Last Spring, I found myself in a situation that pushed me to question myself. A close friend of mine came to me with a difficult family situation. I was happy that this friend felt comfortable confiding in me, but she was experiencing an intense, personal challenge and I was struggling to guide and comfort her. I was stumped, but I was determined to find the right advice to give my friend.
Coincidentally, another friend of mine was going through a similar challenge just months before this situation came up. I knew that I was supposed to keep this information to myself, but I pushed those thoughts aside and decided to reach out. I turned to this other friend, explained the issue, and asked if she could help me give some advice. This other friend was very accommodating, and after discussing the problem, I went back to my friend in an attempt to show support. I obtained a better understanding of the situation she was experiencing after speaking to someone else who has gone through a similar situation.
Although the advice did end up being very valuable to my good friend, she was very upset that I had discussed her confidential situation with another person. I explained that I acted this way out of love, but I understood why she was hurt. After much consideration and thought, I went back to my friend and apologized for my actions. I explained that, despite knowing the degree of the intensity of the situation, it had not dawned on me that my friend would be upset even though I had her best interest in mind. Ultimately, I had broken her trust in me.
Though I did not mean any harm, breaking this trust also made me think deeper about the kind of person I am and the relationships I hold. Strong trust is one of the key factors that build a strong relationship. If a relationship lacks trust, how can it be strong?
This thought-provoking phenomenon allowed me to reflect on my integrity. Integrity, which can be described as acting honestly no matter where you are or who is watching, has a much deeper meaning to me than simply betraying a friend, as I explained in this instance. Personally, integrity is what allows me to feel confident and valuable every day. In my daily life, I hold myself accountable to act with integrity, regardless of the situation.
About the Author:
Rebecca Shagrin is working towards a marketing degree at Daniels College of Business with a secondary focus in psychology. She is passionate about integrating her ethical beliefs in all of her relationships, which is necessary for creating meaningful connections.