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.

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.