

Why Did My Friend Betray Me?

It can be surprising when someone you care about betrays your trust. Why would they do that to you?

Here are some possible explanations:

1. They didn’t value the friendship as much as you did.

Were you in a one-sided friendship ?

If you cared more about your friendship than they did, it could explain what happened. And why.

If your friend didn’t value your friendship, they weren’t afraid of losing it either. So, backstabbing you was worth the risk to them.

Your friendship was less important to them than doing what they did to hurt you.

They prioritized their happiness over a friendship that they were fine with losing.

2. They wanted to end the friendship.

What if your friends did this to sabotage your friendship?

If they didn’t want to end the friendship directly, they could have been two-faced to make the friendship end on its own.

At best, they didn’t care if the friendship ended. But they may have betrayed you on purpose because they wanted things to end.

They were too afraid to face you and tell you this, so they caused you a trauma to make you leave on your own.

It’s one of the more brutal explanations for friend betrayal.

3. They made an impulsive mistake.

Let’s give your friend the benefit of the doubt. What if they didn’t mean to hurt you?

If what they did was an impulsive mistake, they will feel bad about it, apologize, and try to make up for it.

Sometimes people do things out of impulse that they regret later on.

If your friend regrets what they did, you might want to consider giving them a chance to regain your trust.

People make mistakes, and if your friend wasn’t thinking straight when they did what they did, they probably didn’t mean to cause you pain.

4. They were suffering from poor mental health.

People sometimes do bad things because they’re suffering from stress, depression, anxiety, or some other mental health issue.

How has your friend been feeling lately? Were they in a bad mood for a while now, and could some major stress in their life explain what happened?

If your friend is suffering from poor mental health, you should try to show some understanding. They probably regret what they did.

Maybe they can explain to you what made them feel like it was the right choice at that precise moment.

Of course, you may not want to let them off the hook if this is a repeated behavior. It is okay—healthy even—to let a friend go if their poor mental health is harming your well-being over a prolonged period of time.

5. They were mad at you.

People will want to hurt you when they are mad at you, even if they are your friends.

If you betrayed your friend first, they probably wanted to hurt you back.

But they could want to hurt you even if you did nothing to them.

They could be mad at you because of a disagreement you had and decide to punish you by breaking your trust.

Backstabbing can often be used as a form of revenge or punishment.

6. They are just self-centered.

Does your friend only think about themselves? Did they prioritize their needs like they always do?

If your friend is self-centered, they probably put their happiness, needs, or wants above a friendship with you.

Your friend only cares about themselves and may even be a narcissist. To be honest, this is a classic sign of a fake friend who doesn’t really care about you.

It could have been a situation where they had to choose between you and themselves, and they put themselves first like they always do.

7. They couldn’t control their emotions.

Emotions can cause people to do crazy things, and spiteful things as well.

Your friend may have betrayed you because they couldn’t control their emotions.

Maybe they were mad at you, in love with someone, or sad about something that happened.

They could have even been too drunk to control themselves or under the influence of drugs. If your friend would never betray you sober, they may have done it because of too many drinks.

8. They prioritized their romantic relationship.

Most people will prioritize a romantic relationship over a friendship.

If your friend betrayed you because they had to choose between their partner and you, they just prioritized their romantic relationship.

This may not feel right to you, but it’s a choice most people will make in that situation.

Although friendships can last longer than romantic relationships, people tend to prioritize the latter.

Examples Of Betrayal

In which way did your friend betray you? Here are the most common examples of betrayal in friendships:

You have every right to doubt your friend’s loyalty if they have been dishonest or deceitful.

Sometimes friends tell white little lies to protect your feelings, but even that could be considered a betrayal of your trust depending on the context.

For instance, a friend could lie to you that your zit is barely noticeable when it’s actually huge. That is certainly not the same as if they would lie about their feelings for you or their true intentions.

2. Gossiping.

Do your friends talk behind your back?

If they gossip about other people to you, you can bet that they gossip about you to others too.

They could even be spreading rumors, whether those rumors are true or made up.

If your friend is two-faced, you should reconsider your friendship.

But, bear in mind that gossip is not always the same as badmouthing you to others.

It’s not the same when your friend gossips about how much your new car costs and when they badmouth you by highlighting your negative qualities.

But they could also be spilling the beans about your personal life. Revealing your secrets is a huge break of trust.

3. Stealing.

Your friend could steal from you. They could steal your money, your personal belongings, your credit cards, or even your boyfriend or girlfriend.

It’s better to have enemies than bad friends like these, but it happens.

This is not the same as borrowing small things and never giving them back. Although that is a nasty habit too, it is not the same as deliberately stealing valuable things from you.

4. Keeping secrets.

Did your friend keep secrets from you?

If you needed to know something and they kept quiet about it, it is similar to lying to you.

Withholding information could be a form of being dishonest.

Your friend shouldn’t have to tell you everything that happens in their life, but they should tell you things that affect you, as well as the important information about them that could affect your friendship.

5. Being disrespectful.

An act of betrayal could be a sign that your friend doesn’t respect you .

If they disrespect your boundaries, they’re not a good friend to you.

They should respect your boundaries if you’ve clearly communicated what you will and won’t tolerate.

A friend might also act disrespectfully to you in public by putting you down or even humiliating you . You don’t need friends like that in your life.

Don’t tolerate it if your friend puts you down or humiliates you when you’re alone either. Friends tease and joke, but good friends never cross the line.

6. Breaking promises.

What if your friend constantly makes promises that they can’t keep?

They get your hopes up for nothing and leave you disappointed.

If they promised to do or not do something, they should stick to their word.

Sometimes, it can happen that a person can’t keep their promise for reasons that are out of their control. But frequently making and breaking promises is a whole other thing.

7. Using you.

Unfortunately, your friend could be using you , whether it’s for your money, time, attention, or something else.

When someone has a hidden agenda for being friends with you, they’re not really your friends.

Your friends should genuinely like you for who you are, and you should help each other and support each other.

But using someone is never mutual like that, and one person always gives more while the other just takes.

8. Cheating.

How can a friend cheat on you? Obviously, this is not the same as cheating in a romantic relationship.

But, betraying your loyalty is a form of cheating.

Whether your friends broke your trust by lying to you, revealing your secrets, or in any other way, they cheated.

Cheating could also mean that your friend befriends someone else and prioritizes them over you, even if you introduced them in the first place.

The Damaging Effects Of Friend Betrayal

What can a betrayal from a friend do to you and your mental health? Here are the most common effects of friend betrayal:

Naturally, this situation will cause you a lot of stress.

Why did they do it? What else did they do that you don’t know about yet?

Can you ever trust them again? Can you trust anyone again?

Questions like these could put you under a lot of stress. You could also have mood swings, from being stressed to feeling numb and back and forth.

2. Feeling hurt.

It hurts when someone you love betrays you.

Betrayal is a type of trauma that needs a lot of time to heal.

You could be feeling hurt for months after the incident happened, or even hold onto a grudge for years.

It’s hard to forgive someone for hurting you so much. But it is advised that you forgive your friends whether you want to stay friends with them or not.

