5 Ways To Prevent Betrayal From Friends8 min read

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It’s kinda amusing when you think about how society constantly emphasizes the importance of trust, yet seldom is anyone ready to hand over their house keys or life savings to just about anyone. 

Trust isn’t as simple as it’s often portrayed. Some people might have good reasons not to trust those around them. It’s even harder to trust when you’ve been betrayed again and again. Any sensible person wouldn’t want to keep getting hurt. Nevertheless, it becomes a problem when you always believe that no one is reliable.

On top of all these, trusting people too easily shows a level of naivety. Because, even the people who love you can betray you, whether through mistakes, retribution, or in a power struggle. 

Of course, the dilemmas and cliches surrounding trust can be exhausting, but that’s also the reason you must approach it carefully as the success of your friendship depends on it. 

“The worst pain in the world goes beyond the physical. Even further beyond any other emotional pain, one can feel. It is the betrayal of a friend.”

― Heather Brewer

The Sting Of Betrayal: When Trust Is Shattered 

To trust is to give someone power over you. Bravely sharing your vulnerabilities, secrets, or plans, in the hope that they will act in your best interest. It’s a form of laying down your guard, believing that others will not betray but rather, uphold the bond you’ve formed.

Needless to say,  that trust is broken, your brave act of submission may feel like a foolish decision, leaving you hurt, angrier, and full of regret. It’s in these moments that you might find yourself exclaiming, “Alas, I’ve been betrayed!”

In essence, betrayal means losing the confidence and belief you once had in someone or something. 

However, we must accept that these matters can be more complex than this simplified explanation suggests. 

Why? 

Trust and betrayal go hand in hand in how people relate to each other. For you to be betrayed, you must have given out trust first. And for you to trust, you must have accepted the possibility of betrayal. Period! 

If everyone agrees on this, let’s move into other facets of this issue to gain a down-to-earth, and nuanced understanding of betrayal in our lives.

Why Your Friend Might Betray You

Humans, including you, are all motivated by desires – those strong cravings for something we don’t have, or relief from something that discomforts us. And, these desires can stir up emotions like anger, sadness, fear, disgust, and shame. 

When it comes to satisfying and managing these desires and emotions, things can get tricky.

  • Your friend might suddenly prioritize their own needs (self-interest) over the trust you both share. 
  • Sometimes, it’s the influence of others, like peer pressure, that turns a friend into a backstabbing mule.
  • Let’s not forget that emotional immaturity, miscommunication, and those personal issues, like jealousy or unresolved conflicts can also trigger betrayal. 
  • A clash of goals and changing priorities can lead to epic betrayal. Because people evolve, and suddenly their values shift, affecting their actions and leaving you wondering what happened to the friend you once knew. 

Understand: everyone is human and driven by their desires, which can affect their behavior and choices. But that doesn’t mean that we should become suspicious of everyone. 

“The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies.”

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How Lack Of Trust In Friendship Affects You

Not trusting others creates a whole stack of problems like friend arguments, family fights, couples breaking up, failed business deals, and even wars. 

Friendships and trust are like the ocean and salt. You can’t have a true friend without trust. And when you distrust your friend, it can make you feel unsure, insecure, and stressed out. You might start questioning yourself – your judgment and motives – and may even fall into depression.

However, friendships can change over time and more difficult to navigate with distrust simmering in our hearts. Distrust has to be cut off to prevent your friendship from sinking. 

But you definitely don’t want to mess this up by trusting the wrong person or giving a reason to betray you. So let’s lay out some clever ways to reduce the risk of betrayal. 

How to Prevent Friends From Betraying You 

Don’t trust your friends:

A quick and simple solution would sound like this; “Trust no one but yourself”. Hell yeah, It sounds clever and cliche. However, it’s not entirely wise to believe that you can live without trusting anyone, nor is it even shrewd to place absolute trust in yourself. 

Why? 

Well, we need people; we can’t always watch our backs. And, on the issue of trusting yourself alone, you are also human and will sometimes act out of necessity, lack clarity, ignorance, fear, or share a lack of control over the situation and your actions. You can’t always predict how you’ll behave in every situation. If you are being honest, you will agree that you too sometimes betray yourself.

So, how do you keep your friends from betraying you? 

Don’t spill more beans than you’re prepared to handle 

Even if you truly value your friendship with others, it doesn’t mean that all your friends will know every single thing about you. Some things can only be shared with them when the time and situation are appropriate. 

That said; sometimes, it’s wiser to keep certain sensitive information, your vulnerabilities, and personal secrets to yourself and gauge the trustworthiness of the person over time. No matter how persuasive they are; Avoid that situation! It’s like jumping into a pool without checking if there’s water in it. 

Trust should be earned, not given. When it’s carelessly given, betrayal is almost inevitable. 

Yet, there are times you’ll need to share some important information – giving the other person the benefit of the doubt, an opportunity for them to prove their trustworthiness. But, it’s essential to strike a balance between vulnerability and self-protection. 

Balanced Expectations Against Reality: 

I haven’t really felt deeply hurt by betrayal, or maybe I just didn’t want to see it that way. Because, before getting close to someone, I always remind myself that they’re human, and when things get tough, they’ll probably do what’s best for themselves. It’s just Human Nature 101. 

This mindset helps me not take things personally and keeps my expectations reasonable and fair. Think of it like this: a pig will always act like a pig, no matter how hard it trains to be a hunting dog. Humans, too, sometimes behave in ways that are typically human. Rather than being surprised by these actions, it’s smarter to expect the worst.  

In short; avoid placing excessive or unrealistic expectations on others, as it can lead to disappointment and potential breaches of trust. In simple terms, don’t trust people to act in ways that are not in the nature of humans.

Listen To Your intuition: 

Intuition is a valuable way of understanding things without consciously thinking about them. It helps us make decisions based on patterns and experiences.

If your guts, instincts, or inner feelings about someone or something are a bit off or make you worry, it is best to pay attention. At that moment, it’s vital to pause, reflect, and carefully consider the situation before setting yourself up for betrayal. 

Take your time to observe the patterns or behaviours. Keep an eye out for red flags and warning signs. Don’t allow yourself to be willfully blind.

Pay Attention to Their Track Record: 

Despite our volatile nature as humans. Certain people have shown the capacity to live by a set of good values and discipline. In other words, sometimes you can count on people’s character and personality. This is why you trust your priest or therapists to keep your secrets of unbridled lust safe. 

Make friends with people who have demonstrated trustworthiness in the past. Consider the track record of individuals before granting them significant trust and be mindful of who you allow into your inner circle. 

If you are looking to become trustworthy, I recommend you read this: How To Get People To Trust You Easily

Conclusion: What Happens After Betrayal 

In many situations, most of us are quick to blame others for betraying us. However, we often overlook how our actions or ego contributed to the problem.

Regardless of the strategies used or how careful you are in avoiding betrayal, trust is a delicate dance that takes two to tango. But, some people may still choose to betray your trust, even if you’ve done everything right. It’s important to find a balance between trust and healthy skepticism, and also prioritize your safety and well-being in every form of relationship you find yourself.

To move on after a betrayal, honest communication, openness, and commitment are crucial from both sides. This means being prepared to confront, forgive, show empathy, and find solutions to problems. This allows you and your friend the possibility of rebuilding and strengthening your friendship. 

Nevertheless, some betrayals lead to the end of friendships, and that’s okay. 

In the end, accepting this reality permits everyone to approach betrayal with a more balanced perspective, recognizing our roles in potential rewards and risks involved. 

A mindful self-help writer and photographer

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