feel a sense of betrayal

cool-jupiter

Senior Member
Japanese
Hello, forum veterans. Let me ask you a question. While working on a workbook, I came across the following sentence.

I felt a sense of betrayal when my friends refused to support me.

At first, I thought the meaning was that I felt betrayed because my friends, who I thought would give me a helping hand, refused to do so. But after a little while, I began to wonder if this sentence could mean the other way round.
  1. betraying or being betrayed:At that point we feared betrayal more than anything else.
  2. an act of betraying or being betrayed:When he failed to support her, she took it as a betrayal.
The WR dictionary defines the word betrayal like the above. Which led me to think: the sentence I felt a sense of betrayal when I refused to support my friends. could mean I felt like I was betraying my friends when they asked me for help. A sense of betrayal could have two meanings depending on the context it is used in. Do I have this right?
 
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    I don't believe that a sense of betrayal is ever used to refer to what the betrayer feels. I don't know that I would concede that such is really practicable: Perhaps I'm suffering from a deficit of imagination.
     
    Last edited:

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I don't believe that a sense of betrayal is ever used to refer to what the betrayer feels. I don't that I would concede that such is really practicable: Perhaps I'm suffering from a deficit of imagination.
    No deficit. The feeling is "remorse" or "guilt".

    The colloquial version works however.

    I felt they had stabbed me in the back.

    I felt I had stabbed him in the back.
     

    cool-jupiter

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    bibliolept - Thank you for your quick response. I think you are right. I might have been looking so much into the original sentence that I saw some weird meaning in it.

    Packard - Thank you for providing two examples that are easier to understand. Stabbing somebody in the back is more figurative yet more understandable for sure.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    bibliolept - Thank you for your quick response. I think you are right. I might have been looking so much into the original sentence that I saw some weird meaning in it.

    Packard - Thank you for providing two examples that are easier to understand. Stabbing somebody in the back is more figurative yet more understandable for sure.
    Note: This phrase was not invented by me; it is a standard way to phrase this concept.

    backstabber - Wiktionary

    backstabber (plural backstabbers)

    1. A traitor or hypocrite, such as a co-worker or friend assumed trustworthy but who figuratively attacks when one's back is turned.

    The British have a slightly different take on this: backstabber Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary

    someone who says harmful things about you when you are not there to defend yourself
     

    cool-jupiter

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Packard - Not to worry, I'm familiar with that expression because I took ancient Latin in college where I read a lot about Caesar and Brutus and got straight A's.:)
     
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