It will help you move on and recover from this faster.

3. Being disappointed.

It’s only natural to feel let down by your friend . You expected more from them.

What they did left you disappointed in them, and possibly in the the whole world.

How could they have done this to you? How could you have let yourself trust them?

If you didn’t see the betrayal coming, you’re probably asking yourself tough questions like these.

You might even be disappointed in yourself for letting yourself trust this person and not noticing the truth earlier.

4. Being shocked and confused.

You probably didn’t expect your friend to betray you, so their behavior left you shocked and confused.

You could start doubting everything they ever told you because you don’t know what to think anymore.

It’s confusing how someone so close to you could stab you in the back.

You don’t understand their motivation and reasoning for doing what they did.

Didn’t they know that they could lose you? Why were they willing to risk that happening?

5. Low self-esteem.

Your self-esteem may take a hit by all this, especially if your friend was putting you down or badmouthing you.

Maybe they even betrayed you by stealing your boyfriend or girlfriend.

You could have problems with low self-esteem because of it.

Luckily, you can work on your self-esteem and feel better again.

But never let your friend repeat what they did.

6. Trust issues.

This bad experience could leave you with trust issues.

It’s not just that you’ll have trouble trusting that particular friend, but you’ll also find it hard to trust people in general.

You can work on your trust issues with a therapist.

Don’t let one bad experience ruin more of your friendships and relationships.

7. Feeling grief.

You are probably overwhelmed with a sense of loss. You’re grieving the loss of trust, and possibly the loss of the friendship.

If you need to cry or let out your pain in another healthy way, don’t hesitate to do so.

Take all the time you need to grieve in peace before you are ready to move on.

8. Need for revenge.

What if you want to get back at your friend for hurting you?

If you’re angry, you could be thinking about revenge.

However, this is a very bad idea.

Even if they did something terrible to you, don’t stoop to their level. It’s a much better idea to learn to forgive them and let go.

You may also like:

  • 9 Ways Of Dealing With Betrayal And Healing From The Hurt
  • How To Forgive Someone: 2 Science-Based Models Of Forgiveness
  • How To Accept An Apology And Respond To Someone Who’s Sorry
  • How To Let Go Of Anger: The 7 Stages From Rage To Release

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About The Author

essay about friends betrayal

Katie is a writer and translator with a focus on travel, self-care and sustainability. She's based between a cave house in Granada, Spain, and the coast of beautiful Cornwall, England. She spends her free time hiking, exploring, eating vegan tapas and volunteering for a local dog shelter.

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Illustration of a betrayal being played out

‘Some things can’t be repaired’: how do you recover when a friend betrays you?

With the ‘Wagatha Christie’ trial poring over the destruction of a celebrity friendship, four people share their experiences of treachery and trauma

A s the libel suit between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney rumbles on in the high court, the public has heard weeks of claims and counterclaims about Instagram stings, paparazzi ambushes and phones lost in the sea . But one thing has been clear from the outset: one of the two women has been betrayed. Either, as Rooney claims, Vardy sold stories about her fellow Wag to the Sun, or, as Vardy maintains, Rooney’s baseless accusation has dragged her good name through the mud.

It is a messy and sordid tale from which no one – except possibly the lawyers – emerges the better. Rooney has described Vardy’s WhatsApp exchanges about her as “evil” ; Vardy has said that the threats and abuse she received after Rooney’s accusations made her feel suicidal . What is driving the former friends to spend millions airing their most intimate details?

Betrayal by a friend is not something you can just laugh off, says Dr Jennifer Freyd, a psychology professor at the University of Oregon. “The very place where you should be able to get help and protection from the harms of life becomes the source of harm.” She coined the term “betrayal trauma” to describe the pain such treachery can cause. “We are a social species; when someone betrays us, it’s a real threat to our wellbeing.”

There are degrees of betrayal, of course. Most of us will have experienced a friend gossiping uncharitably behind our backs, for example – or perhaps we have been that friend. This is hardly Judas kissing Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. “But what we find overall is that betrayal is toxic,” Freyd says. “People who are betrayed are likely to have physical and mental health challenges.”

A nnabel, who is in her 50s and lives in Wales, was betrayed by her former friend Jane. They met in the early 2000s. Annabel ran a specialist business at a food market; Jane visited her stand often and befriended her at a marketing event. “We just clicked,” says Annabel. “She was really friendly. We’d go to each other’s houses for meals.”

Annabel introduced Jane to her friends and gave her work on her stall, teaching her all about her business. Jane then announced that she planned to set up a rival stand, selling the same products at the same market. Annabel was horrified. “I told her that I was hurt and I thought it would be awkward and strange for other people,” says Annabel. “It didn’t work personally and from a business point of view we were going to be sharing customers.”

Jane was unmoved, even suggesting that, if Annabel was unhappy, she might like to consider moving markets. Just like that, their friendship was over.

At first, Jane’s stand didn’t affect Annabel’s sales too greatly, but over time her income declined. “The market could not sustain two similar businesses,” she says. Eventually, Annabel left. The experience made her feel “very lonely – like I couldn’t trust anyone. I felt that people might just be after what I had got.” She was, she says, “upset for a very long time”.

Coleen Rooney (left) and Rebekah Vardy watch England play Wales at Euro 2016 in Lens, France

This is a common response to feelings of betrayal, says Holly Roberts, a psychotherapist with the relationship charity Relate . “When you open up to a friend, you make yourself vulnerable to that person,” she says. “That’s what makes it hard. Because you’ve bared yourself emotionally to that person and been hurt by them.” Roberts says these feelings “can sit with you for a long time”. Annabel has moved on with her life. “I can be philosophical about it now,” she says. “But it ranks pretty highly in my history of painful personal experiences.”

Betrayal stories “are as old as time”, notes Dr Lucy CMM Jackson, an assistant classics professor at Durham University. Tales such as Euripides’ Medea, about a woman’s bloody quest for vengeance after her husband abandons her, “are so fascinating because they articulate a fear”, she says. “We tell stories about betrayal to make sense of it, in the hope that maybe we can avoid it or, if not, be better prepared for it. Ultimately, we come back to the idea of betrayal so often because we do have to trust each other.”

Medea “takes vengeance because her name has been dragged through the dust”, says Jackson. Does she see parallels with Vardy’s attempt to restore her reputation? “It’s all quite petty,” she says. “I don’t get the sense that so much honour has been given up in this modern parallel.”

L ike Medea, Stacy Thunes’ story of betrayal revolves around a duplicitous lover. Thunes, a 61-year-old actor and screenwriter from London, was betrayed by her close friend Billie in the early 80s. When Thunes fell in love with a handsome musician, she arranged for the three of them to go for breakfast. At breakfast, to Thunes’ horror, “his foot was actually touching hers under the table”, she says.

That evening, Thunes went to Billie’s apartment. The lights were off and Billie wasn’t answering the doorbell. Thunes climbed in through an open window. Billie emerged from her bedroom. “I knew by the look on her face that he was there,” Thunes says.

