I believe this scene resonates because we all know how it feels when you work hard for something, just to find out that the person or people who were supposed to be helping you were actually sabatoging you. It's an ugly thing. I know that for me, it brought to mind something that happened nearly 18 years ago when I was applying for a job, and all of my references turned on me because somebody else went around behind me and sweet talked them into why they needed it more - and they fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. Of course, that's not the only time it happened. I have a lovely knife collection that I've obtained from pulling them out of my back over the years - as do we all, I suppose, and time and experience teaches us that there are three important things you MUST do when you face betrayal:
1. Act, don't react. Yea, you have a right to be angry. No matter who says "you have to understand ..." you absolutely don't. However, the most vital thing you can do in these situations is maintain your class and dignity. When people betray you, they may have won a battle, but the truth is that they are now at a disadvantage because you no longer trust them, and that makes you a "wild card." You're a resource they can't use anymore, and the moment they stuck the knife in your back is the moment they lost control of you. I once read that it takes four times longer to rebuild broken trust than it takes to build initial trust - that means that if it took them a year to gain your trust, it's going to take them 4 years to regain it! Use that to your advantage. As tempting as it is to lash out, strike back, or tell the world what horrible human beings they are, stop. You're at a critical juncture where things can start to turn for you or further against you. Take that upper hand of no longer being predictable and reign in your anger long enough to make sure you have a true and accurate view of the "real" situation before you take any action. And because you are angry and this can be difficult, then my next suggestion is:
2. Withdraw from the people and situation as much as possible. I had been volunteering at the agency where I was betrayed on that job opportunity. When I learned of the betrayal, I immediately quit and accepted another job offer. It wasn't perfect - it was a part time/temporary position, but I took it because it was an offer on the table that would afford me the chance to get away from a poisionous situation and to build up new skills and contacts while I figured out what to do next. I was honest when I left the volunteer position and told them that my reason for leaving was less about a paying job and more about the fact that I didn't trust them anymore, and I didn't feel it was a good or healthy situation for me to remain in, especially when a stranger had greater faith in my abilities than people who had known me for months. They didn't like that, but they had no choice but to accept it as the consequence of their betrayal. They lost a free employee. And in the end, I gained a career.
Sometimes, it isn't possible to walk away. This is especially true if you have a job, and you need to keep it. Being passed over for a promotion, undercut in your position, or taken advantage of is hard to get over when you have to keep living with the people day after day. Still, you don't have to stay fully immersed. Sometimes, the best punishment is to let them have what they want, because they don't realize the full responsibility they're assuming by taking it from you. There have been many times when I had to pull the knife out of my back and say "fine, it's yours. Do what you wish and good luck, because I won't offer support or advice anymore." What's in my brain can only come out if I allow it to come out, and nobody can force themselves in there to take my knowledge or skills, nor can they do things the way I do them because they don't see the world the way I see it. The same is true for you. If you can't physically seperate, then mentally seperate. They aren't privy to what's going on in your head and frankly, they don't deserve to know.
Whether the sepreation is physical or mental, the point is to give yourself some time and space to heal from your hurt, manage your emotions, and take stock of what you do have to work with. Yes, they will try to tell you that you're being immature, but don't fall for it. They struck the first blow, and that was immature. Taking a time out is actually the better part of wisdom - and they don't like it because when people play games, wisdom always works against them in the end.
3. Take advantage of opportunity, no matter how small. Despite how things look, there's always something that can be salvaged from these situations, even if it's knowing who you can and can't trust. You have to start somewhere, so start there, pick up the pieces, and rebuild the best that you can. That part time/temporary job was definitely now what I had in mind 18 years ago, but you can probably imagine what happened: I learned a lot about the workforce, got to know people, and when a permanant job came open a year later, I got it with the new skills I had developed, my knowledge of the workplace, and the new contacts I made while I was learning. In fact, it's the job that I still have today. And guess what else happened? Right before I began this job, the "perfect person" they hired for the job I wanted before quit, and they begged me to apply again. Imagine their surprise when I told them no, that I had just accepted another position that paid better, and thanked them for their betrayal because it opened a door to me that I would have never known otherwise.
As a sidenote, I would also caution you on accepting offers from the people that betrayed you. Sometimes they will offer you "something different" in the way of making amends, but what they really want is to put you in a place that serves their advantage, and where they can keep you under their control. Anybody that's watched Game of Thrones or House of Cards knows how people in power can play this role - it is, in fact, often how they stay in control. Do yourself a favor and cut the string sooner rather than later. If they betrayed you once, they'll betray you again, and this "peace offering" is very likely just a way to keep you around as a scapegoat.
Yes, betrayal hurts, but do you really want to bind yourself to untrustworthy people? Be glad you found them out before you were really invested and they put you in a more compromising situation that could destroy a lot more of your life.
4. Be patient. This is the hardest, and yet the most essential, because we want them to see consequences right now. Trust me, any revenge from you will mean nothing. In fact, they expect it and have probably spent a great deal of time and energy figuring out how you're likely to react and how they'll neutralize you. Don't waste your time. In fact, making them squirm while they wonder when that shoe will drop is probably the best payback you can give them. Here's why:
Things have a funny way of working out. I'm not trying to offer up a pat platitude that "it's always darkest before the dawn," I'm simply stating a fact. What goes around, comes around. Betrayal puts a massive amount of ugly, bad energy out there, and it's circling around for them. The consequences that the world brings them for their dishonesty, schemeing, and breech of loyalty will speak to them a lot more than anything you can do, because they won't expect it or see it coming. I'm surprised at how few people understand this, but trust me: by getting and believing this simple point that your reap what you sow puts you at a tremendous advantage over most people. Be glad you won't be there when that ugly hits them in the face because it will, and it often comes back much worse than it went out. And, if you do what's right, then the good will come back to you.
Yes, betrayel hurts. I know many times over, and I know you do too because that's why you're reading this entry. The good news, though, is that people always behave in patterns, and once you know and recognize these patterns, you can deal with things much better.
That's all today. Take care, and have a great week.