• Keeping Friends

Should My Friend Who Gossips Tell Me What I Don’t Want To Hear?

Published: August 22, 2011 | Last Updated: September 4, 2021 By | 4 Replies Continue Reading
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Just because your friend who gossips heard something about you doesn’t necessarily she should pass it along to you.

QUESTION

Dear Dr. Levine,

I have a friend who gossips. She thinks she’s being a friend by telling me what other people say about me. I am not talking about compliments – I’m talking about rumors and gossip. I have told her that I don’t want to hear it and that it only hurts my feelings. Nonetheless, she insists and says that she’d want to know what people were saying about her. Am I being too sensitive?

Signed, Patty

ANSWER

Dear Patty,

You aren’t being too sensitive. Since you’ve told your friend that you don’t want to hear negative gossip about
yourself, it’s somewhat hostile for her to continue to pass on these negative comments. The fact that she would want to know has no bearing on what you want to know.

Another consideration: If she is conveying other people’s gossip to you, she may be gossiping to others about things you have said to her. On both accounts, I would be cautious about this friendship.

The only caveat might be if you think the type of information or rumors she is conveying to you could be helpful for
you to know because you could take some constructive action.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene


Posts on The Friendship Blog that touch upon the topic of gossip:

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Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If someone will gossip with you they will also gossip about you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t deal with “friends” who say mean stuff anymore, they are not real friends who engage in the behaviour.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I downgraded a friendship to acquaintance status, because this person kept telling me gossip I did not want to hear. She knew I did not want to hear it, but kept telling me stuff. It is hostility, more a frenemy, than a friend.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this info. It really helps a lot!

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