Being betrayed by Billie, she says, was more painful than being betrayed by her boyfriend. “It made me feel like we were never really friends,” says Thunes. “Like the friendship meant nothing. All those years of feeling that she had my back were gone in an instant.”

Those who are betrayed often feel shame, says Roberts. “People feel embarrassed. They think: how could I have opened myself up to this person and let them do this to me? How could I have been so naive?”

‘It made me feel like we were never really friends’ … Stacy Thunes.

Lisa, a disability support worker, knows this feeling well. “I couldn’t believe how stupid we’d been,” she sighs. Lisa met Anna in the 1990s when they worked in adjacent shops in Edinburgh. “She was funny and kind and generous,” says Lisa. “You knew where you stood with her. I liked that.”

When Lisa and her then-husband moved to a small village on the east coast of Scotland, Anna soon followed with her young son. Lisa helped out with childcare and even acted as a guarantor on her rental property. “She was my family and I was hers,” says Lisa. But everything fell apart when Anna’s landlord got in touch. Anna had fallen behind on the rent.

Lisa offered to lend her £1,500, the last of a small legacy her grandfather had left her. “She initially said no, but eventually agreed,” says Lisa. “I gave her the money in cash. And that was the last time I ever saw her.” Eventually, Lisa pieced together the story: Anna had used her money to run away with a boyfriend. “I felt more angry at myself than at her, for being so naive,” Lisa says.

Anna later wrote a letter to Lisa, apologising for hurting her – but not for taking the money. “She said it was my fault, because I forced her to do it,” says Lisa.

N ot everyone will get the closure that comes with an apology, however half-hearted. Cormac and Duncan met a decade ago as teachers at the same school. They became friends quickly and Cormac introduced Duncan to his social and professional circles. When a management post became available, Cormac asked Duncan if he planned to apply for it. “He said no,” Cormac says. “I would have had no problem if he’d said yes.”

Cormac spent weeks going over his interview strategy with Duncan. At his interview, he was stunned to see Duncan there, in a suit and tie. “He’d gleaned all the information from me and he’d used me to lay the groundwork for getting to know everyone on the panel,” says Cormac. Duncan got the job. “I was in tears, because I knew I’d been dealing with someone very clever and manipulative and careful, and it was devastating.”

To make matters more maddening, Duncan not only never apologised, but also spread false rumours about Cormac around the school. “I had to find my own resolution,” says Cormac. “I can’t let him live in my head rent-free. I told myself: ‘That is in the past and everything from here on out will be good.’” Cormac ended up moving to a different school. “I wanted to draw a line under it,” he says.

Betrayal usually means the end of a friendship. “That urge to withdraw is a protective response,” says Freyd. “You don’t want to continue to be betrayed. It’s analogous to a fight-or-flight response.” After Billie wrote to beg for forgiveness, Thunes let her back into her life, but she never trusted her again. “Every time I was with someone, I knew she might have her eye on them,” says Thunes.

It is possible to rebuild the relationship “if you’re both invested in it”, says Roberts. “Check in with each other: how does this feel? But the trust may never come back. Accepting that can be a good step.” If you feel unable to trust your friend, walk away. “You don’t have to put yourself through it,” she says. “Some things can’t be repaired, and it’s OK to acknowledge that.”

Surprisingly few of the betrayed wish harm upon their betrayers. They would rather let go of the hurt and move on. “I couldn’t let it drive me mad,” says Annabel. “I had to carry on doing my thing.” But all of them are more careful now; more tentative about who they let in, more thoughtful about what they do with the trust that others place in them. “I am reminded of it daily, not because I want to make myself feel bad, but because I don’t want to be that person to hurt other people,” says Thunes.

But the act of continuing to trust after being hurt so badly is a form of resistance in itself. They will not stop connecting with others, because to close off from the world is to let their betrayers win. Lisa says she would lend Anna the money again in a heartbeat, even knowing everything she does now. “I’ve had so much kindness shown to me over the years, too,” she says. “That’s what makes life beautiful.”

Some names have been changed

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Why betrayal of friends hurts so much

balanced friendship

When we think of betrayal, we often think of betrayal in romantic relationships and marriages. While such betrayals are obviously very damaging to the victim, the betrayal of friends can be damaging as well. Yet, people don’t talk about it that often.

In this article, we’ll discuss the phenomenon of friendship betrayal. Focusing on the betrayal of friends is important because almost all relationships start out as friendships. If you can understand and deal with betrayal at the friendship level, you might handle it at the relationship level as well.

Betrayal and close relationships

We humans have certain needs that can only be met by forming close relationships and friendships with others. These are give-and-take relationships where we get benefits from others while simultaneously providing benefits to them.

For betrayal to happen, you have to first invest in the person. If you’re not invested at all in them, there’s no risk of betrayal.

A stranger is least likely to betray you. Even if they do, it doesn’t hurt as much as a betrayal coming from a close friend. Your enemies can’t betray you. You’re not invested in these people. You don’t trust them to begin with.

In friendships, however, you invest your time, energy and resources. You only do that because you expect things from them in return. If you get very little or nothing back, you feel betrayed.

The psychological experience of betrayal

The degree of hurt you feel when you’re betrayed is proportional to how much you were invested in the friendship. The feelings of hurt are there to motivate you to re-evaluate your relationship with the betrayer.

You can’t keep on investing in a person, getting no returns. When you feel bad after someone betrays you, your mind is basically giving you a chance to redirect your investments elsewhere.

Our ancestors who didn’t evolve such a mechanism would have kept investing in non-fruitful friendships and alliances at their own expense.

Therefore, we have this cheater-detector mechanism in our minds that is sensitive to cues of betrayal. 1

In other words, even if we get a whiff of betrayal in a close relationship, we’re likely to jump on it. Letting such instances pass would have been too costly for our ancestors.

In short, we enter friendships with certain expectations. We invest in the other person and try to cultivate trust. When that trust is violated, we feel betrayed. The feelings of betrayal motivate us to avoid future betrayals from the same person and redirect our investments elsewhere.

Intentional vs unintentional betrayal

Just because you feel betrayed doesn’t necessarily mean your friend intentionally betrayed you. As mentioned in the previous section, our cheater-detector mechanism is highly active and ready to jump on and call out instances of betrayal. It just wants to protect us.

However, it’s crucial to differentiate between intentional and unintentional betrayal. Only when you can be sure that your friend has intentionally betrayed you should you consider a course of action like terminating your friendship with them.

Before that, you have to give them a chance to explain their side of the story. Of course, this might give them a chance to lie or make up excuses. But if their story holds up, it’s more likely that you were too quick to doubt them.

That is likely to be the case if they’ve had an excellent track record with you. You’ve had no reason to doubt them in the past. If you often find yourself doubting that person, it’s likely that they’re dishonest. The frequency matters here.

A study asked people to describe instances where they betrayed others and instances where they were betrayed. When the subjects talked about instances where they betrayed the other person, they mostly blamed themselves but not their stable personality traits. 2

They attributed their betrayal to their temporary mental and emotional states. For example, “I was going through a rough period” or “I couldn’t resist the temptation” or “I was intoxicated”.

