If you know people are gossiping about your friend, will you tell him or her?

Philippines
January 31, 2011 6:03pm CST
To be honest, I really do not know what to say about this. I have a friend whom I know is being talked about by my co-workers at work because she has this somewhat irritating personality. Well, perhaps it's not her personality... but she is always so grumpy and mutters negative things about her performance or many other things. She is so pessimistic that everyone around her gets irritated. Anyway, my co-workers make fun of her and talk about her behind her back. They even imitate her mannerisms and her accent. It feels really awful, knowing that she does not know that she is being talked about behind her back. Let me just tell you what I did. I did not tell her that my co-workers were talking about her. I just advised her to be cheery once in a while and not to be grumpy all the time. She just cocked an eyebrow at me and asked if there's something wrong with her. I told her that I wanted her to be happy because seeing her happy would make me happy. She just smiled at me and said, "Thank you." But that did not work because she still remained pessimistic about life and stuff. I advised her again to be more optimistic about life because it would only pull her down if she would remain negative. She did not loosen up. I finally told her that people around her get irritated because of her attitude and that she should smile often to make people smile at her. That actually alarmed her, and she burst out crying. It made me feel horrible. Did I do something wrong?
2 people like this
12 responses
@sender621 (14970)
• United States
1 Feb 11
It's important to look out for your friends no matter what the situation may be. If i knew people were talking about my friend behind their backs, it would be my duty as a friend to let them know about it. it may not be a pleasant task to perform, but one that needs doing.
@beamer88 (4274)
• Philippines
1 Feb 11
No, there was nothing wrong with what you did. I would've done the same. Twice you tried to tell her in a manner that wouldn't hurt her feelings before actually telling her the real problem. And that's being a real good friend. Being so straightforward in situations like this isn't always the best thing to do. But you did right in eventually telling her what was actually happening. You have to. She needs to know. Even if sometimes it can be cause distress to either you or your friend.
1 person likes this
• China
1 Feb 11
I have a friend who is just as pessimistic as your friend. She seems to be dissatisfied with everything about her and always complains a lot. Colleagues around get bored with her and gossip about her behind her back. But she is a careless person and neglects what others say about her. I've heard many times that my colleagues make fun of her. But I didn't tell her for fear that she might feel hurt. So I often tell her to be optimistic and think more about her good points.
1 person likes this
• India
1 Feb 11
Are you kidding me? We all talk behind the back of someone or the other. We just can't make a stage and invite everyone to come and listen to the things that we want to say about them. Sometimes we gossip in public, sometimes we gossip in private. Sometimes I make fun of my friends. Sometimes they make fun of me. And we all laugh heartily to all that. Some people are nearer to you than the others. So you gossip with persons who are nearer about the person who are far. This is the fundamental rule of gossiping and this is exactly what makes gossiping so interesting and exciting. There is really no need to feel sorry about it. However, if you think it's harming you in any way then it's better to give it up. I don't gossip because I have some more serious things to do. Otherwise, I would love to.
1 person likes this
@jillhill (37358)
• United States
1 Feb 11
I don't think you did..you gave her good advice...I actually have dumped a few people because of their negative attitudes..they bring you down so far they actually wreck your good mood! But I think you did her a favor..
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Feb 11
I don't think you did anything wrong... she might have taken it pretty hard but I do think that it was something she needed to hear and probably needed to hear from you over those who constantly gossip about her. I would also talk to the gossipers and tell them that you don't think it's right to be making fun of her... no matter how annoying or pessimistic she is.
• Philippines
3 Feb 11
That is very brave of you, standing up to your friend and telling the gossipers to back off. I do not have the guts to do that. Does that make me a bad friend?
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Feb 11
It's not that hard. When I hear people gossiping they're usually not just letting me listen... they're trying to pull me into the gossip. I shrug off their complaints by saying things like, "They're not that bad... I thought it was really nice of them when... etc." and if they keep trying to pull me into the conversation I eventually say, "You know, I just don't think it's right to talk about them behind their back like this." Usually they listen to me and are not offended or don't feel like I'm scolding them. I just think you should treat people with the same respect you want to be treated with. That goes for gossiping friends and the friends they gossip about.
@dearlene (78)
• Indonesia
1 Feb 11
I think you did the right thing to tell your friend that people gossiping about her attitude. I think you realy show that you realy care to your freinds by paying attention how other people say about your friend. I my country it is very rare to find people like you. People usualy hesitate to tell other people abpit they bad habbit. They usualy affraid to hurt the person feel, so they don't tell it. Event that the righting to do though
• Philippines
3 Feb 11
Pain is an ongoing process of learning. I realize that now. I guess if I were in her shoes, I would want to know even if it's going to hurt me. In that way, I can learn.
@mythociate (11672)
• Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
10 Feb 11
No, no you didn't do anything wrong! You are a good friend to her! I hope she knows that! Me, I would simply mention the rumors I hear and ask him/her if they are true.
• United States
6 Feb 11
No you did right as you tried twice to help her out and she did not take the sound advice. Sometimes the truth hurts and people react the way she did hopefully she will understand that you tried to help and if she does not change her ways then she evidentally does not understand that her attitude is affecting her.
• India
5 Feb 11
Well you didn't do anything wrong here. It's the girl that has the problems and u just stated her a fact and she burst into tears. She is pessimistic and you have done the right thing and told her now about how others think and talk about her. She deserves to know that. If someone comes forward and tells about their weakness only would they come to know. She was being like this and now she knew so i think mayeb she would show a change of attitude now! Cheers!
@bounce58 (17552)
• Canada
5 Feb 11
I would have done it differently. I would still have adviced her to be cheery, but I wouldn't tell her. Because I think that's just contributing to the gossip. I would have confronted the other people instead. That it's not their business to do what their doing. And if your friend did find out eventually, she should not care about it, as what other people think, doesn't count for anything anyway.
@checapricorn (16076)
• United States
1 Feb 11
I guess you did the right thing at least she is aware but if that is really her personality it would be very hard for her to change not unless she is very much willing to take an action! I have a friend who is like her, a best friend indeed. but now that she is married and has kids, she seems positive and cheerful. Just be with her, she just need a true friend and for people who make fun of her, I hope they will realize that being mean and rude to other people is not good at all!