How to Deal With a Friend That Told a Secret

Your BFF can go from friend to foe if she shares your deepest secrets.
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When your BFF spills your secrets, deciding what to do may seem like a challenge. Instead of just writing her off, evaluate the situation and decide whether you can mend the relationship. Keep in mind that dealing with your friend and her gossiping ways takes maturity and a cool head.

1 Look Inward

Look deep inside and examine how you truly feel. Did his betrayal hurt or merely annoy you? Write down how the betrayal made you feel. Friendships should involve trust. Trusting a friend means that you don't have to worry about him sharing your secrets with classmates or other people. Your list of feelings may include items that relate to this. You may feel betrayed, angry or even worried that he'll spread more of your secrets.

2 Calm Confrontation

Although you may feel like screaming or yelling at your friend, getting aggressive won't solve the problem. Stay calm and approach your friend in a nonconfrontational way. Make sure that you have time set aside for the confrontation. Avoid pulling her aside between classes or on the way to your car. Prep yourself by rehearsing what you are going to say. Think about how you will feel during the confrontation. Doing this beforehand can help you stay calm during the confrontation, according to therapist Mark Tyrrell on the Uncommon Help website.

3 Facts Only

It’s easy to get caught up in gossip. Instead of accusing your friend of something that he didn’t do, get the facts straight. Although your friend is at fault for spilling your secret, find out what he really said. For example, your friend told another classmate that you don’t like him. The story was misinterpreted. The classmate now believes you want to fight after school – which you don’t. Make sure that you know exactly what your friend said before you point fingers.

4 Rebuilding Trust or Not

If your friend is truly sorry for telling your secret, you’ll get a sincere apology. After the apology, you may feel uneasy about sharing secrets again. Your friend must show she is trustworthy. While she might want you to trust her immediately, this is a process that takes time and patience. Even if you accept the apology, you don't have to stay friends, according to the article "Apologizing" on the TeensHealth website. If you don't feel that the apology was sincere, move on and find new friends.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.