Recently I found out that a very close family member had spread some awful lies about me to our mutual friends. I have no idea why this person has done this. My reputation is ruined. I feel very angry and upset that somebody I loved has brought me so much pain.
I also feel infuriated that so many people I counted as friends have believed the lies and have since proceeded to judge me harshly. I have had people that I have trusted for years calling me up and shouting at me for things that I simply have not done and would never even dream of doing. I feel lost. I find that I am struggling to sleep.
What can I do to redeem the situation?
Thank you, Anabel
It is a sad fact that in today’s society, more attention and energy is paid to negative, rather than positive information. When people attempt to discredit you or tarnish your name, be it professionally or personally, it can feel incredibly debilitating. It can also incite some powerful emotions, such as rage or resentment. It is important to note that at the heart of all of your anger and frustration is often a case of overwhelming sadness, due to the realisation that somebody you loved dearly has gone to great efforts to tear you down. Remember that this is a reflection of them and not you and that this is their undoing and not yours. More often than not, those spreading the rumours are people who are prone to bouts of jealousy or envy and are entirely dissatisfied with their own current life situation. In other words Anabel, all of this hate and bitterness that you are subjected to, is actually a reflection of how the person at the helm of these lies in fact feels within themselves.
There is always a lesson to be learned when faced with toxic people and stressful situations such as this. Do not allow the toxicity or the slanderous misjudgement of others to bring you down, for you will continue to suffer if you have an emotional response to the negative actions of others. Ultimately, the people in your life should be a source of reducing stress, not causing more of it therefore it is vital that you attempt to expand your perspective beyond the people who have betrayed you. Focus instead on the bigger picture of your life and the good people that reside within it.
Remember to breathe during the difficult moments ahead and maintain an attitude that is cool and calm. Moving forwards, make a pact with yourself that your own personal power will no longer be shaken by the words and actions of others. Rather than dwelling on the deceit and betrayal, take this time to refocus on the people in your life who have stood by you and who have supported you throughout this ordeal. Count this situation as a blessing, for it has illuminated to you who you can trust and who you cannot. Those that have wrongfully judged you may come to see the error of their ways in time, but until then, let them go. Their misguided opinions are frankly irrelevant and simply do not matter. As long as you know the truth, that is all you need. Muster any positivity that remains within you and channel it, build upon it and persevere with what is going right in your life.
I am so very sorry to hear of your distress and pain. It is of no surprise that you are struggling to maintain a healthy sleep routine. If you find that your sleep continues to be impacted and that you are not able to cope properly on your own, do not hesitate to seek some therapeutic support. Counselling sessions will allow you the opportunity to explore your pain within a safe and supportive environment, free from judgement. The therapy process will also assist you in exploring the damaging issues that have likely been raised for you by this experience, such as anger, an inability to trust others and an impacted self-worth.
Remain strong Anabel and hold your head high, maintaining pride in the decent person that you are. If you continue to believe in yourself and in the goodness of your character, you can and will overcome this.
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