We have all been betrayed at least once in our lives. Betrayal is a very serious trauma that can affect our brains negatively. How? Oxytocin is a chemical that stimulates feelings of trust and love. Betrayal breaks that trust, resulting in a low production of this chemical. Just how serious is this? Some of the things one can go through after being betrayed include: acting out, social isolation, insomnia, rage, disappointment, a loss of self-esteem and issues dealing with trust and emotion. You may begin to withdraw from friends because of how badly you feel about the betrayal. You could even grieve the loss of friendship and the person who you thought they were may be dead to you. Or you could slip into a deep depression for a while if the betrayal hasn’t been dealt with accordingly.
We are usually betrayed by someone really close to us. This could be our mother, father, sister, brother, cousin, best friend or workmate. It hurts. There is no denying it. Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne details a study that shows how betrayal and lack of trust, due to a low level of oxytocin, can influence one who has been betrayed in an effort ease the pain or seek retribution. Betrayal can be really harmful to you. It can negatively affect all spheres of your life in ways you can’t possibly imagine.
Just like a wound that takes time to heal, a person who has been betrayed needs time to heal. The initial feelings of hurt, pain and despair will feel like they will never end. However, over time, as you work through the pain, it will become less. And one day, you will be able to put it behind you. You may never be able to forget it, but it will not hold you captive for the rest of your life.
To that end, we here at Psych2Go give you 5 effective and realistic tips that will help you deal with betrayal.
1. Be Angry
There are many emotions one goes through when they find out that they have been betrayed. These range from anger to depression, hurt, and wanting to avenge oneself. Probably one of the most prominent emotions you will feel will be anger. Anger because they did something like this to you. You’re angry because you trusted them. Anger because it was uncalled for. You’re angry because you have another problem to deal with in life. Anger because your emotional state is anything but OK. You’re so angry because you loved this person and didn’t think they would do you wrong. Be angry. It’s human. It’s necessary and it will run its course.