After six weeks of testimony, Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial ended early last. Depp was awarded 15 million dollars, whereas Heard was awarded 2 million dollars for their separate defamation charges. Details of the marriage that are arguably private, embarrassing, and scandalous were televised across the globe. Now that it's finally over, it's time for them to pick up the pieces and move forward. How remains to be seen.
And this got us thinking about our own lives. Although our private lives may not be splashed across the world news like celebrities, most of our scandals are played out in the communities where we live and work. If you've been involved in a scandal, you might be wondering how to rebuild your life. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Accept what's happened, regardless of whether people believed you, and process the pain, anger, disappointment, humiliation, fear, and embarrassment. Recognize that the scandal doesn't have to define you. You will get to the other side of it. When you rebuild your life, you must be honest with yourself. If you did something wrong, then own it so you can learn from it. If you continue to deny any wrongdoing or lie to yourself about what you did, you can't live an honest life. Sometimes, you get caught in a scandal that isn't your fault or that you didn't do anything wrong, and some people might not believe you or continue to blame you. If you know that you're innocent, then you have to ignore the haters as hard as it might be. Remember that you only answer to yourself.
Some people might ask you questions about the scandal. Be careful who you share sensitive information with. You want to know that they're really in your corner before disclosing anything. Here are a few questions to consider before sharing information: Why do they want to know? What's their relationship with you? How will the info impact their lives? How will your relationship change if you share the information? If you choose to share, only share what you're comfortable sharing. Don't feel pressured to answer any questions you don't want to. If you don't want to tell them anything, you can say, "As you know, it was a difficult time, and I'm happy to be on the other side. Whenever I talk about the situation, it keeps me in the past. I want to focus on the present and future. Let's talk about …" Direct the conversation where you want it to go.
When you've been involved in a scandal, whether it was you're doing or not, it can be hard to figure out who to trust. There are different philosophies about trust. One perspective is to trust until you've given a reason not to. And another perspective is that trust is earned. If you believe that trust is earned, here are a few tips to help you determine if you should trust someone. Trust is more than someone keeping any information that you tell them privately. Trust is also about how they make you feel. There's emotional trust. Do you feel safe opening up to them without judging and criticizing what you say? Are they direct with you? Or do they leave bits of information out? Answers to these questions help you form a picture of their character and integrity.
Remember earlier when I talked about being honest about what happened and your role in the scandal? Part of that process is learning from past mistakes and making a plan. Although someone might be waiting for you to mess up, remember that you only answer to yourself. Once you've decided on how you want to live your life moving forward, you stay on that path regardless of what any doubters say or try to do to make you fall off your path. You should cut out anyone from your life who doesn't genuinely care about you and want what's best for you.
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