I have a problem.
A friend and I planned to find a house to rent and move in together. We had attempted it before, but it didn't work out. We planned to wait another six months to find a place we really liked and get everything set.
This November is the month we had set aside to look at houses. But before we could do that, she told me that she was going to move in with a coworker instead. This was rather abrupt. She said she was sorry and hoped I could forgive her eventually and didn't want it to affect our friendship. I told her to do what she felt was right.
To be honest though, I feel incredibly betrayed. I feel like I have been stabbed in the back and it really hurts. Even when I try and change the framing of the situation, that maybe this was for the best, I still end up feeling she betrayed me. In addition, this has happened to me many times before with various people.
So my question is should I even bother trusting and getting close to others if I'm just going to get hurt like this? She really is a good person and is very supportive of me, but I don't know if I can be friends with someone who has hurt me like this. I just don't know what to do.
Thank you for your time.
Tai Crimclaw (age 25)
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If I were you, I’d feel betrayed, too. That was a pretty crappy thing she did at the last minute. Cool, though, that you note she is a good person. How can a good person do crappy stuff, though? This is the problem that many people can’t cope with. Sure, it’s easy to understand how rotten people do rotten things and good people do good things, but it is also true that good people can do some stupid or mean things at times.
This is because we’re human and not perfect. What she did was very inconsiderate. I suppose she had her reasons, but when you were counting on her to help you with this new place and then she basically trashes that plan for you with a lame “I’m sorry,” and when all the plans were in place to look for houses that month ... well, that ain't cool.
Time for a talk. Tell her that, although you said you were fine with it, you’re really not and she hurt your feelings and trust pretty badly (if you don’t tell people they hurt you, they will never learn that they have done something wrong, so they will likely repeat the bad behavior). Tell her you think you can forgive her, but you need her to realize she did a pretty lousy thing and owes you a better explanation than a mere “sorry.”
You say this sort of thing has happened to you repeatedly. Papabear’s theory is that it happens to you again and again because you’re allowing yourself to be a doormat. Sometimes, even people who are pretty decent take advantage of others who just bend over and take it and then say, “It’s okay that you treat me like yesterday’s meatloaf.”
Stop being a pushover and people will stop pushing you over. It’s one thing to be a nice person, quite another to be a weenie.
If someone upsets you, don’t be afraid to tell them. Otherwise, how will they ever know? Also, keeping all that dismay and disgruntlement inside you is bad for the digestion. Telling someone you are pissed doesn’t make you a bad person or a complainer. You don’t have to do it in a mean-spirited way, but you should acknowledge that you are displeased.
Sometimes people don’t realize they’ve done something wrong, and telling them will give them a wake-up call; other times, people actually do know they are being jerks but they think they can get away with it—don’t let them.
Be a good person, but be a good person with backbone, and you will get bit less often.
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