Being betrayed by a friend is one of the most painful experiences we can have. Whether that’s them turning abusive, revealing a secret they promised to keep, or hurting us in some other way—it destroys the relationship we had with them.
And that’s painful. Betrayal cuts deeply into our hearts.
Their betrayal also tells us what to think about ourselves and our worth, which can hurt more than the loss of the friendship. This can cause us to stay in a toxic friendship or it can damage our self-esteem.
Being betrayed by a friend is no small thing. It’s traumatic, but fortunately this blog will help you heal it.
Any Friend Betrayal is Serious
Even if a betrayal would be a “small” thing to someone else, if it hurts you, it counts. Anything where you feel a friend broke a boundary or promise counts as a betrayal.
In my own life, I’ve faced a variety of betrayals from friends. One was a friend repeatedly bringing up triggering topics after I’d asked them not to. Another was someone suddenly believing I was dangerous because I shared my diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder with them.
(Trigger warning for a brief mention of sexual abuse below)
But the biggest betrayal I experienced was when my best friend sexually assaulted me, right after I confided my memories of child abuse to her. This experience was one of the most jarring ones I had. It made me realize exactly how painful betrayals by friends can be.
This horrific betrayal made me realize one critical thing—something I need to heal from all past betrayals. I realized the message we hear and believe when someone betrays us.
The Message You Hear When a Friend Betrays You
Betrayal shares one very specific message: “My needs don’t matter to this person.”
And this quickly translates into, “I don’t matter.”
When someone betrays us, it sends a message to us that their needs or wants are more important than our own. It tells us they have a right to step on us for their own comfort and desires.
This message can come directly from a friend or other close relationship or it can come from society as a whole. This is where we’re told “You’re a person that doesn’t matter in this world.” Bigotry and oppression are forms of this betrayal.
Of course, the message of “I don’t matter” is totally false. You matter and you deserve all of your needs to be respected! Unfortunately, some people simply won’t choose to respect you like you deserve.
How to Heal from Friend Betrayal
Here’s a simple journaling exercise to help you heal after a friend betrayed you.
First, write down how you were betrayed. What did your friend or partner do? How did society as a whole let you down?
You may have experienced multiple betrayals in your life, so focus on just one here. You can also repeat this healing exercise with another betrayal afterwards. There’s no limit to how many times you can do this.
Next, write down how you should have been treated. Think super lovingly here! If you struggle to come up with an idea, consider how you’d want a loved one to be treated in this situation.
After this, write down the emotions you feel when you think about this betrayal. Then, for each emotion, write something loving and validating. Something that says “It’s okay that I’m experiencing this emotion.”
Validation is what heals you. Through this, you show yourself it’s safe to feel hurt about what happened. It changes the belief “I don’t matter” into “This person chose to hurt me, and that has nothing to do with my self-worth.”
If this feels a bit too challenging, remember you can access an in-depth guide to heal betrayal in The Prosperity Path program here! <3
Completely Freeing Yourself from the Burden of Betrayal
Friend betrayal, or betrayal from any other source, naturally weighs us down. It’s not something that will resolve overnight, but with persistent effort we can find life-long freedom from the pain past betrayal caused.
The Prosperity Path program is going to be your best friend for doing this. In the very first module, it’ll guide you through a deep understanding of the impact of betrayal, followed by a guided exercise to release it. You’ll master emotional validation—the most important skill you need to find freedom from past abuse.
This blog gets you started on healing betrayal, and this program will give you life-long freedom. <3
No matter what, whether you choose to join or not, you can lessen the pain of friend betrayal.
Start first by leaving a comment below. What emotion do you feel thinking about a past betrayal? What is one validating thing you can tell yourself about that emotion? Do this quick exercise right below and you’ll be taking a huge step towards healing.
Then, of course, share this blog on your favorite social media platform. If it helped you, it’s bound to help another survivor of abuse. <3