You’ve Been Deceived Now What?

You’ve trusted someone… and they let you down, cheated, lied, committed a criminal act, or otherwise taken advantage of you. When you’ve been deceived, your first instinct might be to ask the question, “How could I have let this happen?”

You need to cut yourself some slack as soon as possible because the fact is that we are surrounded by manipulative people who seek out good and honest people whom they can take advantage of. They can be quite crafty and covert and the fact that they chose you is a compliment to your character and an indication of his or her lack of character.

We all tend to project our own morality onto those within proximity. For instance, if you’re an honest, trustworthy person, you tend to see others as being honest and trustworthy, while liars see others as dishonest, and fear others are always hiding something and may deserve to be taken advantage of.

You’re somewhat in a state of shock because you wouldn’t think of doing this to someone else. Ready yourself to forgive yourself for falling victim to this circumstance, it was not your fault. You are not responsible for someone else’s misdeeds.

Of course, The kind of betrayal I am referencing is the misdeed with malicious intent, you must distinguish this type of activity from an honest mistake. Sometimes someone whom you’ve trusted does something that results in your feeling betrayed, but there was a distinct lack of malice, more likely they hadn’t thought things through far enough or realized that their inattention to detail would be offensive to you.

If someone has simply made the mistake of crossing you unwittingly, cut them some slack, and prepare to forgive them.

Be aware that there are people who may be looking to take advantage of others, but do not fall into the trap of living in fear. Many people may have the tendency to exploit others, and may include personality profiles such as narcissists, sociopaths and/or psychopaths, who are well-versed in building your confidence in them and grooming others for “the take.”

Once you’ve correctly diagnosed a person as one who would lie or otherwise take advantage of you, realize they are a snake. As much as they might beg forgiveness or try to charm you otherwise, a snake is a snake, and it will only set you up to bite you, even worse the next time.

Can people change? Yes. I am in the change business and I see it every day, but you have to learn how to deal with a liar, look out for you and take care of yourself and the others whom you care about. This is your responsibility. If this snake is a repeat offender, you have to do the right thing and take the action which is best for you and yours.

In becoming aware of the existence of individuals who may not have your best interests at heart, learn early detection methods of determining when someone might be being less than honest and pay more attention to potential warning signs early on when you are getting to know someone.

In the event that you are having a twinge, a sense that someone may not be as they appear, don’t be shy about checking out the details for accuracy. If you are uncovering holes in their stories and blatant inaccuracies, there’s no need to confront them about it, just place a safe distance between yourself and this person, and don’t let down your guard around this person.

Now that you are becoming more aware of people and learning how to see people as they really are, be careful not to fall into the trap of seeing everyone as a potential threat. Not everyone is out to get you, but once victimized, it can be easy to be absorbed in perpetual victim mentality (which will only attract more predators) so avoid the temptation to do so.

Remember the good and honest, trusting person that you were before this incident and embrace that part of you even more, only being aware enough to protect yourself in the future.

Self Destruct

Why do I have a tendency to self destruct? Am I my own worst enemy? Why am I so self destructive? What is wrong with me? What’s wrong with you?

It’s not just President Trump who has the power to destroy the world with the push of a button, we all have this power to destroy worlds within our own universe and bring the end of the world as we know it.

Sometimes, we burn bridges, pour gas on people whom we feel have wronged us, light the match and walk away. Occasionally we hit the self-destruct button or just nuke the whole shebang.

Why you would do such a thing is beyond me, and years of therapeutic process may (or may not) help to uncover the roots of one’s self destructive behavior.

Am I immune from having a tendency to self destruct? No, I don’t think anyone is immune from some form of self sabotage.

Regrettably, I’ve dropped a few bombs myself. I think we all do it when we’ve felt hurt, betrayed or disrespected. When your feelings are hurt, striking out in self defense seems like the best option at the time, so you hit the button… and in that moment, you feel better about yourself.

You feel better than feeling hurt when you’ve struck back. You might even feel really good… for a while.

You might even feel like your life will be so much better without this-or-that in your life at all, so you rationalize total decimation is not only warranted but acceptable or preferable. You are happy you pushed the button.

In the case of physical abuse, certainly methods of isolating yourself from others in a way that prevents further abuse are worth contemplating.

Do you have to destroy everything?

This is an important question to ask yourself before you push the button. When you’re considering lighting a match, pulling the trigger, pushing the button or dropping a bomb, asking yourself,

What are the far reaching effects of this destruction?

May be worth the momentary pause or distraction before you launch your attack (or counter attack), even if for consideration for the briefest of moments.

Oftentimes, the actions that we take – especially those actions conducted in the heat of the moment – do not serve us well in the long-run. At some time following the taking of such an action, we begin to realize this, start to feel bad (remorse), possibly even guilt, sorrow or depression.

We find ourselves struggling with our decision to lash out, often in ways that are irreparable as the damage was done, ever so effectively. What felt like self-defense at the time often leads to self destruction.

Is there a better way?

Yes. Self preservation is important. It is likely that you are the only person who is going to truly protect you or seek to defend who you are or what you believe. When it comes down to it, you’re all you’ve got.

So for god’s sake don’t do more harm than good.

Wisdom based on history and viewed through the eyes of love would dictate that in most (if not all) cases war is not the best option. Seeking inoffensive ways to protect one’s self are far more prudent and effective over time.

It’s hard to find balance between revenge and tolerance when our feelings are hurt or our ego is running amok.

Nonetheless, it is in these moments that we must find ways to retreat, find a place of solace or sanctuary, allowing us the repose necessary to ask the questions, “Is this destruction necessary?” and “What are the far-reaching implications?”

From a peaceful perspective and/or contemplative state, you may be willing to consider other options as you ask, “Is this truly in my best interest?”

