What to Do When Your Friends Have Turned On You?

Sudden betrayal by someone you may have considered to be a close friend can traumatise and hurt very deeply. You might not understand or know the initial series of events surrounding the betrayal. In these moments when you are emotionally distraught, it is common to feel lost and alone. You may also not initially realise that the person you trusted so deeply has turned their back on you. The loss of a deep friendship can be emotionally devastating, as you feel that your support system has collapsed. Numerous studies have shown that betrayal makes it subsequently more difficult for people to trust others and build deep relationships with others. How can you identify when this is about to happen?

1. You don’t find the jokes and jabs that you would take at each other funny anymore.

Humour and light-hearted jabs between friends are common, but perhaps it’s time to reconsider when their jokes start to sting and feel more personal than it should. When you tell them “it’s not funny” yet they shrug off your hurt and continue to make the same jabs, or dismiss your sensitivities. 

2. They intentionally begin to exclude you from their plans

It’s understandable that everyone has busy schedules and gatherings can’t always include everyone. However, it should be a red flag when every gathering seems to clash with your schedule, yet nearly everyone else in the friend group can make it. This could be a sign that they are trying to intentionally exclude you from their plans. 

These two speculative actions might signal that you might be betrayed by those friends, but to know for sure, you should ask them about it. If they ignore or dismiss your concerns, that’s a sign that perhaps, you might be betrayed in the future.

 

If you do get betrayed, here are some tips on what to do before taking any impulsive actions:

1. Give yourself time to calm down

After a betrayal, heated emotions and impulsive thoughts can tempt you to send scathing remarks towards that person. Or perhaps, you want to throw yourself into some distractions to try and quickly forget the incident all together. Instead, you should slow things down and give yourself time to feel and process the emotions. Understand what you are feeling, and why you feel that way will help the emotions settle better, rather than if you repressed them. 

2. Leave room for dialogue

If bridges haven’t been burnt, leave them be. Leave the channel open for communication in the future. As time is the best salve for many emotional wounds, leaving the matter to rest and leaving communication open for both you and your friend to talk about it in the future might help rebuild the bridge between estranged friends. Time will also help temper and dull any intense emotional response which may flare up during heated conversation.

3. Know when to move on

If open communication doesn’t seem remotely possible, knowing when to close the chapter and move on to other pursuits is an important skill. Sometimes, you may never find the resolution you would like. Remember the good memories you had with your friend, and move on with your life. Realise that everyone is unique and have their unique life experiences that shape their outlook on people and life. Pick up a new hobby to expose yourself to new communities where you can make new friends.