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We Can Choose How We React to a Circumstance
Q: I can't believe it. The person I thought was my friend went and told other people a secret I told her about something that was happening in my life. I am so upset especially since she promised she would not tell anyone. What should I do?
A: I know that it is really upsetting when other people, especially the ones that we love and care about, do something that feels hurtful.
Let me share with you a time where I had a similar circumstance happen to me.
I was telling my friend something confidential and the next day she told other people what we were talking about. I felt very betrayed and angry.
I remember thinking how much I wished I had chosen not to share with my friend. I even wished I could have made my friend keep secrets and not gossip.
Even though I could not change the choice my friend made to tell other people about our conversation, I had CHOICES in how I reacted to this CIRCUMSTANCE.
Here are a few of the CHOICES that I found myself thinking about:
A) I could choose to talk to her about how I felt.
B) I could choose never to talk to her again.
C) I could choose to tell her only things that I didn't mind other people knowing.
In order to choose what would work best for me, I had to first decide what I wanted my END RESULT to be.
Having an END RESULT is so important because it's what guides the choice you will choose to make.
The END RESULT I wanted was to keep her as a friend because there were qualities about her that I appreciated.
For me, CHOICE C was the one that worked the best.
Not everyone will have all the qualities that we think they 'should' have, but that doesn't mean that we have to choose to write them off.
We can make a choice to Focus on the qualities that we like (ex: humour, kindness, generosity etc).
Find one quality and choose to Focus on that. In doing this, it will help you start to rebuild your relationship. Even if you choose to never tell your friend another secret, you can still create a relationship where you enjoy spending time together.
That being said, if your friend continues to treat you in a way that you feel is hurtful, then you have to make a choice whether this is a friendship that you want to continue having.
Until Next Time...
This has been 'my voice' but this is your life, this is 'your choice'
P.S. If you are faced with a circumstance where you need help, one of the best UPower choices you can make is to Reach Out to your parents/adults, teachers, principals, counsellors, friends or Kids Help Phone to get the support you deserve. Keep reaching out until someone listens.
This is Sara Westbrookâ€™s â€œMy Voice Your Choiceâ€ column - a Q&A for youth on life issues. Sara answers Q's from youth in a way that promotes life tools and that encourages you to make responsible choices, giving you the power to create an extraordinary life. Learn more about Sara on her website.
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