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Gossip Trap


My friend gossips about my friends behind their backs and has very low self-esteem. She doesn't listen to me when I tell her to stop and if I don't talk to her she thinks I hate her. She pulls me away from my friends and tries to get me to hate them.

When she's around my friends she acts very nice to them, and she invites them over all the time. She also tries to get me to speak for her. I don't like the situation and I need help. What should I do?


Hey Love,

You are right about one thing, girls with low self esteem tend to gossip and put down others. By minimizing your friends’ accomplishment and finding fault in their actions, your friend is trying to boost her own self-perception, which is unfortunate. It’s great that you are noting this behavior and doing your best to NOT get involved, but I do understand how difficult it is to keep from falling into the gossip trap. I wish I could tell you that it gets better as you get older, but I am 22 and I still find myself in catty moments. If I were you, I would confront your friend about her gossiping. Tell her that while you appreciate her as a friend and you value her, at the same time, you do not want to be involved in friend-bashing of any kind. She will probably get upset, but just reaffirm your desire to be friends with her.

I would also point out to her that, while you are not at all accusing her of anything, the fact that she so easily talks about your other friends makes you question your own friendship with her. How do you know that she isn’t gossiping about you when you’re not around? If she continues her behavior after you have brought it up, I would continue your friendship with her, but every time she starts talking about someone, I would tell her to stop. Gossiping works because other people participate, if you do not encourage her by participating in what she’s talking about, she will lose an audience and start to feel like she should stop. Good luck!


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POSTED ON 6/3/2009 7:00:00 AM


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