Auntie SparkNotes: My Friend Blabbed About My Crush... TO MY CRUSH
Dear Auntie SparkNotes,
I've been friends with a girl for 3 years—let's just call her Elliot. I had a huge crush on a guy—we'll call him Joe—and I felt like I had to confide in someone about it or I would explode, so I told Elliot. Little did I know that she also liked Joe. She decided to be a big jerk and tell Joe about my feelings for him–and not only that, but she also told our entire friend group. We eat lunch with these people and it's embarrassing to be around them now.
I'm stuck because I have three classes with Elliot and various classes with other people in that group of friends. It takes a long time for me to warm up to people in terms of trust, and I'm also a very sensitive person. I feel like Elliot has betrayed me, but when I confronted her about it, she acted like she had done nothing wrong. She doesn't seem to pick up on social cues in a sense that she tries to ask people out on dates repeatedly when they don't have feelings for her in return. She also tried to go to me for help even though she violated my trust. I said I was sorry that she had a lot going on her life, but to be honest, I still feel really hurt, embarrassed, and every other thing could be considered emotionally painful.
What should I do? Am I the one to be apologizing?
Apologizing? Heavens, no! On that front, at least, let us be clear: unless you're leaving out something essential about your role in this little drama—like, for instance, that when you confronted your friend, you did it by bursting out of her closet wearing a bear suit and holding a paintball gun—then you've got nothing to be sorry for.
Or at least, not the kind of sorry that warrants an apology. This is more like the kind of sorry that warrants a calming beverage, a rueful epiphany, and a private vow to be more careful with your confidences next time.
Because here's the thing, sweet pea: obviously, your friend's behavior was an enormous betrayal of trust, and the kind of thing most people know intuitively not to do. In fact, I would bet that just about any other friend you confided in would've understood, without being told, that you shouldn't blab about a friend's crush to her crush (and that most of those friends are now cringing in silent sympathy for you while being simultaneously glad it didn't happen to them.) But this friend, alas, is not most people. By your own description, she's embarrassingly oblivious to normal social boundaries when it comes to her own love life, let alone capable of being discreet about another person's. So even before it turned out that she liked the same guy as you did (and I'm still not entirely clear on where you got that idea or how it plays into what happened?), she probably wasn't the best person with whom to entrust the deep, dark, explosive secret that you'd hate for anyone else to find out.
Which I am telling you not to make you feel bad (lord knows you've been through enough!) but because it's the one useful nugget of information you can take away from this situation before you kick it down the memory hole and move on with your life. I don't know if your friend betrayed you maliciously—although it certainly doesn't sound like she thinks she did, for whatever that's worth—but she did give you some useful information about how much to trust her the next time you have a secret. (Pro tip: NOT AT ALL.)
So by all means, keep that in mind for future reference. But do let the rest of it go, okay? I know that it's not fun to have something you wanted kept private made public, but crushing on a friend is a normal, human thing to do (if Auntie's inbox is any indication, it's something you have in common with about 99.9% of the current teen population). And even if the guy in question doesn't return your feelings, I can virtually guarantee that nobody, including him, is judging you or thinks less of you for having them. It's not like you did something wrong.
In fact, the only person who has something to be embarrassed about, and who comes out of this looking like a jerk, is your friend—who outed herself as a tactless blabbermouth not just to you, but to your entire social circle. If anyone's reputation is going to suffer as a result of her indiscretion, it's hers. So keep that in mind, keep your chin up, and keep your secrets well away from her, and everything will be fine.
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