Why Betrayal Happens and How to Help Someone Heal

Dr. Debi Silber
4 min readMar 15

Betrayal is a complex and devastating experience that leaves a lasting impact on anyone it touches. It can be defined as a breach of trust, where someone violates the confidence and expectations of another person. Betrayal can occur in many different forms, including lying, cheating, breaking promises, and disclosing confidential information. Despite the wide range of situations in which betrayal can occur, it’s a universal experience that has affected people throughout history. Here are common reasons why betrayal happens. Then, if you’re the betrayer, we’ll explore what to do to help the ones you hurt. None of these reasons excuse the behavior, but awareness always helps us understand. For the betrayed it’s important to see at the very least…that it had nothing to do with you.

First, a few common reasons why people betray another person:

  1. Selfish motives: One of the most common reasons for betrayal is self-interest. People may betray others to gain power, money, or attention. They may also betray others to avoid consequences or protect themselves from harm. In these cases, the betrayer places their own needs above the well-being of others.
  2. Lack of empathy: People who are unable to understand or care about the feelings of others may be more likely to betray others. They may be indifferent to the consequences of their actions, or they may believe that their actions are justified.
  3. Insecurity and low self-esteem: Some people may betray others as a result of their own feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem. They may feel the need to control or manipulate others in order to feel better about themselves. This type of behavior is often driven by a fear of rejection or a need for validation.
  4. Power dynamics: Betrayal can also occur as a result of power dynamics in relationships. In some cases, one person may betray another as a way to assert their power or control. This type of betrayal can occur in both personal and professional relationships, and can have serious consequences.
  5. Miscommunication: Betrayal can also occur as a result of misunderstandings or miscommunications. When expectations are not clearly communicated, it can be easy for individuals to betray one another. For example, one person may believe that they have a different understanding of a situation than another person, leading to a breach of trust.
  6. Lack of integrity: When people lack integrity…
Dr. Debi Silber

Dr. Debi Silber, founder of The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute https://pbtinstitute.com helps people heal from the trauma of betrayal.