Forgive and forget – dealing with a backstabbing friend
Friendship is a revered institution. There is even an entire day dedicated to its celebration. Friends are our extended families – they occupy a space in our hearts that parents and siblings can’t fill. However, not all of us are lucky enough to have friends who are true to us. Emotional relationships are ephemeral these days; many people make friends with a set intention in mind to further their own interests. There is even a word for it now – frenemies. This is a term to describe those people who pretend friendship but actually detest you.
But what is worse than a frenemy? A friend who does something to hurt you. You know how to deal with people who pretend to be your friend but how do you deal with a friend who you loved and cared about treating you callously? While making friends can be very rewarding, there are times when one must deal with a backstabbing friend. Thankfully, these people are the exception and not the rule. Learn to take the good with the bad. If a friend has done something to hurt you, try and deal with the matter calmly and make that effort. It will be beneficial in the process.
Try to understand why your friend has acted the way he or she did. Every action has a reason behind it – there is no smoke without fire, as they say. If you can decipher the reasoning behind the actions of your friend perhaps it will be easier for you to understand why he or she did it. This will make it that much easier to forgive. Also, try and analyse your own actions. It might be so that you have inadvertently contributed to your friend backstabbing you by hurting him or her.
Get some perspective on the situation by maintaining some distance from your friend. Anger will only cloud judgement and prevent you from looking at the scenario objectively. Talk to other friends and take their advice, an unbiased third party will be able to give a neutral view of the situation. Others can also help you understand how your friend might have perceived something you said or did, which contributed to the situation.
Also make sure you allow your friend to explain and remember that everyone is human and makes mistakes. However, don’t forgive every time. Friendship is based on trust and if your friend regularly breaks your trust then you need to reconsider the relationship for your own emotional health.
Talk to the friend concerned and iron out the situation. Talking to someone who has hurt you is difficult, but it is also a very good way to help solve the problems that have cropped up between you two. If your friend refuses to talk to you or is unreasonable, then you can let the situation be, with the satisfaction that you at least tried to mend the break. After you have tried this, and all else fails, and your friend seems intent on being unreasonable choose to ignore the situation and get on with your life. Chalk it up to a flaw in your friend and move on.
Above all else, try and forgive. Forgiving is extremely difficult – everyone says it is a beautiful idea till they have to do it themselves and then they realise how difficult it is to overcome ego, hurt and anger to forgive. However, it is extremely rewarding if you can do it. According to recent research, forgiving has calming and de-stressing results. Back pain, headaches and stomach ailments will disappear as soon as the negative emotions that are causing them reduce. Of course there are other benefits; anger, bitterness, resentment and depression will also fade away leaving you to be a happier and healthier person. So forgive even if you don’t necessarily forget...that’s the best way to deal with a disloyal friend.