November 03, 2005

Here's to you...

I abhor when people talk about others behind their backs. I’m not completely innocent of this myself, and I generally don’t like myself for a while after I’ve done it. I try my hardest to say only things about a person that I would and do say to their face. Through various experiences in my life I’ve learned that when ever you talk about someone behind their back, it always gets back to the person.

The only thing that makes it worse is when “friends” talk about other “friends” behind their backs. Is that person really your friend if you are talking about them behind their back? What if it was your friend talking about you? Those people really, truly are not your friend.

How about if you are sitting in a room and other people are talking about a mutual friend, do you join in or not? Do you tell the person what was said or do you try to forget about it? Usually, I sit there and try not to say anything or just try to ignore the conversation. (TV comes in handy at these points) After the conversation, the next time I see my friend I don’t tell them what was said. Why? Because it can be hurtful. At this point in time, I’m thinking of changing my policy. I’m thinking that as a friend I should tell that person that someone is gossiping about them. Currently I believe the person should know what kind of “friends” they have.

I’m sure most of you have figured out what the origin of this post is. You would be correct; I found out that some “friends” have been talking about me behind my back. Right now, I don’t have all the details, but enough to know that it isn’t pleasant. Now I’m torn. I’ve known these people for quite a few years and counted them as some very close friends. What they are talking about is just absolutely asinine, and in one case an incorrect interpretation of events. I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do about it, but I have some ideas.

The one I’m leaning toward is just to sever the friendships and go on with life. It’ll suck loosing some friends, but I can make more. Technically, I think I’m over my quota of the amount of friends I can socialize with anyway… I’m shy and not much of a people person anyway. :) Part of me doesn’t want to loose these friendships, but another part says this has been going on for a while and it’s not going to stop. After everything, can it ever truly be repaired, will I ever trust these people again? Many of the people I’m talking about read this blog both regularly and intermediately. If this post hits a little close to home, then it probably applies to you. The next time I see you after I decided what I'm going to do, I’ll return the knife that is sticking in my back.

All I can think of right now is one of my favorite toasts: Here’s to you, here’s to me. Friends forever we shall be. But if once we disagree, Fuck you and here’s to me.

But I’m curious, if you where in my shoes, what would you do? I’m not saying I’ll follow your advice, but I’m curious to see if maybe I’m over reacting.

Posted by Contagion in General assholery at November 3, 2005 12:53 PM | TrackBack

I'm not one for giving advice in this kind of situation. I generally blow up, throw out some creative Fuck YOU!'s and push ALL the buttons before walking out, leaving a vast wasteland of devastation behind me.

But seriously, I think that if it's YOU being talked about (rather than hearing someone talk about a friend), you deserve some sort of confrontation. Even just asking "I heard that you said XYZ about me. Do you honestly believe that? If so why are you still friends with me, better yet, why didn't you ask me about it?" Or something like that, and let them try to talk their way out of the hole of their own making.

It sucks when your friends get drunk and talk shit about you just 'cause you couldn't make it to the party.

Posted by: caltechgirl at November 3, 2005 11:43 AM

Well hell, I'm mostly upset now that I wasn't included in the gossip circle :P
I dono about this one. I mean, even really close friends have opinions about different aspects of people - hell, I know damned well there are aspects of my personality that my friends find awkward but I like to think that they don't care and overlook crap like that. Everybody has their quirks.
But I think my reaction might depend on if the rumors were based on actual *concern* from that friend (aka regardless of if they have it right or not, they think there are things I'm doing that definately aren't in my best interests - but they weren't comfortable in talking to me about it directly), or if it's just spiteful shit.

Posted by: S at November 3, 2005 12:09 PM

I don't have this problem. You see, I hate people. I don't care if they talk behind my back. Of course, that might be why I don't have any friends, but that's ok because I wouldn't like them anyway.

Posted by: Ogre at November 3, 2005 01:00 PM

Hmm let's see...
I call you a dick, asshole, and sociopathic bastard...

Nope, I say that shit to your face all the time, I'm, clear.. :)

Seriously though, I have a pretty clear idea of what (and who) you're talking about. I don't know what to tell you. I have a bad habit of talking shit behind people's back myself, but if it's the people I think you're referencing they take it to an art form.

Posted by: Graumagus at November 3, 2005 02:22 PM

First I was going to ask where you heard it from... but after Grau's comment - I'm going to take it that the gossipy crap really did happen. (Had a friend once who was told that someone said XYZ about her... came to find out that - it was untrue - the person who told her was trying to start trouble... this was at her church - which made me laugh)

Anyhow - if it is as Grau says and you believe then you can do one of two things. Either ignore it and withdraw from contact as much as possible with these people. (I know passive as hell - but no harsh words are exchanged) Or you can confront them and tell them you know what's being said and you prefer not to have any dealings with them in the future. (who knows what this will get you) It really depends on how much you need to interact with them on a regular basis... I mean - if it's a work thing and you need for them to do stuff for you... they can really screw with your job if you are starkly confrontational.

But I would NOT continue on with a regular friendship with any of them. You will always wonder what they are saying about you behind your back. That is no way to live... far too stressful. (in that you'll constantly feel like punching them when you see them *grin*)

Good Luck!

Posted by: Teresa at November 3, 2005 04:05 PM

Hey Herkimer - the more I think about it, the more I opt for punching! That and instead of handing their knife back to them, throw it at sensitive body parts . . . and if that doesn't work, wait till they fall asleep and do this:
Only, leave out the lover part, cause that is just gay!

Posted by: oddybobo at November 3, 2005 04:19 PM

I don't know you well, but I would have to say give it a little time. Once you let the rage and hurt sit a little, you may have a different perspective on it. If not, well I just don't know. Good luck.

Posted by: Sarah at November 3, 2005 04:31 PM

Fuck them and here's to you.
Carry on my good man.

Posted by: spurs at November 3, 2005 04:37 PM

ALWAYS a tough situation...and one I've found myself in a couple of times. I have to be honest. I'm a confronter. I call them on it - be it business or personal. THEN..if it's personal I sever the friendship. I can't trust 'em...there is no friendship.

But that's just me.

I'm just damn sorry it happened to you.

Posted by: Tammi at November 3, 2005 06:49 PM

... two words.. confront them... trashing someone behind their backs is just cowardly and wrong...

Posted by: Eric at November 4, 2005 08:08 AM

I'm seconding Caltechgirl's advice.

Ask the person if what you heard about what they said is true.

Gives them a change to explain, clarify, apologize, or defend. After all, it's possible the rumors you're upset about are false or out of context.

On the other hand, this takes time, and your time is valuable. Avoiding them takes less of it.

Your call.

Posted by: Harvey at November 5, 2005 02:59 PM