“The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies.”


A conversation with a friend yesterday triggered a memory that was pretty traumatic when I was young.

People who I thought were good friends of mine were saying derogatory things about me behind my back.

Before I continue, let me admit that in my teenage years, I too have done that.

And like anybody else who does so, I was wrong.

When discussing mental health issues and specifically what trigger them, the common criteria alluded to is death, abuse, rape, etc.

And while all those issues are no doubt very pertinent and necessary to talk about, the subject of betrayal should also be included in those catagories.

Finding out that people who you thought loved you feel differently or act differently in spite of loving you can be very traumatizing.

In a lot of ways, two-faced people are the worst kind of people to deal with when dealing with mental illnesses, even if their intentions may not always be bad.

They may tell you something that they think will make you happy even though it’s not true. But what will be the outcome of that in the longrun?

I would urge family and friends of people with mental health issues as well as experts of the field like counsellors, psychologists and psychriatrists the following points:

  • Don’t say one thing to a person and another thing behind their backs unless there is a genuine possibility in it helping the person in the long run.
  • If you don’t like someone, don’t pretend to be their friend. You don’t have to be mean or directly say you don’t like them. But don’t pretend otherwise either. If it’s a colleague or a classmate that’s mandatory to colloborate with, just complete the task at hand and move on.
  • Always remember, walls have ears. Even when talking about someone in confidentiality, think about what you’re saying and why you’re saying it.

The tricky part of this topic is that it’s layered with a lot of ambiguity.

On paper, it’s easy to say don’t criticize someone behind their back. But sometimes, it’s not a matter of being two-faced.

You may actually love someone dearly but hate them at a particular moment, maybe after an argument or fight. In those instances venting your feelings to a third party is not a bad idea.

What’s essential is not to make it a habit. If you find yourself keeping multiple things you’d like to say to a person all the time, it’s time to re-evalute how honest you’re being with that individual as well as yourself.

Have you ever felt betrayed by a friend or family member? How did it make you feel? Join this discussion by commenting below.

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