Coping with Betrayal #AtoZChallenge

Dear Son

After yesterday’s letter on anger, today I wish to broach the topic of betrayal. You might wonder why I am writing to you about negative emotions and situations. Well, the fact of the matter is that one needs to be cautious only in situations that bring out negative consequences. Positive emotions like happiness do not need to be managed and are much welcome in any situation.

Betrayal sounds like a heavy word that can destroy lives but there are tiny day-to-day instances wherein we are exposed to betrayal, not as offensive, but nevertheless it leaves us feeling cheated. For example, the day you score lower marks in a certain test than one of your class friends and you notice the joy on their face when they get to know that you scored lesser than them, it leaves you feeling betrayed. Just the very thought that your friend is happier about the fact that you scored lower than them as opposed to them doing well in the test is a big let down.

Life throws at us grave forms of betrayal at times. It could be a friend who has stolen your brilliant idea that you had decided on for your final thesis, a cheating girlfriend/spouse, a colleague who had been back-biting about you to your bosses, or a friend who had borrowed money from you failing to return it, so on and so forth. Now, these are unfortunate events and no matter how cautious we are, sometimes it is purely our bad luck. However, it helps in today’s world to be a little guarded. Remember, betrayal often follows trust. The person who betrays you tries to win over your trust first and then plays his cards. No matter how much faith you have in someone or how close the person is to you, it helps if you do not trust people blindly. This does not indicate that you need to be paranoid. You need not suspect or scrutinise every action and intent of a person in detail. But it also doesn’t mean that you become a soft target for people to get away with cheating you. All I ask you is not to let emotions guide you in matters of heart, career and money. Be practical and rational. Listen to your instincts if you sense something amiss. It will go a long way in avoiding unpleasant situations. I know, this is easier said than done but I have learnt some of my tough lessons after seeing many forms of betrayal. Now I know better than to not tread safe.

However, in spite of taking all these precautions if you still stumble upon a situation wherein you find yourself betrayed, it is natural to experience an outburst of uncontrollable emotions like shock, anger, disgust, disappointment and frustration. You might ask yourself, ‘Why me?’ But in such situations it is recommended that you take stock of your emotions, push them aside to be dealt with later, and focus on what you can do to avoid further damage, if at all that is possible.

One of my team members from an organisation I had worked with in the past, once lost her ATM card. Soon she started receiving texts on her phone to alert her on money being withdrawn from her card. She panicked initially but soon regained her composure to figure a way out. She did not remember leaving her ATM card unattended except for the time when she was in her office, where she would keep it inside her handbag. The only person around was her colleague who also was her closest friend at that point. She was puzzled about how someone could have chanced upon her ATM pin. Out of sheer presence of mind she went ahead and made a police complaint. The police probes led them to investigate the ATM booth’s recorded videos that the surveillance camera normally captures of people who enter the booth. When she was called to identify the culprit seen in the video, she was shocked to discover that it was her most trusted and close friend from work who had done the deed! Turns out that her friend had noticed her punching in the pin on various occasions and had memorised it. That had helped her in withdrawing the cash from her account using her card that she had flicked from her bag on the sly. The culprit lost her job, faced public humiliation and was also made to pay the stolen amount back to her. Not in the wildest dreams would my colleague have ever imagined that her dear friend whom she had trusted so blindly would have done this with her. However, her timely presence of mind saved her day and she could recover her losses in time.

After all that I have written here, let me also tell you that in a world that has a large share of selfish opportunists, you’ll also come across a fair number of kind souls. People who go out of their way to help people in a selfless manner. Strive to become one of those and the good that you do for others will come back to you multiplied. Give your mum the back rub she so deserves without her asking for it on some days and who knows you could get rewarded with your favourite pizza for dinner! 😉 Be kind and forgiving. Having said that I repeat, forgive but do not forget. Use the lessons that life teaches you to avoid repeating the same mistakes again. On that note, keep your eyes, ears and mind open. Stay safe and be good.


My theme for this year’s ‘Blogging from A-Z Challenge,’ is a set of 26 open ‘Letters to my Son’ from me that I will be writing throughout April. Read more about my theme here.