I’ve been writing about my experience with a trusted friend, whom I felt had betrayed my trust. Read the first post, “The Kindred Spirit Friend,” and the second, “The Trust Factor: Broken”
Please forgive me if this posts starts like one of those personality quizzes in Seventeen Magazine!
So here’s the scenario:
- Your very close friend shares something that she’s been feeling. She admits it is not necessarily right-thinking, but it spills out of her heart in a low moment.
- She really needs to talk directly to another party about this issue, and she admits as much, but either doesn’t have the courage yet, or is confused in some way.
- You feel conflicted, because you really believe the right thing would be for your friend to converse with the parties involved.
What are your options?
- Keep it to yourself completely, ignoring your strong feelings about what your friend should do. Just pray for her, and all parties.
- Go tell the person yourself. After all, it’s clear your friend doesn’t have the guts yet.
- Tell your friend how you feel, and that if she doesn’t communicate with the right people, you will be compelled to do it.
Which one would you choose? Which one have you chosen?
I believe the appropriate response would be number 3. I just feel that someone’s trust is such an intimate and delicate thing, you have to do everything to protect it. People are sometimes wrong. Sometimes people will vent to you and share something they shouldn’t. Have you ever done it? If you’re a woman, chances are you have!
This type of thing happens with my children, as well. I want them to trust me explicitly, but I let them know that I do not keep secrets from their daddy. Last week, Princess came home with a behavior issue, and she whispered it in my ear. She said she didn’t want daddy to know. I gently told her that I would not keep her secret, but that I would stand with her as she told her daddy. That meant so much more to her than if I’d have walked away and told him behind her back.
There is a time to listen, support, and pray. There is a time to talk to your friend about hard truths, even when she’s wrong. But in my opinion, there is never a time to go behind her back when there is an expectation of privacy.
What do you think?