A FitPerez reader is in a bit of a conundrum after learning a friend has been talking smack behind her back, so she wrote life coach Dr. J for advice, asking:
I found out a friend was gossiping about me behind my back. I asked her about it and she said I was over reacting. Now I feel like I can't trust her and I'm questioning our friendship. Should I just cut her out of my life or give her a second chance?
According to Dr. J:
Unfortunately, gossiping is not a crime. However, it sure can feel that way when someone steals away your trust. Borderline betrayal can beat up almost everyone and it hurts. I AM a firm believer that most people deserve a second chance, but perhaps this is a good time to reevaluate your relationships.
Loyalty is an integral part of true friendship and talking smack behind your back is just out of whack with Friendly expectations. You might have to distance yourself from her for awhile while you think about whether she's worthy of a second chance, or if she is not the only culprit in the crowd, you may need to cut yourself out of a clique that carries on with this kind of disempowering conversation. Hopefully, you are leading by example and your lips are sealed when it comes to gossip.
Next, I think you have to be a dialogue detective and investigate whether you really were overreacting. Take a step back and think objectively about how you came at your friend. Were you speaking from an emotional place or were you level-headed? Sometimes our emotions get the best of us and we don't realize we're on the attack. Take that information, whatever your emotive evaluation reveals, and be cool, calm, and collected when you make your decision on how to deal with the behind the back banter.
It's up to you whether it's one, two, or three strikes before she's out of your life. If and when you make that decision, there will be no doubt that this time YOU will be cool, calm and collected about your decision. When YOU have higher personal standards about your life and who YOU share it with, YOU will enjoy Life-Long Friendships Forever More!
If you've got a question about how to handle something bothering you in life, shoot us an email or ask the doctor himself @AskDocJ on Twitter!