I’m pretty sure I am right in saying that I am not the only one that has been burnt by people who have abused my trust in them. People like me like to see the good in others and want to believe that everyone they befriend has good intentions just as they do. Unfortunately that is not completely true.
What happened to me?
Well during one of my darkest moments in time, when my mental health declined rapidly, I was reaching out to anyone and everyone for help. It is a normal thing I guess; a desperate move for someone who had nothing else to lose. So I opened up to those people who showed me kindness. One of which was a work colleague.
At the time I had thought that we were friends and we did spend a lot of time together sharing as two people do. Little did I know that she had other plans in mind.
At work we were going through a reshaping of staff order. Jobs were set to be lost and we were all fighting to stay in place. This woman, we will call her L, decided that she was fed up with the company and was going to leave as a result.
During this time I was on a lot of different forms of medication, in counselling and really just not with it. I told L pretty much everything. That was my mistake. I told her about my health, how I was feeling vulnerable and that I wasn’t really sure what was going on.
When it came for L to leave she told management in her exist interview that I had convinced her that she wasn’t going to be kept on anyway and that because of my health issues they couldn’t sack me.
In other words I was keeping my job over her.
Where she got that idea from I don’t know.
With the backing of her friends L made the next few months for me even more difficult. Being signed off work I was fighting my issues as well as having to deal with this added pressure. In the end I decided to come back to work just to end the whole ordeal.
Long story short, the company tried to sack me as they took L’s word for it but I fought back and won. I later quit not wanting to work for a company so insensitive and with people who thought so little of me.
I was foolish to be so trusting to someone I barely knew. But I am not going to be hard on myself. It was a lesson I have learnt from.
Beware of people who talk to you, wanting to know all about you and at the same time share sensitive information with you about your other friends. People like this tend not to be the best confidants and are likely to share your thoughts with others as well.
It is really hard to pick them out of the crowd because they make all the right noises, say all the right things and are usually really good to talk to. What to watch out for are the signs that they are not loyal to their other friends. Disloyal to one, disloyal to all.
These people thrive off the attention they get from sharing interesting stories of other people. Don’t fall for it.
It’s not all bad news
There are people out there that you can talk to. Genuine people, who will love to talk to you about their life, share their hopes and dreams with you and at the same time listen to you. These people are wonderful gems that come around rarely but when they do they mean more than anything else.
Build up a relationship with someone first before you reveal to them everything. The friends that are with you for the long run are the ones worth keeping.
I am blessed to have met some wonderful souls that I can truly open up to without the fear of ever being hurt by them. Those are the people I value most in my life and I will never loose. Distance, time they mean nothing to us.
My advice to you
Be careful. Build relationships slowly and judge each situation as it comes. Trust your instincts or gut feelings. They are a great source of guidance. If it doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t.
Look after yourself and keep safe.