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How to Cope With Friends Who Turn Against You
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One of the downsides of friendships is the potential for a friend to backstab or betray you. When a friend turns against you, it may feel like the end of the world, especially if this person is who you would normally turn to during times of need. Coping with friends who turn against you requires compassionate attention to your own emotions as well as closely considering the status of the current relationship and moving forward accordingly. Learn how to care for your hurt feelings and handle a disloyal friend, too.

1

Acknowledge the pain of disloyalty. It hurts to have someone turn against you or to find out someone you thought was a close friend may not really be who you thought. It's normal to be upset and there is no need to hide the fact that you are hurt.[1]

  • Acknowledge the pain by stating it aloud. Name the emotion that you are feeling and own your reaction to it. "I am disappointed because I placed my trust in someone who backstabbed me."
  • While you can acknowledge the feelings, remember you are the only one who controls how you react to this disloyalty. In some cases, this person may be treating you a certain way with the hope that you will react in a big way. It is far better to take a step back and reflect on how you are feeling, instead of acting out in the moment.
    2
    Take time to reflect. Just as some romantic relationships benefit from a break, friendships can also benefit from time apart. Take this break to think about any major choices like confronting the friends or completely ending the friendships. You may find that you calm down after a few days, or you may find that during the break you actually feel better without the friends.
    • You can also use this time to consider opening yourself to making some new friends who are more supportive. Spend time with a few other acquaintances, classmates, or coworkers. Do you notice yourself liking being with these people over your other friends? Do you notice good qualities in these people that your other friends lack?
    • Another way to engage in reflection is to journal. Writing down the experience and your thoughts and feelings associated with it can be incredibly freeing and empowering.[2] You can even brainstorm ideas as to how you want to deal with the aftermath of a friend's betrayal.
    3
    Practice regular self-care. Before you can even think about rebuilding trust with your friends, you have to first take care of you. We often put our own feelings on the back burner to avoid feeling bad ourselves or to avoid making others feel bad about their actions against us. Denying yourself time to care for your own needs does not lend itself to creating long-term, healthy friendships.[3]
    • Forgive yourself for taking a chance on the friendship and to have whatever feelings you had in the moment after you found out about the betrayal. When someone steals from you or goes behind your back to do something it is easy to beat yourself up over letting anyone have the chance to use you.
    • Treat yourself kindly during this time. Do things you like to do - whether that is binge-watching your favorite TV series, getting a manicure, or spending time with family.
      4
      Be the bigger person. Don't entertain urges 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. This is not the case. Holding onto the anger hurts you first and foremost. In many cases, the person you are angry with has already moved on. You take back your power by being the bigger person and not reacting in a vengeful way.[4]
      • Keep in mind that you can't control what other people do or say about you. Getting angry and nasty will not make you have any more control than you have now. And in the end, if your actions are not in line with your character or beliefs, you will likely feel ashamed or guilty for have acted outside your values.
      • For example, if a friend or classmate is spreading rumors about you, you can choose to not make the situation uglier by doing the same. Step back and come up with a less vindictive manner to handle the situation instead.
      • The old saying "fight fire with fire" really makes little sense in reality. You normally fight fire with water or something else that puts out the fire, right? Don't fuel the fire with attention or your own negative actions because all that happens then is a much bigger fire.
        5
        Hang out with fun and supportive friends and family. It can be extremely comforting after betrayal to surround yourself with positive people who want nothing but the best for you. This not only helps you process and cope with betrayal, but it also reaffirms your value as a person and a friend.[5]
        • For example, if one friend let you down, be sure to cherish your other friends who have consistently been loyal to you. Let these people know how much you appreciate
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