Everyone has had the bitter experience of being betrayed, when someone we trusted violated that trust. After being betrayed, most of us want two things, usually at the same time. We want to get even with the person who hurt us or we want to rise above the situation and offer that person forgiveness. But neither of these impulses usually helps. Getting even with someone usually boomerangs and makes you feel as bad as the person you wanted to hurt. Forgiveness, especially if half-hearted, tends to come off as condescension.
What is really needed is emotional intelligence, which works in two ways. First, you realize the probable outcome of what won’t work—as we just saw, the impulse to get even or to forgive predictably won’t work. It’s good to know this in advance, but emotional intelligence also has to tell you what will work, and why. That’s the second step if you want to recover emotionally after being betrayed.