Talk about it

The most important thing to do when you think you’ve been betrayed by a backstabbing friend is to ask them about it. The word confront doesn’t quite work because whatever you’re hearing may not actually be true. Your source may be less than reliable. The best approach is to ask questions rather than point fingers and lay blame.

Writing a letter to the person you think has been backstabbing you is a good idea. Don’t send an email that you fire off in anger, without thought. But an honest-to-God letter, written with paper and a pen. This way, you can write down everything you’ve heard and it doesn’t have to be huge and heated. If you’ve got a lot of courage, you can ask questions in person. The advantage is you can see the body language and eye contact and decide if you think they are telling you the truth.

Try to understand the motivation behind backstabbing gossips. This helps in dealing with them. A lot of the time, they have larger issues and what they are doing to you, isn’t really about you at all. It’s about their own frustrations and troubles. Does this make it okay? Certainly not! But it does help to know why a person acts the way they do.

Once you ask questions or confront the person, nine times out ten, you’re going to get the answer that they didn’t say it or they didn’t mean it like it sounded. At this point, you have to decide if continuing the friendship is going to be good for you.

I’m the type of person who trusts until given a reason not to, but I’m also a once bitten, twice shy kind of person. So, even if I continue the friendship, I will almost never trust the person again. The dynamics of the relationship will be changed forever. And I’ll never feel comfortable with them again. This is the reason I try hard to never gossip and back-stab. If I have something to say, I say it right to a person but not everyone works this way.

I firmly believe you should tell people how much they’ve hurt you. While I did walk away from one friendship without a word, I don’t think it’s the right way to behave. And if you tell the person who has hurt you exactly what they’ve done, they might never do it again. So while you’ve lost a friend, they’ve possibly learned something and you’ve saved another person from being hurt as you’ve been.