The essentials

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Each week, The Essentials offers practical advice on life for teens.

dealing with a friend's betrayal

Since it seems to happen to everyone else around you, you would think you'd be more prepared when it happens to you. Somehow, though, you aren't. You're still shocked and completely lost. When you are back-stabbed by someone you thought was your friend, it leaves you hurt and confused. It can be hard to trust people afterward, but if you follow these steps, they can help ease the pain.

Admit it: It might seem kind of silly, but if you don't stop making excuses for that friend, you will keep getting hurt. You can't keep telling yourself that "he/she's busy" or "he/she's just trying to make new friends." A true friend will never ditch you for someone else or spill your secrets. A true friend wouldn't ignore you or talk about you behind your back, and a true friend would want to talk to you anytime, not just when there's no one else around. You should stand up for yourself and realize you are being mistreated.

Ignore him/her: This might seem like a given, but it can be hard sometimes when they fool you into thinking they came around when they're suddenly friendly and apologetic one day. You're too good for him or her. Just think about it. Why did they ditch you in the first place, and why did they come back? Chances are they just want you for something if they're trying to build back your friendship. Also, confrontation is not always the best choice. People will usually side with those they are better friends with. Confrontation will cause people to take sides, and it's better to just stop the drama before it begins.

Forgive and forget: Look out next time. Forgiving might seem contradictory to ignoring them, but forgiveness doesn't always mean being friends again. You just need to hope that the person who did you wrong will change before everyone leaves them. Not all people are bad. You shouldn't associate withbad people, but you can hope they'll be better in the future.

It's important to be able to be the better person and wish the best for them, because otherwise you will just be angry and bitter. Revenge doesn't always come sweetly and justly like it does in books and movies.

Bad people can get away with bad things, but that's life. Just try to forget about it, but not so completely that it happens again. Remember to look out next time and watch out for the warning signs. Does your new friend talk about people behind their backs to you? You should be careful because you might be next.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me: Sometimes we need to forgive, and sometimes it's time to move on. It's easy to make friends with the wrong people when they're so convincing and deceiving, but it can be just as easy to cut ties if you really try. It feels awful when a friend turns on you, but trust is important to any relationship. Don't be sour, and just tread with caution into any new friendships. Forgive, forget, and move on. You don't need that "friend" and bad karma in your life.

You're too good for them.


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