This article has loyalty and betrayal essay issues. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed.
Often betrayal is the act of supporting a rival group, or it is a complete break from previously decided upon or presumed norms by one party from the others. Betrayal is both a “people” problem and a philosopher’s problem. Philosophers should be able to clarify the concept of betrayal, compare and contrast it with other moral concepts, and critically assess betrayal situations. At the practical level people should be able to make honest sense of betrayal and also to temper its consequences: to handle it, not be assaulted by it. What we need is a conceptually clear account of betrayal that differentiates between genuine and merely perceived betrayal, and which also provides systematic guidance for the assessment of alleged betrayal in real life.
An act of betrayal creates a constellation of negative behaviours, thoughts, and feelings in both its victims and its perpetrators. If, after the perpetrator has exhibited remorse or apologized, the victim continues to express anger, this may in turn cause the perpetrator to become defensive, and angry in turn. When this trust is betrayed, at its worst, the individual can suffer psychological betrayal trauma. In practice, however, it is likely that most people with symptoms of psychological trauma have elements of both fear-based PTSD and anger-based betrayal trauma, not one or the other. Certainly, in the most serious cases of PTSD, there is an element of both.