HOW DO I HANDLE A FRIEND WHO ALWAYS GOSSIPS?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

One of my friends I’ve known for years is always gossiping about other people to me, including our mutual friends. I can’t stand it. At this point, I don’t think I even want to continue being friends. Your advice?

–Fed up (United States)

DEAR FED UP:

Congratulations on not engaging in the gossip mill. It’s smart, too, as she probably would gossip about you if she gossips about others. The next time she tries to tell you gossip, simply tell her you don’t want to hear it. If she keeps going, say, “I have to go,” and either get off the phone or walk away. Then see what she does. It’ll make her think and hopefully she’ll think about her toxic behavior and will apologize and stop doing it. You might have to do this a few times as it’s probably become such an ingrained habit, she’ll fall into it sometimes. If she doesn’t stop, perhaps you can transition her from friend status to a friendly acuqintance, and make space in your life instead for someone who honors the true meaning of friendship.

 

 

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