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How To Deal With Frenemies Who Gossip About You

Why do people gossip about me?
How can I control this?

In my previous article ‘Why Do People Gossip?’ I explained that people who gossip behind your back often have:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Are jealous of you
  • Carry resentment towards you.

This combination results in them lacking the courage to express these feelings with you face to face. As a result, they resort to spreading gossip, in particular negative gossip. They aim to increase their status by bringing you down.

For example, if I say that Derek is stupid …what I am really saying is that I am more intelligent then he is. This gossip serves the double purpose of knocking Derek down …while elevating myself over him.

Dealing With A Frenemy Who Gossips About You

So, how do you deal with a frenemy who is using you as the source of their gossip?

It is natural to feel hurt and angry when you discover that a frenemy is gossiping about you. However it is important not to hastily confront them and expose how hurt you are. This will only reveal your own weakness and fragility …when the goal should be to appear stronger and more resilient.

So here’s what you first need to do...

Take some time.

Calm down and assess what the real effects of this gossip are and whether or not there is a serious threat to your reputation. If this is just a once off thing or not of any real significance to your reputation or character in front of the rest of your friends, it might not be necessary to make a bigger deal of it than you should do.

However, if you are genuinely worried about what this person is doing, then one of my favorite ways to handle it is …to EXPOSE the person!

Expose Your Frenemy

It should be obvious now that people who can’t resist gossiping are actually suffering from emotional issues.  At its core, the explanation for their gossiping stems from personal weaknesses and shortcomings in their character.

Now, let me tell you a little secret…

Your frenemy doesn’t want you to know that these shortcomings are behind their gossip. So if you can find a way to expose or threathen to expose the reasons why they are gossiping about you …you will hit at the core reason why they are doing it in the first place.

Here are some options:

  1. Casually Mention The REAL Reasons Why People Gossip: The next time you are in the same group of friends as your frenemy, bring up in conversation with them the contents of this article. Talk about how people who like to gossip (especially negative gossip) are actually suffering from weaknesses in their character and are jealous. This will likely result in making your frenemy more self conscience about gossiping you in future ...especially because you were the one to bring this up in the first place.

  2. Anonymously Send Your Frenemy My Previous Article: In my previous article (Why do people gossip?) I explored the root causes of gossip and exposed them as weaknesses that reflect poorly on those who gossip. Sending a gossip this kind of article is a simple way to tell them, ‘You have a problem.’. It will make them more self conscious the next time they are in their circle of friends as they will be feeling their gossip is not welcome.

  3. Directly Confront Them: If you feel that the gossip is truly damaging your reputation and is going to continue then you need to deal directly with the situation. Confront your frenemy (calmly!) and tell them that you are aware of what they have been saying. Explain that if this is how they feel then they should have the courage to express it directly. Confronted like this most people will apologize and remember your confrontation the next time they feel tempted to gossip. Tell them that the only reason they are gossiping about you is because of the reasons covered in this article. When they realize someone is able to read their mind like this and see their own weaknesses they had been trying to cover over …they are less likely to mess with you again.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

On a certain level everybody is aware of how bad it feels to be the subject of gossip. Knowing this, it is in everybody’s best interest to avoid stirring the pot and spreading gossip.

Aim to be a positive influence in group conversations. Instead of gossiping negatively about people – give positive gossip. Compliment someone behind their back for the great job they landed or the nice personality they have.

What goes around comes around. When you become known as someone who looks for the positive in people, people are more likely to want to be on your good side because they know you are someone who are likely to build them up behind their back …instead of knocking them down. 


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