We’ve all been betrayed by a friend or family member at some point in our lives. I’ve seen family feuds, lawsuits, people cheating each other out of money, cheating in relationships and even a friend dating your ex. They’re all betrayal of a trust at some level.
Even Jesus was betrayed by his friend and disciple Judas Iscariot for money in one of the most famous betrayal stories of all time. Since betrayal seems to be an inevitable part of life, it’s important to make healthy decisions as to how you cope with the betrayal. There are a number of healthy ways to deal with the it, and here are a few tactics to try.
The first thing I want to do after a betrayal is either deny it every happened or build a Great Wall of Alexia between me and the person that hurt me in an effort to protect myself. I let myself cry if I need to. I don’t go call the person and everyone they know tattling about what he or she did to me so I can make the person suffer. That’s what a four-year old would do, and I have more class than that. I know you do, too!
Give Yourself Time to Process Your Feelings
I give myself time to be alone and think. I know when I have a lot of things running through my mind, the best medicine is a really long walk. These walks are part of my self care that help me to love myself through any drama in my life. With time, the emotions subside and I gain perspective on the situation like accepting that the person who hurt me is not really my friend.
Learn from Your Experience
Talk to someone to help you sort through your experience. I love consulting with my life coach before making any final decisions. She’s a great sounding board, and I feel confident moving forward with sensitive relationship decisions after having her input and perspective.
Understand the Difference Between the Betrayal Itself and Your Emotions about the Betrayal
When someone hurts you, it’s so easy to get caught up in the “Woe is me” kind of feeling. It’s simple to wallow in the misery of our hurt that feeds negative emotions into the situations. Moreover, it’s exhausting. Take a step back and look at the event itself separate from your emotions about the event. When you see them separately, it’s much easier to gain perspective on your emotions and rein them in. When you manage your emotions, you regain your energy and you lessen your chances of overreacting and making yourself look bad.
Be kind to Yourself
Allow yourself a few treats within reason. Engage in self care when you feel the world isn’t supplying you with it. Exercise, cook, read, spend time alone or with a friend. Do what recharges you and gives you a sense of peace and wholeness. Self-love and care are the fastest ways to return your spirit and life to a new normal.
The number one most important thing you need to do is forgive. Remember forgiveness is a choice. It doesn’t mean condoning the other person’s actions. It simply means releasing the baggage of their actions weighing you down. When you choose to let go of hurt and anger you re-engage in a healthy productive life. I know it’s easier than it sounds. If you have a hard time, start by saying, “I forgive_____.” Say it over and over. Say, “I forgive ____ for_____. I forgive him/her for everything.” With a little time, you’ll feel the release and a physical lightening of your being. Then, repeat it as many times as you need to. It gets easier with time. Trust me.
Give Yourself Permission to Rebuild the Relationship
Betrayal doesn’t mean the relationship must end. Often times it does. Are you in a marriage with young children? If so, maybe it’s worth it to try to rebuild the relationship depending on the degree of the betrayal. If it wasn’t a very strong relationship to begin with, then, maybe it isn’t worth it to try to continue the relationship. It’s up to you, but allow yourself space to consider it.