Ask Kari: How can I stop my friend from gossiping about other friends?
Dear Kari,I have a really good friend that talks about our larger group of friends behind their backs to me. I try and not engage, but she keeps going on and on and at some point, I just nod to stop her from talking. How do you think I can approach her about my uncomfortable feelings around her behavior? I am worried that word will get around that I am gossiping about people that I really care about.
Dear Timid Friend,
I would pick a time when the two of you can have a private conversation. Tell her that you like her as a friend. And that you would not want your mutual friends to talk to you about her, that you feel the same way about your friends and prefer that she not share her personal feelings about them with you. Let her know that you understand that she may just be venting or processing her thoughts out loud, but that doing so makes you feel uncomfortable. Simply let her know that you would appreciate it if she no longer includes you in the process. Good luck!
Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.
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