Will this action lead to regret or self-destruction, or am I achieving my highest and best?

Is this my highest and best?

This is the life-affirming bottom line. If you are on a path to achieve your highest and best, is the action you are about to take helping you to stay on the high road, or have you somehow become derailed and are headed down a path leading to self destruct?

If there is any way possible, take the time to pause, re-evaluate and get back on track before you say or do something that you can’t take back.

Betrayal Wounds and Scars

It is not uncommon for people to struggle with issues and the aftermath of betrayal. The emotional wounds from these breaches of trust can inflict sufferers in physiological ways. The emotional pain from betrayal can be as devastating as being stabbed in the back with a knife (thereby justifying the origin of the saying).

Betrayal leaves wounds and scars that made me stronger

Have you been emotionally, “stabbed in the back,” by someone whom you have trusted?

Betrayers come in a wide variety of flavors. Some can be relatives and/or loved ones, sometimes the most intimate love-relationship that one can have with another human being. You may experience betrayal by a friend, co-worker or mentor.

Because we all have different life experiences and personalities, we all respond to betrayal in different ways. A specific betrayal may be of little effect to one person, while another may suffer exponentially; this suffering can be primarily internal, or may express itself externally, or physiologically.

When betrayal has been recognized, the emotional open wound is fresh and the pain may be great. After a while, the pain fades and the emotional scar tissue begins to form. One’s mind begins to filter all information as being potentially harmful, and you may begin to take on the attitude that, “I’m not putting myself out there again,” in a fearful effort to isolate yourself from the possibility of experiencing a similar type of pain in the future.

It is one’s natural fight-or-flight response to protect one’s self from pain and it makes perfect sense… but the cost can be enormous.

The worst thing that can happen to someone suffering from betrayal of trust, is to run the self-preservation-routine resulting in embitterment and over-protecting one’s self in an attempt to prevent anyone from being able to hurt you in such a way again.

The problem with this is; you know, in your heart, that you have so much to give. The sensitive people have special gifts and abilities that help to make the world a better place; they increase the quality of life for others (some who may be extremely less fortunate). Building protective walls around you will also result in cutting off exposure to others who need your light and influence.

The bitterness and fading pain of betrayal breeds a more cynical outlook on life and also comes at a physiological price that may lead to autoimmune deficiencies, illness and a laundry list of diseases.

If left unhealed, little by little, the light of those who illuminate our local community begins to fade and as it fades dramatically, so does the overall general outlook for us (or the world) as a whole.

Since there is no law against betraying another person (although some laws may be broken in the process of the betrayal), those who are emotionally less-equipped to care about the feelings of others run rampant throughout our society victimizing the empathetic shining stars with little regard to the negative impact their actions might have.

I was betrayed and I was hurt Im better now stronger than ive ever beenIf you are suffering from betrayal, scheduling a one-on-one session with a counselor or coach can have an immediate calming effect on your peace of mind and quality of life.

You do not have to be a victim. Instead, you can learn from this event and turn it around. In fact you may find that this event can hurl you into an empowered and optimistic future that can change the future of others and the planet in such a way to bring clarity and focus to your life.

Utilizing specialized skills, a good coach or counselor can work with you hand-in-hand to put you back in control of your emotional wellbeing. You might be surprised to discover that this episode has prepared you as a mentor to help others struggling with similar circumstances.

You can do this; without giving up on being a blessing to others, and continue to achieve your highest and best.

You can find more ways to deal with betrayal in my book: Trust Betrayal.

 

Broken Heart

What can you do when someone breaks your heart?

broken heart when someone breaks your heart

When it comes down to it, you only have two choices: to try to salvage the relationship (or what’s left of it) or to walk away from it altogether.

The fact of the matter is that people in relationships do not always have the best integrity. They keep secrets, fail to disclose specific details about things – including their true feelings – and misrepresent their level of commitment and a host of other lies and deceit.

Two people, like that, are a perfect match for each other. The problems arise when you have one integrous person, and one who is not, in the same relationship. At some point the relationship will experience a great deal of conflict and some of the incongruency will be revealed, leaving the other feeling betrayed and suffering from a broken heart.

When it becomes apparent that you appear to be the victim of unrequited love, you find yourself looking at all the clues that you overlooked over the term of the relationship. Those little inconsistencies bear more and more weight in retrospect, and it’s easy to blame yourself, like, “Why didn’t I pay more attention to that when it happened?”

The reason is because you wanted to believe the love that you had for the other person was being returned in kind. You projected your love on the other person, when in reality he or she was unable to do so.

Why? Because of all the benefits that come from loving and being loved. We project our lovingness onto them because receiving (or believing that we are receiving) the love we are giving gives us the benefits of a feeling of belonging and being treasured which actually makes us healthier and happier enabling us to live longer, with higher quality of life.

Truth be told, most (if not all) participants in a romantic relationship (even the most integrous and loving ones) maintain some level of deceit. It’s as though there is a righteous kind of deceit that has no intended malice, but is an effort to honor the feelings of the other person. In fact, most successful relationships are comprised of a complicated blend of honor and well-intended deception.

In this respect, it’s easy to say, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Because even though you may have loved the other person with all your heart, chances are you, too, have not been completely honest and open. If you have… it is somewhat more tragic, nonetheless, you’re still at the same juncture.

If the other person has left, there is little you can do but to let them go.

There is a delicate thread that separates seeking reconciliation and obsessive stalking (which there are laws against that could carry legal ramifications including jail time).

If you are left alone, be mindful that true love is still seeking you (though you may not feel like it at the moment) and you will be rewarded for your diligence, if you become the love that you seek.

In the event the former lover returns in an attempt to re-establish their romantic relationship with you, proceed with caution.

Is it possible to establish trust again with someone who has betrayed you?

See: Second Chances