Hi! *waves back excitedly*
This is an unfortunately depressing topic, but I’ll try to keep it as upbeat as I can.
There are a lot of things that you can see in fiction and real life that lead to someone not trusting other people again.
I made a really good friend in 6th grade, and we bonded over our mutual nerdiness. As we got older, I gradually became too uncool for her. We had been through a lot together. But (in order not to make it too obvious who I’m talking about) one day, she screwed me over for a competition that we were supposed to do together. I was able to get out pretty early on in the practice phase, but we never spoke again.
A good way to betray school-age people is to massively get someone in trouble. Maybe they plant a bomb threat or a gun in her locker. Maybe they crush up Smarties and say it’s her cocaine (I knew a guy in middle school who did this and ended up getting suspended for 3 days). The key is to put her in a compromising situation that no adult would believe her denial of.
If you can keep adults from trusting your character because of her friends’ behavior, then she will feel increasingly alone. If even authorities treat her like crap and don’t believe her, then why wouldn’t her peers do the same?
A smaller-scale betrayal could be setting her up in an embarrassing situation in front of all of her friends. Like… tricking her into doing a strip tease for a guy she likes while everyone else watches and laughs. Or making her look like a liar or an idiot some other way.
They could take her out into the woods and leave her while she sleeps. They could trick her into doing pot or something when an authority figure would walk in on her doing it. They could even put her into a position where she would say something mean about a person that they have hiding around the corner to hear it.
It depends a lot on your character’s insecurities as well. If she’s afraid of being seen as stupid, go for that weakness. Make her look stupid in front of a bunch of people. She hates dogs? Trap her in a room with vicious dogs in it.
The thing about having friends is that they know you well. So they would know her weaknesses and fears. If her friends betray her by using those things against her, I can’t imagine she’d trust them again any time soon–if ever.
Best of luck, and here’s hoping your real friends don’t betray you!
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