Journey into Happiness: Dealing with Disloyalty

Let’s talk about disloyalty. Is there someone around you that has been “shady,” lied to you, or maybe a person that was what they call “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” (hiding something from you, while masquerading as a loyal person)? This is the individual I want to talk about today.

Loyalty is a quality I hold highly. To me, this one quality can make or break a relationship or friendship. And it is hard for me to understand how someone couldn’t be loyal to their friends and loved ones – those that cheat on their significant others, break up marriages, or just lie to each other. It seems like some people manipulate others to get an outcome they want, even if it hurts the other person significantly.

A recent situation, dealing with these very things, has had me perplexed. How does this tie into happiness? How do I realize these people are around me without it affecting my joy? I turned to the words of the Dalai Lama for some help.

When it comes to shady, disloyal people, here are some things the Dalai Lama touches on…

Consider multiple perspectives. What can you gain from the bad thing this person has done to you or others? Maybe you received clarity about a toxic relationship. Maybe it made you value your loyal friends more. A good lesson is coming from this situation, you just have to see it.

No one is 100% bad. Remembering some of the positive aspects of a person could help lessen your anger. (Anger hurts you more than anyone else. It steals your joy. So this technique is for your benefit, not theirs.)

Wishing bad things on others (even those that have betrayed your trust) harms you. It’s hard to imagine wishing good things on those that have hurt you, but it’s important to think about what wishing ill-will on them does to you. Seeing someone else in pain that YOU caused does not make you happy (it does quite the opposite), so stop wasting your precious time dwelling on revenge. This sort of thinking delays your happiness by placing a burden of guilt and hostility on you. Don’t do that to yourself.

Learning to have compassion for your enemies allows compassion to flow through all areas of your life. If we can overcome the challenge of having patience for those that try to hurt us, patience and tolerance will become easier to apply every day. As I’ve mentioned before, compassion is the key to happiness. So really, our enemies can help to prepare us for a better life if we allow ourselves to grow from it positively.

Remember to have gratitude. Those that hurt us make us stronger. Those that betray our trust allow us to see them for who they are, so we can remove them from our lives and improve our environment. Without our enemies, it’s harder to appreciate those on our side. Be thankful that you were given the opportunity to be a better version of yourself because of their actions.

When all else fails, at least you are not them. A person that is willing to betray your trust for their own benefit is a miserable person. He/she will never find happiness this way. They will continue to get caught in a vicious cycle of disloyalty – a sad place to be in. Have pity on them and hope that they find integrity and joy in their lives one day.

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