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Is it better to moan behind someone's back or be honest with them?

(10 Posts)
whatswhat Sun 08-May-16 17:40:40

I have a colleague who frequently moans about other people behind their backs, e.g. x sends me too many text messages, it's really annoying, or y bought me a christmas present and i wish she hadn't cause i had to buy one back. Not complete character assignation but things that i think could probably be easily fixed if she were just honest. When i've asked her about this she says that you don't tell people they are pissing you off and it's better to vent to others instead.

I discussed this with a friend today who said that she kind of agreed, she'd prefer it if people said nice things to her because she doesn't want to hear the bad stuff. I, on the other hand, would like to know if I'm annoying someone so that i can decide whether to adjust my behaviour or not. I know i'm not perfect and am quite open to some constructive criticism. But now i'm starting to think i may be unusual in this attitude, am I?

lavenderhoney Sun 08-May-16 17:50:50

Your issue is you are the person being moaned to. Just write back and say " how difficult for you - you should speak to them about it" and don't engage.

I deal with things by either saying something because otherwise nothing will change - so don't moan! Or by accepting it and not moaning. I'm not wildly popular with moaners which is good, they are so draining because they feel unburdened and I just feel exhausted after a pointless rant.

SoleBizzz Sun 08-May-16 20:16:23

I have finally massively distanced myself from a friend who does this constantly about every single person she comes into contact with. I know she says stuff about me also. Also she treats me with disrespect and I'm sick of her. Just text back oh no, oh dear, gosh. Then after a while answer every other day. Life is too short.

HappyNevertheless Sun 08-May-16 20:22:53

The issue there is that, in principle, it's better to have it out with people. But if you do that all the time, you won't have that many friends around! Just see your friend's reaction. A lot of people will not cope with someone telling them things unpleasant or that they don't want to hear.

I wouldn't say that 'venting' to others is better though. As you say, it's moaning about people behind their back which isn't great. Not for the person you are slagging off nor for the person who has to listen to you.

I think it's a question of balance. Tell people when something is really pissing you off or you feel it's unacceptable. And don't sweat the small stuff and don't moan about it/them.

suspiciousofgoldfish Sun 08-May-16 20:38:56

Oh god, behind their backs, definitely.

I dislike almost everyone I meet and yet have been asked to be Godmother more times than I care to mention.

I think it's just better to be polite, smile and then slag them off behind their back or on the Internet, where no one can see you.

chocshortbread Sun 08-May-16 22:24:15

I always think if people are slagging others off behind their backs then they'll be doing it about me too. It's a red flag friendship wise imo. In fact it would put me right off them. I'd distance myself too.

VimFuego101 Sun 08-May-16 22:26:01

I just wouldn't engage. As a PP said she will no doubt be bitching about you to others too.

whatswhat Mon 09-May-16 06:17:10

suspicious: i think you have a similar attitude to my colleague. But doesn't this make you feel dishonest or 2 faced? I know people I'm not particularly keen on but i just minimise my interactions with them, none of them would be under any illusion that we were great friends.

As for posters saying colleague probably moans about me, I'm well aware of that and not particularly bothered, I'm more interested in whether face to face honesty or venting to others is the prefered approach.

ThisIsDedicatedToTheOneILove Mon 09-May-16 06:48:00

It depends. I do have a friend who is pretty clueless and he oversteps all sorts of generally accepted social conventions to the point of being rude. We all have a bit of a good natured, "argh, do you know what he did this morning..?" about him, but it is good natured and we do tell him to his face too.

I have another 'friend' who I have massively distanced myself from because she just moans and whinges about everyone and everything. I'm on the verge of just telling her to fuck off, tbh. But it would make things awkward as we're part of a bigger social group. I just don't want to hear her miserable intolerances.

I wouldn't say anything about anyone that I wouldn't be happy to get back to them. And if i have said anything, I generally tell them that I've said it because I don't feel comfortable having spoken about someone behind their back. It makes me feel very two faced.

Baconyum Mon 09-May-16 06:58:47

I agree with never saying anything about anyone you wouldn't be happy to say to their face!

2 faced bitching puts me off a person too and I'm certainly honest about that. 'Please don't talk like that about people' 'please don't speak like that about x person because I do like them and I disagree' has stopped them in their tracks! Plus I don't end up stuck in the middle/guilty by association when the gossip gets back to the person being talked about.

Maybe it's age, maybe it's who my friends are but we're all honest, we all know our faults (I'm too blunt can you tell? grin, another friend is too nice for her own good and gets taken advantage of by colleagues and acquaintances whereas we know to not ask her favours unless we know she genuinely won't mind doing it and drum into her that she can say no before we ask, she is saying no more often which is great ) and what the others consider our faults, but we support each other, praise each other's good points and know we can rely on each other.

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