How to handle betrayal from a friend

LilChen asks: My best friend told me that we would be best friends forever, along with our other two best friends from other countries, but then she told me last Wednesday that she never wanted to be my friend since we first met, and she only did it for one of our best friends in the other country. I feel so betrayed and worthless, I followed her everywhere and did all the things that would please her including stealing and talking behind others’ backs, and I feel so sad that everything I did was just a waste of time. I finally had enough and cried yesterday at school, but hid in the girls’ restroom with the help of another friend. I still cried even as I went home, and my family knows I cried too, but that girl and my family don’t know why I cried because I refused to tell them. I didn’t want to tell someone that I know because I know they’ll blame it on my ex-best friend, and I don’t want her to get more mad at me. I don’t want to go to school on Monday. She’s also turning all our other current best friends now against me, and the worst part was that she also turned our best friend from the other country against me. Some people told me before that she was a bad influence on me, but I didn’t listen to them. My current best friends are fading, and I’m so scared of being alone. I would like to at least transfer to a different school and city so I can start a new life, but I’m scared to ask my mom and dad (their work and friends are here). Maybe I could move to my aunt’s place in a different city, or have home-school. I was planning to cut myself or get sick, just some injuries to get me out of school. She betrayed me and left me, she told me she wouldn’t talk anymore to anybody but she lied. She only didn’t speak to me. What should I do?

Hi LilChen –


Wow, this is SO PAINFUL!  I think betrayal might be the most painful emotion anyone ever experiences, and this girl REALLY betrayed you!


And here’s the big point, LilChen, it’s one thing when someone is selfish, manipulative, sneaky, two-faced, or all sorts of other stinky qualities.  But she’s something else – she’s being really Mean!  Her acts toward you are just shocking in their cruelty.


And because of this, she actually makes it much easier for me to give you advice.  Which is to FORGET HER.


No one is more loyal a friend than a dog.  We will stay with our humans through just about anything.  But there comes a point when a person has beaten a dog too many times, has treated them so badly, that the pooch’s instinct for self-preservation gets stronger than their instinct for loyalty, and that’s when dogs will run away, or even attack their people.


(In case you’re wonderin… no, my relationship to Handsome is nowhere near that!  We’re absolute BFFs!)


Now you’re suggesting that you’d like to leave your school, or even move to another city.  And my question is… Why?  Wouldn’t it be lots better for you to go back to your school, and walk in with your head held high?  To talk to other friends at the school (I’m sure she hasn’t managed to ruin all your friendships), to make new friends, to create a whole new life for yourself right under her stinky little nose!


I have no idea why she did these cruel things to you.  I have no idea why she would say words that could do nothing but hurt.  But I do know that there is no reason for you to move away, which would just reward her for being such a rotten jerk, and make her feel powerful and important.


So I’d say to ignore everything about her.  Pretend she doesn’t even exist.  I would say to write that friend in the other country, just to let her know what’s happened.  But if she still stays turned against you, then let her go too.


LilChen, this is your life.  You get to live it.  Mean people can do awful things, and I’m not going to pretend that such cruelty didn’t even hurt my feelings, just in reading your letter!  But please, please, PLEASE don’t hurt yourself over it!  That’s the last thing to do!  Instead, dress in bright colors, laugh, sing, and as far as these untrue friends, as that singer sang a while back, “let them go do their dances of the dead, let ‘em go right ahead.”


You say that some friends of yours have said for a long time that she was a bad influence.  Well, she’s just proved them right.  How great it will be for you to humbly go to them and say “I’m sorry, you were absolutely correct, I should have listened to you.”  They’ll feel complimented, and welcome you with open arms, I’ll bet!


The awful thing about betrayal is that it’s both abandonment and insult.  When Handsome abandons me to go to work, it hurts my heart, but at least he leaves me with a kiss on the nose.  And because of that, I wait all day for him to come home.


Well, in a funny way, this friend has made it easier for you.  There’s nothing to wait for from her.  There’s no reason to ever speak to her again.  So you’re free.


Your life has begun anew, LilChen.  You can have better friends than you had before, people who are far more worthy of your trust.  You can gain new strength, and new joy.


It’s your time, LilChen.  Live it!


(and please stay in touch and let me know how it’s going)


All my best,



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