I have an online friend, an acquaintance really. This person confided something very serious to me. She or he recently suffered a terrible ordeal. A tragedy.
This person sometimes behaves like a jerk, and I think it may be related to this very recent trauma.
Do I tell other people the extenuating circumstances that may underlie the jerk-like behaviour? It would help people be more tolerant of him or her, reduce the potential for hurt feelings.
Or is keeping someone's confidence (as in "I am telling you this in confidence") more important?
My inclination is to be a mediator, to share the information. But is that the right thing to do?
* * * *
More information that might be relevant. All the people involved are online friends only. Some are better friends than others, but to my knowledge, no one knows this person in real life. She or he is just an online name to them. There's very little chance of real-life contact.