In contrast, when describing episodes where they were betrayed, they mostly blamed the other person’s stable personality traits . For example, “They have an inherent weakness” or “They have no self-control” or “They lack principles”.

This is why, before accusing someone of betrayal, one should always seek to collect as much information about the situation as possible.

The challenge of friendship and betrayal

One could live in a cave somewhere and totally eliminate the risk of being betrayed, ever. Some people do just that. For most of us, that isn’t an option because we’re willing to risk betrayal to have our important needs met by others.

The challenge of friendship and betrayal is this:

On one hand, we want to get close to a person to have our companionship and intimacy needs met. On the other hand, the closer we get to someone, the more power give them to betray us.

You can’t really get close to someone if you don’t share your life, secrets, and vulnerabilities with them. 3

Yet, when they betray you, they’re likely to use those very things against you.

Hence, knowing how to protect yourself from the betrayal of friends is one of the most important life skills you can learn.

How to protect yourself from betrayal

Your friend is likely to betray you when they believe they have more to gain from the betrayal than from your friendship. If you can tweak this simple math in your favor, you can significantly reduce your chances of getting betrayed.

Here are some things you can do to reduce the chances of getting betrayed:

1. Have a solid ground for friendship

What’s your friendship based on? I hope you’ve already disabused yourself of the notion of unconditional friendship. There’s simply no such thing.

You probably made this person your friend because you hoped to get something from them. You probably saw them as someone who could help you meet your important needs.

They did the same. They thought they could gain something valuable from you. It’s often hard to pinpoint what mutual benefits a friendship might be based on.

Maybe your friend thought you were smart and could help him with assignments. Maybe your friend thought you’re funny and would make them feel good.

There are many benefits people can gain by being in friendships. These benefits are often comparable in magnitude. In other words, one can’t give their friend much more than they get. This is why you don’t see the rich being friends with the poor. Sure, they might help the poor with charity and stuff, but from a distance.

If a rich person did become friends with a poor person, the latter will gain much more from the friendship than they can give. This imbalance is what makes such friendships extremely rare.

Anyway, the key to avoiding betrayal is to give your friend something they can’t gain elsewhere. If they mainly became your friend because you could help them with studying, then as soon as they graduate, they have no reason to continue being your friend.

In contrast, a friendship that is built on more lasting foundations such as personality traits, shared values, beliefs, and interests is likely to last long. There is minimal risk of betrayal here because you can continue giving them what they want as long as you continue being who you are.

It’s unlikely that your personality will undergo a drastic change. Or that they’ll come across another person who’s just like you- has your unique combination of personality, values, and interests.

By looking for such a solid ground for friendship, you can get better at choosing friends from the outset. Prevention is always better than cure.

2. Be mindful of the shadow of the future

If your newly-made friend knows they won’t interact very much with you in the future, the odds of them betraying you shoot up. Although betrayal does happen in old friendships, new friendships are a breeding ground for betrayal.

If your friendship has a short shadow of the future, your friend can easily get away with betraying you. When they believe they can minimize the costs of betraying you by not interacting with you in the future, they’d be more willing to betray you.

This is one reason people who’ve been betrayed and do nothing to punish those betrayers are likely to get betrayed again and again. They’re basically putting a message out there that they’re okay with being betrayed. This encourages potential betrayers even more because they know that the costs of betraying will be low.

When making new friends, it’s a good idea to give some thought to whether it has the potential to last. If it doesn’t, you might only expose yourself to betrayal.

3. Calibrate your opening up to people

You can’t go around opening yourself up to people. You can’t blindly trust everyone. I know this is the age of sharing, social media and public personal lives, but oversharing exposes you to betrayal.

If you’re like most people, you come across a person you’d like to be friends with, and you open yourself up to them. You hope that the other person will also open themselves up to you.  

This is a risky strategy. You may find that you’ve opened yourself up to this person, but they haven’t, not nearly to the same extent. Now, if the friendship turns sour, you’ve given them all the weapons to destroy you.

“It’s hard to tell who has your back from who has it long enough just to stab you in it.” – Nicole Richie

Ideally, you want them to open up first and then calibrate your opening up to their opening up. If they reveal little to you, you do the same. If they reveal a lot, you do too. Your revelations should follow theirs. This way, you’ll always be one step ahead of them.

If the friendship turns sour and they threaten to release your secrets out into the world, you’ll have a whole lot of their secrets to reveal as well. This strategy immunizes you to betrayal.

The only problem with this approach is that you may not come across many people willing to open themselves up to you. I think that’s a good thing because this way you’ll steer clear of most betrayers. Sure, you might end up with fewer friends, but at least you can count on them.

The good news is that if someone makes the effort to open up to you and tries to cultivate trust with you, they’re least likely to betray you. Generally, the more trusting a person is, the less likely they are to break others’ trust. 4

If you still want to open yourself up first because you really like the person, you should at least be mindful of how much they’re reciprocating. Don’t open yourself up all at once, but gradually, making sure the other person is reciprocating.

Ultimately, however, you should always seek to balance the friendship. You know, make it an equal give-and-take. The best friendships are balanced. They don’t have an imbalance of giving and taking, sharing, and revealing vulnerabilities.

  • Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (1992). Cognitive adaptations for social exchange.  The adapted mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture ,  163 , 163-228.
  • Jones, W. H., Couch, L., & Scott, S. (1997). Trust and betrayal: The psychology of getting along and getting ahead. In  Handbook of personality psychology  (pp. 465-482). Academic Press.
  • Rempel, J. K., Holmes, J. G., & Zanna, M. P. (1985). Trust in close relationships.  Journal of personality and social psychology ,  49 (1), 95.
  • Rotter, J. B. (1980). Interpersonal trust, trustworthiness, and gullibility.  American psychologist ,  35 (1), 1.

hanan parvez

Hi, I’m Hanan Parvez (MBA, MA Psychology). My work has been featured in Forbes , Business Insider , Reader’s Digest , and Entrepreneur . When I’m not thinking about human behavior, I… No wait! I’m always thinking about human behavior!

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Friend Betrayal: 6 Tips From A Therapist On How to Repair a Broken Friendship

Have you been betrayed by a friend and are now struggling with how to cope? You're not alone, and there is help available. A therapist in Denver can provide invaluable guidance and support as you work through the pain of friend betrayal. With their help, you can learn how to repair your relationship and make it safe once again. In this blog post, we will explore six tips from a therapist in Denver on how to communicate with your friend after they have broken your trust and how to repair a relationship that no longer feels safe.

essay about friends betrayal

1) Take Responsibility Where It Is Due

When we experience a friend betraying our trust, it's easy to feel angry and upset. It's important to remember that not all betrayals are equal and to take a step back and evaluate the situation before reacting.

One thing that's important to consider is whether you played a role in the betrayal. While it may not be easy to acknowledge, it's possible that you may have inadvertently contributed to the situation.

Perhaps you shared information with your friend that was meant to be kept private, or you made assumptions about your friend's intentions without fully understanding their perspective. If you find that you did play a role, it's important to take responsibility for your part in the situation.

