Betrayal, Rejection, Revenge, and Forgiveness: An Interpersonal Script Approach

Introduction

Throughout recorded human history, treachery and betrayal have been considered amongst the very worst offences people could commit against their kith and kin. Dante, for example, relegated traitors to the lowest and coldest regions of Hell, to be forever frozen up to their necks in a lake of ice with blizzards storming all about them, as punishment for having acted so coldly toward others. Even today, the crime of treason merits the most severe penalties, including capital punishment. However, betrayals need not involve issues of national security to be regarded as serious. From sexual infidelity to disclosing a friend’s secrets, betraying another person or group of people implies unspeakable disloyalty, a breach of trust, and a violation of what is good and proper. Moreover, all of us will suffer both minor and major betrayals throughout our lives, and most of us will, if only unwittingly, betray others (Jones & Burdette,

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