To ask how you deal with negative gossip?

(14 Posts)
Katyahejkatya Sat 10-May-14 22:33:02

I very rarely if ever 'bitch' about people but have noticed that most people women talk negatively behind people's backs. I have experienced this a lot in my last two jobs but also often in 'mum' settings, like toddler group or preschool. I know lots of people do this to de-stress or big themselves up as they are probably feeling insecure, frazzled, grumpy or whatever. I also feel these thing too often but don't feel right at all about putting others down behind their back.

I have two issues with this type of negative gossip: (1) I don't enjoy 'bitching' and can't really bring myself to join this type of conversation so end up in a self-imposed outsider weirdo role. This eats at my own self esteem. (2) I cannot really trust the people who talk like that as I am convinced they must say things about me to others.

The thought that a group of people make fun of me behind my back or put me down really freaks me out. I have never really been bullied but also never was miss popular. So I can't quite explain my apprehension.

Please tell me your coping tips for dealing with this type of negative gossiping. Or tell me that I am being oversensitive/dramatic and it's all just harmless 'fun' and just a normal form of human communication confused.

thanks

emsyj Sat 10-May-14 22:36:20

I have very rarely come across this to be honest - maybe you need to find some nicer friends? It isn't usual in my experience, or a normal form of communication.

If I am ever in a situation where somebody starts being bitchy, I think my reaction would be to distance myself - change the subject, shift my body to lean away, shift my chair a bit, look the other way, start talking to somone else etc.

And yes, you're right - if they'll say it to you, they'll say it about you.

Katyahejkatya Sat 10-May-14 22:39:09

These are not friends but for example colleagues, neighbours, school mums etc. I see and hear it all the time.

Katyahejkatya Sat 10-May-14 22:41:12

Emsy, I do what you do with regards to my body language when people start gossiping. In one of my previous jobs, it was quite common to say "let's have a de-bitch" meaning debrief with a lot of emotions and complaining about the other party/team etc. this was at a large and reputable firm btw.

gordyslovesheep Sat 10-May-14 22:42:37

school gate stuff or casual gossipy things I tend to make no committal noises and ignore it

at work I will challenge it though - in a proactive way - maybe by putting forward a different view

so 'god she's such hard work' I might say 'yes but it's difficult being new and fitting into our team - most of us have been here 15 years or more and I bet we are bloody intimidating...'

CoffeeTea103 Sat 10-May-14 22:42:43

What do you mean by negative? Some things people do are negative and if spoken about it's already negative, or do you mean twisting things to make it negative. If it's the former then that's normal I think, but if it's the latter then just distance yourself from these people.

peacegardens Sat 10-May-14 22:43:36

There's always somebody who does this, and to me (alas) it seems to be the norm.

Distancing is what I have done; when one woman I knew plunged new depths in her negative comments (e.g. her remarks about ugly children and newborns of our acquaintances) And, oh yes, am in no doubt she spoke about me similarly.

emsyj Sat 10-May-14 22:43:39

Do you think it's something that's common in your industry then? Can I ask what you do for a living? Maybe it's associated with a particular personality type that is prevalent in your field.

littlegreengloworm Sat 10-May-14 22:44:49

This is common in my workplace and I hate it too. Luckily the person I am working beside at the moment is not like that at all. If someone is annoy it her she politely explains it to them directly. It's refreshing not to hear someone bitching.

I had to distance myself who was very very bitchy- it's hard

aquashiv Sat 10-May-14 22:45:13

If it bothers you dont engage.

ladyandthelamp Sat 10-May-14 22:50:55

I have to say I too rarely come across this type of behaviour. If someone appears to be bitchy or nasty then I just make a mental note to give them a wide berth in future, and I have as little involvement as possible with them.

Chottie Sun 11-May-14 13:16:16

We have this at my work too. I don't join in, but keep my head down and get on with my work. I don't like it and also I don't want to have it passed on that "chottie, says" or "chottie thinks".......

In other situations, I would just change the subject or make a non comment like "I wouldn't / couldn't really say".

MammaTJ Sun 11-May-14 14:12:46

I actually deal with it very directly.

I say 'Goodness me,what do you say about me behind my back? I dread to think.' Then they stop. People who know me well don't bother with it any more.

I have been the victim of such gossip. Someone I thought was a close friend had been badmouthing me behind my back for years. Noone told me. Only when we fell out for good did anyone and everyone tell me what this person had been saying about me. It was so hurtful that I thought they were friends and they really weren't.

littlegreengloworm Sun 11-May-14 19:24:24

Mamma j that is a perfect response

I know someone who constantly puts everyone down and I know does it to me too behind my back. If she sees someone in town without their children .. Tut tut, if someone buys a car.. Bitches etc. I have become tired of explaining that all women need a break or everyone has the right to spend their money on whatever they want and we all cut back when we need to but it's becoming draining.

Such a simple response but genius.

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