This doesn't mean that you should blame yourself entirely or excuse your friend's actions. It simply means acknowledging your own responsibility and being accountable for your actions.

Taking the time to reflect on your own role can help you approach the situation from a more empathetic and understanding perspective. This can also set the stage for a more productive conversation with your friend as you work towards repairing the relationship.

Remember, taking responsibility for your part in the situation doesn't mean that you should minimize or excuse your friend's actions. But it can help you approach the situation from a more balanced perspective and lay the groundwork for open and honest communication.

2) Communicate Your Feelings

One of the most important things you can do when coping with a friend's betrayal is to communicate your feelings to them. It can be tempting to shut down or avoid the issue altogether, but that will only create further distance in the relationship.

Start by expressing how you feel. Use "I" statements to avoid coming across as accusatory or defensive. For example, say "I feel hurt by what you did" instead of "you hurt me." This will help your friend understand the impact of their actions on you and create a safe space for honest communication.

Listen to your friend's perspective as well. It's important to understand their motivations and thought processes, even if you don't necessarily agree with them. This can help you move forward and repair the relationship.

Remember, effective communication is a two-way street. Both parties need to feel heard and understood for progress to be made. If you're struggling to express your feelings, consider writing them down beforehand or practicing with a trusted friend or therapist.

Communicating your feelings can be uncomfortable, but it's an essential step towards rebuilding trust and repairing your friendship.

3) Take Some Time For Yourself

After a friend has betrayed your trust, it is normal to feel a mix of emotions including anger, sadness, and confusion. It's important to acknowledge and accept these emotions, but also give yourself the space to process them. Take some time for yourself to reflect on what happened and how it has affected you.

This can mean taking a break from the friendship, limiting contact with the friend, or engaging in activities that bring you joy and help you to relax. It's essential to give yourself permission to prioritize your own needs and well-being during this time.

In addition, taking time for yourself can also give you some perspective on the situation. It may allow you to see the friendship and your friend's actions more clearly and objectively, which can be helpful when deciding how to move forward.

Remember, taking time for yourself does not mean cutting the friend out of your life permanently. It is a necessary step in the healing process, but it should be followed by an intentional effort to repair the friendship if that is what you desire.

4) Set Some Boundaries

After a friend has betrayed your trust, it's essential to set some boundaries. You need to let your friend know that what they did was not acceptable and that you won't tolerate such behavior in the future. Setting boundaries means making it clear what you will and won't accept in the relationship moving forward.

To set boundaries, start by being specific about what you need from your friend. If you need them to apologize, make it clear. If you need some time and space to process what happened, let them know that too. It's also important to let them know what actions will result in a breach of the boundaries you've set.

Once you've set your boundaries, it's important to stick to them. If your friend violates the boundaries you've set, it's important to be clear and direct about why their behavior is not acceptable. Remember, boundaries are about protecting yourself, and you deserve to be respected and valued in your friendships.

It's essential to communicate your boundaries calmly and respectfully, but also be firm and assertive. Don't be afraid to say no if something makes you feel uncomfortable or violates your boundaries.

Ultimately, setting boundaries is an important step in repairing a broken friendship. By clearly communicating your needs and expectations, you'll create a healthier dynamic between you and your friend. It may take some time and effort, but with clear boundaries and honest communication, your friendship can grow stronger than ever before.

5) Don't Rush the Process

One of the most important things to remember when dealing with a friend betrayal is to not rush the process of repairing the relationship. It's easy to want to sweep everything under the rug and pretend like nothing happened, but this can only lead to further issues down the road.

It's important to take the time to really process your feelings and emotions surrounding the situation. This may mean taking a step back from the friendship for a while and giving yourself the space to heal.

At the same time, you don't want to wait too long to address the issue with your friend. Avoiding the situation altogether will only lead to resentment and can make the process of repairing the relationship even more difficult.

The key is to find a balance between taking the time you need to heal and not letting the issue fester. This can be a delicate balance, but with some self-reflection and honest communication, it is possible to achieve.

Remember, repairing a broken friendship takes time and effort from both parties. Don't expect everything to be resolved overnight, and be patient with the process. With some hard work and dedication, you can rebuild a relationship that is even stronger than before.

6) Seek Outside Help If Needed

Sometimes, repairing a friendship on your own may not be enough. Seeking outside help can be a great way to work through your emotions and come up with a plan to move forward. This could be talking to a therapist in Denver , joining a support group, or seeking advice from a trusted mentor.

A therapist in Denver can help you work through any lingering emotions or unresolved feelings of hurt or anger. They can also provide you with practical tools and strategies to help you communicate more effectively with your friend.

Joining a support group can also be incredibly helpful. Sometimes, simply talking to others who have gone through similar experiences can b e very therapeutic. Support groups provide a safe and non-judgmental space for you to share your story and receive support and guidance from others who understand what you're going through.

Finally, don't be afraid to seek advice from a trusted mentor. This could be a family member, a close friend, or someone you look up to in your community or workplace. Mentors can provide valuable insight and guidance, and can help you see the situation from a different perspective.

Remember, seeking outside help doesn't mean you're weak or incapable of handling the situation on your own. It's a sign of strength to recognize when you need additional support, and taking the initiative to seek it out can help you navigate this challenging time with more confidence and resilience.

Connected Brain Counseling Specializes in Therapy in Denver

Sometimes, repairing a broken friendship may require professional help. At Connected Brain Counseling, we understand the complexity of relationships and the pain of betrayal. Our therapists are trained to work with clients struggling with trust issues and relationship challenges.

Our team at Connected Brain Counseling offers a safe and welcoming environment where you can work through your feelings and communicate effectively with your friend. Our therapists will help you identify the underlying causes of the betrayal and provide you with tools to improve communication and rebuild trust.

We offer a range of therapy services to suit your needs, including individual counseling, couples counseling, and group therapy sessions. Our goal is to help you navigate the process of repairing your friendship and achieving a healthier relationship moving forward.

If you're struggling with a broken friendship and need professional support, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at Connected Brain Counseling. Our team is here to support you on your journey to healing and rebuilding trust. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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Betrayal and friendship

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Jonathan Gosling , Peter Case

essay about friends betrayal

Rodger Jackson

Introduction In the past few years the charge of “betrayal” has become all too common. Yet, with all the fanfare and publicity attached to these charges, there has been surprisingly little written about what we even mean by the term. It clearly matters a great deal to us. An act of betrayal makes us appreciate Dante’s reserving the innermost ring of the Inferno for the betrayers. We can even say there is a characteristic “feel” to betrayal. The betrayed experience powerful sensations of violation; they feel used and damaged. Betrayal, however, elicits more than strong feelings. Psychologists offer clinical evidence attesting to the devastating effects of betrayal.1 Betrayal acts as an assault on the integrity of individuals, affecting the capacity to trust, undermining confidence in judgment, and contracting the possibilities of the world by increasing distrust and scepticism.2 Betrayal changes not only our sense of the world, but our sensibility toward the world. A charge of betray...

