One way friendships help us is by allowing a safe place for us to share the concerns and worries of our life. When you feel comfortable with a friend and share a confidence, you hope that your friend will treat this information with a caring attitude. But what happens when they betray your trust?
Does Your Friend Know How Serious This Lapse in Judgment Was?
Perhaps your friend is clueless as to how sensitive the information you shared was. Maybe they freely share details of their own life and as a result they didn't think what they were doing was a big deal. Before getting upset with your friend, give them the benefit of the doubt but talk to them first.
Another possible cause is that maybe your friend is just a talker, and they let things slip sometimes. Telling them how important this situation is to you will help them respect your privacy going forward.
Determine If Your Friend Meant Any Harm
Your friend might not have meant a thing by letting your secret slip or they may have meant to hurt you. Find out which by getting some distance if necessary. Don't just react, but think it through. Then, talk with your friend. Find out what's on their mind and what their intentions were.
Walk Away If Your Friend Meant to Hurt You
If the reason for your friend letting your secret slip is because they wanted to hurt or embarrass you, then it's time to re-evaluate the friendship. Perhaps you and your friend have had a rough time of late, and this is why they've decided to talk about you to others. Or maybe they've been struggling with some things of their own, and wanted to hurt your feelings in order to make themselves feel better.
These aren't good excuses for keeping a friendship going, but they will help you get into your friend's mindset a bit. However, even if a friend was irritated with you or feeling low, it doesn't mean it's okay that they betrayed your confidence. You need to have a serious heart-to-heart if you'd like to stay friends with them.
More often than not, you'll want to move on from a friend that betrays you in this manner. If you decide to do this, don't feel guilty about ending the friendship. This was a friendship that had run its course, and you learned things from it and will be a better friend going forward because of this friendship.
Take Responsibility for Talking About Your Secrets
Even though your friend is the one that blabbed about things, you were the one that shared the secret to begin with. You have to take responsibility for this. There is always a danger in being so open with your life that someone (even a friend) can take it the wrong way or share it with someone else.
Be cautious going forward but not so guarded that you're afraid to be real with people. There is a balance. Some friends are worth your trust and some aren't. Spend time with people so you know them well enough to decide if you can trust them with your deepest feelings.