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This article investigates the impact of different emotions on trust decisions taking into account the experience of betrayal. Thus, an experiment was created that included one betrayal group and one control group. Participants in the betrayal group experienced more intense feelings governed by negative emotions than participants in the control group did. Moreover, participants in the betrayal group significantly lowered their trust of another stranger. On the other hand, we found some evidence that neuroticism exaggerated the relationship between experienced betrayal and subsequent trust.

Betrayal, Trust and Forgiveness: A guide to emotional healing and Self-renewal

In this revised 3rd Edition (published by Wynword Press, 2013), Chapter 1, Journey From Betrayal To Trust: A Universal Rite of Passage, Hedva introduces the radical notion that betrayal, and the necessity to heal shock and injury --(be it from family violence, abandonment, neglect, addictions ...and more)--actually prepares a person to respond to collective betrayals, like social injustice (Chapter 7-Betrayal of Society) and environmental disasters (Chapter 8-Betrayal of the Planet). Real life stories blended with archetypal mythic themes are woven together to map-out how any betrayal, personal or political, often evokes five common reactions 1) A call for vengeance, vindication, or retribution that leads to obsession about the betrayal, 2) Demonizing or dehumanizing the betrayer, 3) Generalizing the negative to others through stereotyping, prejudice and bigotry, 4) Self-betrayal--where we no longer trust ourselves or our judgment, 5) Suspicion, fear, control, and manipulation to protect against future betrayals. Hedva shows how each of these challenges become a test of character and an opportunity to reorient ourselves toward more life-sustaining choices. Just as reaction patterns to injury is predictable, this work defines how the steps to healing also follow a distinct pattern of growth, consistent with the stages of growth in ancient and indigenous rites of passage, in which one confronts existential crisis and 'symbolic death' to awaken spiritual insight into the challenges one faces, which inspires a transition into Self-renewal or symbolic rebirth and a return to one's community. The book contains 9 chapters focusing on different betrayal wounds to motivate and guide the reader step-by-step through each stage of growth, going from retribution to reconciliation and forgiveness.

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Betrayal is proposed in this dissertation as a concept that is informed by political theory and by curatorial concepts. Betrayal is conceptualized here as an entanglement of antagonistic relations. It is proposed as an engagement with an antagonism while withdrawing from its underlying logic. Betrayal is presented as a variety of approaches through a set of proposals which include exhaustion, anachronism, fictionalism, demonstration and acting. Written in the context of curatorial work in Israel-Palestine, this dissertation proposes several qualities of the field of the curatorial and applies them to political theory. Betrayal is considered operational through the field of the curatorial as the curatorial provides a setting for activating potentialities. In the three chapters of this dissertation, Betrayal is developed through an active reading of the lives and work of several figures as method: Alcibiades son of Cleinias, a fifth century BC Athenian politician; the last book publis...

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Self , Heartbreak

18 Of The Most Brutal, Real Stories About Being Betrayed By A Friend

These "friends" are the worst..

By SheSaid — Written on Apr 03, 2019

Friendship Stories About Being Betrayed By A Friend

By Team SheSaid

We don’t get to choose our families, but we do get to choose who we’re friends with. Which is why a friendship betrayal hurts so much. 

Those chosen, special few typically earn a position in our lives thanks to their ability to always have our back, even when we’re not necessarily being the best version of ourselves. 

It’s a good friend’s very ability to overlook our flaws and support us through tough times whilst also being our biggest cheerleader in our happiest moments that really cements their place in our hearts.

RELATED:  The One Thing You Should Do If You Were Ghosted By Your Best Friend

Unfortunately though, not all the friends we make throughout the course of our lives have our best intentions at heart.

In fact, some so-called ‘friends’ go to horrifying lengths to cut us down to size and sabotage our lives in the most soul-destroying of ways.

Something these unfortunate Reddit commenters who’ve come face-to-face with some of the ultimate friendship betrayals, know all too well…

1. The other woman

“She started having an affair with my then husband and then lied about it. When my marriage was falling apart, I confided in her. She turned around and told him everything I had said. I’m glad to be rid of them both.”

“[My] roommate broke our lease and gave me a one-week notice to move out because she ‘didn’t like having a dog.’ Next week on Snapchat her and her new roommates got a dog.”

3. Backstabber

“In sixth grade my best friend came up to me and literally stabbed me in the back with a pencil.”

4. Bye, Felicia

“My friend stole $50,000 from a business we started together and took off to Costa Rica.”

5. The mean girl

“They day of my birthday my “best friend” went to a party of a girl she didn’t even know because it was full of girls, I went to a restaurant alone because I didn’t want my father to worry.”

6. Absolutely heartbreaking betrayal

“I raised 11k for a friend who had two types of breast cancer, I raised this money in 4 hours, handed it all over to her and then she went round telling everyone I stole 5k from her. I still get hate mail now.”

7. Straight up disgusting

“I had one friend hook me up with a guy (I lived in a different state and I was visiting her area for a while) she knew. Turns out the reason why she set me up with him is because he was known for having STI’s and she wanted me to get chlamydia, since she couldn’t have kids and I was fertile but childfree.”

8. Breaking every friend code

“I had a “friend” who I thought was pretty awesome. Right up until she developed a habit of getting super drunk and then sleeping with whoever I was dating at the time. And, yes, I say “habit” because it happened more than once, although I can’t say we stayed friends after the first two.”

RELATED:  5 Ways To Tell If The People You Surround Yourself With Are Toxic

9. Going through medical scares can show you who your true friends really are

“My doctors thought I had a tumor and I was undergoing tests and said “friend” said that they were tired of me always being sick. The irony was that I kept the whole situation very private, only this friend knew about it, as did two doctor friends of mine. Needless to say I’m not friends with this person anymore.”

10. So cray cray

“I had a friend who broke into my house, slashed my couch and stabbed me with a fork. She was convinced that I was sleeping with her boyfriend. He was one of my good high school friends, I had introduced them.”

11. Ugh, seriously?!

“I let my “best friend” stay with me while I was house sitting for my grandmother one summer so she could save up money and get a real apartment. The first weekend she arrived I had a short camping trip planned so I left her there alone for two days. When I returned I found out that she and another “friend” of mine invited two shady guys over (one was a drug dealer and the other brought a camera to film). They proceeded to trash the house and then had sex with them in my grandmother's bed leaving a condom on the floor for me to clean. One of the guys stole my $400 iPod.”

12. She won't be winning any BFF Of The Year awards anytime soon

“My “best friend” slept with my boyfriend, the guy I lost my virginity to not even a week earlier, while I was out of town for a funeral.”

13. Real friends don't back out when life gets serious

“She comes on holidays with my family, joined at the hip etc etc. My mother dies suddenly, she doesn’t come see me, leaves the funeral early and a week later texts me calling me bad names because she didn’t get invited to some imaginary party she thought I was having.”

RELATED:  3 Signs Your Insecure Friend Is Sabotaging

14. Do people know what the word "friend" even means anymore?

“A friend asked me to call out a guy. I did, and she defended him.”

15. A true friend always honors her girls' privacy

“When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, my sister had just lost her baby. To give her time to heal, and so my family wouldn’t worry about me, I was going to wait until I was 12 weeks to tell my family. I told a few of my friends, and told them to keep quiet and why. One of them thought it wasn’t right to keep it from my family, so she told my parents behind my back.”

16. Some people just refuse to grow up

“I paid her rent for several months while she hopped from job to job, always quitting what jobs she got with some lame excuses. Then she only gave me a one week notice about her moving out of state. She had to leave a lot of her stuff here, and when she ran out of money out of state, started selling her stuff. She emailed me asking me ship out the items she’d sold on ebay. When I mentioned the burden of the shipping cost, even though she was collecting the shipping, she accused me of only being concerned with money.”

17. Hello, you're supposed to be my friend?

“My friend ignored all major life developments for me. Getting married, buying a house, having a baby. No congratulations or anything.”

18. It's time to agree that friend betrayals are the worst

“[I] helped her get a job where I work. She then cozies up to the boss. Gets me fired. “Hope we can still be friends?” I don’t even bother opening her emails anymore.”

RELATED:  6 Signs You're Being Emotionally Manipulated By A Toxic Person

SheSaid is a website dedicated to covering topics about women, their relationships, and their lives. For more content from SheSaid, visit their website .

This article was originally published at SheSaid . Reprinted with permission from the author.

More content from SheSaid:

  • Why I Broke Up With My Best Friend Of 12 Years
  • I Broke Up With One Of My Best Friends And I’ve Never Felt Better
  • 13 Ways To Know If Your Friends Are Actually Real Friends

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A Friendship and Betrayal - Essay Example

A Friendship and Betrayal

  • Subject: Sociology
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Kerry Washington to star in ‘Imperfect Women’ Apple TV+ series

Emmy Award-winning actress Elisabeth Moss will also star in the limited series, which is based on an Araminta Hall novel of the same name.

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The next Kerry Washington series is here. The Emmy Award winner is set to star in “Imperfect Women” for Apple TV+.

2024 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals

The upcoming limited series is an adaptation of the Araminta Hall novel of the same name, per Variety . Washington will star alongside “Mad Men” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” star Elisabeth Moss in what is described as an “unconventional, psychological thriller examining a crime that shatters the lives of a decades-long friendship of three women.”

“‘Imperfect Women’ is a mystery complicated by perspective that explores guilt and retribution, love and betrayal, and the compromises we make that alter our lives irrevocably,” Variety details. “As the investigation unravels, so does the truth about how even the closest relationships can change over time.”

Washington and Moss will executive produce the series via Simpson Street and Love & Squalor Pictures, respectively, with Anne Weisman adapting the book for the screen. In a statement to Variety, Washington recalled receiving a call from Moss to join the project. “I have been an immense fan of hers – both as a brilliant actor and groundbreaking producer – for years. Elisabeth and Lindsey [McManus, executive producer also with Love & Squalor] have impeccable taste, as evidenced by the way they have championed Araminta’s gripping novel, and I can’t think of a better person to bring this project to life on screen than the amazing Annie Weisman.”

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“‘Imperfect Women’ is exactly the type of exciting, complex, raw storytelling we strive to create at Simpson Street,” she added. Mentioning her fellow executive producer at Simpson Street, Pilar Savone, she said, “Pilar and I are tremendously inspired by the opportunity to team up with Love & Squalor Pictures, and we are thankful to everyone at Apple Studios and the team at 20th Television for believing in this project as much as we do.”

Never miss a beat:  Get our daily stories straight to your inbox with theGrio’s newsletter .

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essay about friends betrayal


Stacey Freeman J.D.

When a Work Friend Betrays You

You trusted them, but they didn’t have your back..

Posted March 13, 2024 | Reviewed by Monica Vilhauer

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  • Relationships with colleagues often mirror those outside of work.
  • A work friend’s betrayal can hurt just like any other.
  • Managing the relationship can become crucial for job security, causing additional pain.

Source: u_w24h9b9v3p / Pixabay

Given how much time you spend working, many of the relationships you share with your colleagues can grow to resemble friendships you have outside of work. After all, you laugh and cry with your coworkers, share personal details about your life, and support each other through good times and bad.

Through these interactions, you slowly, often without realizing it, place your trust in the people you describe as “work friends” or simply as “friends,” expecting loyalty just as you would from anyone else holding these esteemed labels. Not surprisingly, should you discover a work friend has betrayed you, it can sting as if a friend from a different area of your life behaved similarly.

But, according to Dr. Elyse Dub, psychologist and founder of Insight Onsite, a mental well-being company that helps foster work relationships, there’s a stark difference: “You often must continue navigating the relationship for the sake of your job, and this can take an emotional toll.”

So, what’s the best way to deal with a workplace betrayal? Consider the following suggestions.

Get your facts straight

Getting your facts straight about whether there was a betrayal is important. Before jumping to conclusions, take a step back and determine what’s fact and what’s interpretation. Did your work friend sabotage you, or did they act without you in mind? Did they put their interests first, resulting in you suffering harm? Depending on your answers, it may change how you see your circumstances.

After this exercise, Dr. Dub suggests scheduling a private conversation with your work friend so you can get the story directly from the source, making sure to use “I” statements (such as “I want to understand more about …”) rather than being accusatory.

“Misinformation and gossip,” Dr. Dub says, “are frequently spread when sentences start with, ‘I heard …’”

Confront your emotions

If, after evaluating the situation, you still conclude your work friend betrayed you, it’s time to confront your emotions . Feeling sad, angry, or shocked after learning someone you trusted acted in a way that went against your best interests is natural.

Dr. Dub suggests taking a moment to acknowledge what’s happened and why you’re hurt.

“Be curious,” she says, “and ask yourself, ‘How am I feeling?’ Then, name your emotions so you can lean into them. Emotions need motion to help you move on.”

Own your part

As you introspect about the betrayal, ask yourself if you did anything to warrant your work friend treating you like they did. Did you deliberately or inadvertently do something at work to betray their trust? It could be that your work friend was reacting to your behavior.

“It’s easy to solely blame the other person when, in reality, Dr. Dub says, “a relationship is a two-way street with each person contributing to that relationship in a multitude of ways.”

Should you determine that your actions contributed to what transpired, you must now decide how to address the situation with your work friend.

Dr. Dub says, “If there were things you could have done better, say so. While it may not make you feel better in the moment, taking ownership can help you learn and grow.”

Find the silver lining

When someone feels betrayed, Dr. Dub says, “it may be hard to figure out the silver lining.”

However, new understandings can come in time with some soul-searching. Dr. Dub suggests reflecting on what you’ve learned about yourself in work friendships, your values, and what you can do differently in similar relationships moving forward.

Consider also whether the work betrayal caused you to lose something, such as a promotion or a job, only to allow you to find a better one or to consider alternative ways to direct your career . Or whether the work betrayal has given you a much-awaited reason to pursue something else.

Consider forgiving your coworker

essay about friends betrayal

People make mistakes, including work friends, and they can feel remorseful afterward. If your work friend comes to you seeking your forgiveness , ask yourself if you’re ready to give it to them. More importantly, if they don’t come to you, consider forgiving them anyway to move forward from a negative, even toxic, situation.

Dr. Dub says, “When you hold on to anger or other strong emotions, it can feel emotionally exhausting and leave you with diminished resources for coping outside of this conflict.”

She explains that forgiving someone doesn’t mean you forget what happened; instead, forgiving helps the sting of betrayal dissipate , allowing you to foster new relationships or strengthen existing ones.

Don’t take the betrayal personally

Yes, your work friend may have set out to hurt you, but that doesn’t mean their behavior reflects your value as an employee or a person. The way someone behaves, even if your behavior somehow figured into theirs, is ultimately on them.

“In work relationships especially,” Dr. Dub says, “there is the added complexity of competition for jobs, clients, promotions, etc., and the betrayal may have more to do with that and less with you.”

Move forward

Moving forward could entail numerous efforts at once. It could mean forgiving your work friend. It could also mean forgiving yourself for not seeing the betrayal before it happened, not being more proactive in preventing it, not doing enough damage control at work afterward, or not looking for other professional opportunities sooner. The key for all is to stop dwelling on a toxic situation.

Dr. Dub emphasizes that with some reflection and a renewed sense of values and priorities, you can become better equipped to build new relationships at work.

“Just because a work friend has betrayed you,” she says, “doesn’t mean it will happen again.”

Stacey Freeman J.D.

Stacey Freeman, J.D., is a New York City-based writer, journalist, author, and editor and the founder of Write On Track LLC, a full-service consultancy dedicated to providing high-quality content and strategy to individuals and businesses.

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Literary Magazine Retracts Israeli Writer’s Essay as Staffers Quit

An Israeli writer’s essay about seeking common ground with Palestinians led to the resignation of at least 10 staff members at Guernica.

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A portrait of a woman peeking around a doorway with peeling paint exposing the wood beneath.

By Marc Tracy

Guernica, a small but prestigious online literary magazine, was thrown into turmoil in recent days after publishing — and then retracting — a personal essay about coexistence and war in the Middle East by an Israeli writer, leading to multiple resignations by its volunteer staff members, who said that they objected to its publication.

In an essay titled “From the Edges of a Broken World,” Joanna Chen, a translator of Hebrew and Arabic poetry and prose, had written about her experiences trying to bridge the divide with Palestinians, including by volunteering to drive Palestinian children from the West Bank to receive care at Israeli hospitals, and how her efforts to find common ground faltered after Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack and Israel’s subsequent attacks on Gaza.

It was replaced on Guernica’s webpage with a note, attributed to “admin,” stating: “Guernica regrets having published this piece, and has retracted it,” and promising further explanation. Since the essay was published, at least 10 members of the magazine’s all-volunteer staff have resigned, including its former co-publisher, Madhuri Sastry, who on social media wrote that the essay “attempts to soften the violence of colonialism and genocide” and called for a cultural boycott of Israeli institutions.

Chen said in an email that she believed her critics had misunderstood “the meaning of my essay, which is about holding on to empathy when there is no human decency in sight.”

“It is about the willingness to listen,” she said, “and the idea that remaining deaf to voices other than your own won’t bring the solution.”

Michael Archer, the founder of Guernica, said that the magazine would publish a response in the coming days. “The time we are taking to draft this statement reflects both our understanding of the seriousness of the concerns raised and our commitment to engaging with them meaningfully,” he wrote in a text.

The essay was published on March 4 and taken down a few days later, according to the Wayback Machine, where the first-person essay is still available in archived form.

Chen, who was born in England and moved to Israel with her family when she was 16, writes in the essay about trying to reconnect with a Palestinian friend and former colleague after the Oct. 7 attacks, and of not knowing how to respond when her friend texted back reports of Israeli attacks on a hospital complex in Gaza.

“Beyond terrible, I finally wrote, knowing our conversation was over,” Chen’s essay said. “I felt inexplicably ashamed, as if she were pointing a finger at me. I also felt stupid — this was war, and whether I liked it or not, Nuha and I were standing at opposite ends of the very bridge I hoped to cross. I had been naïve; this conflict was bigger than the both of us.”

Chen said in the email that she had worked on the essay — her second for Guernica — with the magazine’s editor in chief and publisher, Jina Moore Ngarambe. Over emails and in a one-hour phone conversation, Chen said, “I was offered the distinct impression my essay was appreciated. I was given no indication that the editorial staff was not onboard.”

She still has not heard from anyone at Guernica, she said Tuesday.

Ngarambe, who in 2017 and 2018 worked at The New York Times as its East Africa bureau chief, did not reply to requests for comment on Monday and Tuesday.

In the days following the essay’s online publication last week, several Guernica staffers announced their resignations on X, calling the essay a betrayal of the editorial principles of the magazine, a nonprofit that was founded in 2004.

April Zhu, who resigned as a senior editor, wrote that she believed the article “fails or refuses to trace the shape of power — in this case, a violent, imperialist, colonial power — that makes the systematic and historic dehumanization of Palestinians (the tacit precondition for why she may feel a need at all to affirm ‘shared humanity’) a non-issue.”

Summer Lopez, the chief of free expression programs at PEN America, the writers’ group, said that “a writer’s published work should not be yanked from circulation because it sparks public outcry or sharp disagreement.”

“The pressures on U.S. cultural institutions in this moment are immense,” Lopez said in a statement. “Those with a mission to foster discourse should do so by safeguarding the freedom to write, read, imagine and tell stories.”

In a mission statement on its website, Guernica states that it is “a home for incisive ideas and necessary questions.”

Marc Tracy is a Times reporter covering arts and culture. He is based in New York. More about Marc Tracy

Our Coverage of the Israel-Hamas War

News and Analysis

The latest exchange of fire  between Israel and Hezbollah across the Lebanon border has raised fears that the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas — a Hezbollah ally — could spiral into a wider conflict .

Israel has deployed an expansive facial recognition program in Gaza . The experimental effort, which has not been disclosed, is being used to conduct mass surveillance in the territory.

The authorities in Gaza said that 12 people had drowned  while trying to retrieve airdropped aid that had fallen into the Mediterranean.

A Hostage’s Account: Amit Soussana, an Israeli lawyer, is the first former hostage to speak publicly about being sexually assaulted  during captivity in Gaza.

A Power Vacuum: Since the start of the war, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has done little to address the power vacuum that would appear after Israeli forces leave Gaza. The risks of inaction are already apparent in Gaza City .

Chuck Schumer’s Speech:  Speaking to the U.S. Senate, the majority leader and highest-ranking Jewish official in the United States branded Netanyahu a major impediment to peace. In an interview, he explained why he felt obligated  to call for new leadership in Israel.

A Tough Balancing Act: Israel has been noticeably out of step with Western nations when it comes to relations with Russia since the invasion of Ukraine. That approach reflects unique security needs that have gained new relevance  since the start of the war in Gaza.

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