Gossiping has always been a part of every culture, no matter how much one tries to avoid it. People talk behind your back and they always will and you should come to terms with the fact that you can do absolutely nothing to change that.
Eleanor Roosevelt explained it quite well… She deserved to be quoted at the beginning of this article because she said; “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
It is what it is… People gossip and they always will because dealing with other people’s issues (even if it’s a close friend/best friend) is much easier than facing your own demons.
The truth is that gossipers are much more comfortable talking behind your back because saying things face-to-face requires guts, a department in which they’re severely lacking.
But only those with shattered self-confidence will waste precious moments of their life (that they’ll never get back) worrying about others and making sure to stick their noses where they don’t belong.
Why Do People Talk Behind Your Back?
I bet that right now you’re experiencing some deep emotional issues that have resulted in you seeking comfort due to being the victim of incessant gossiping.
You’ve heard people spread rumors about you that are so far off from the truth that you can’t fathom how they even started. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t understand why some people want to hurt you in that way and make you feel bad about yourself.
Perhaps your very best friend has stooped so low and bad-mouthed you for reasons unknown to you and you’re so tired of socializing with people who resort to such vile acts. Why on earth do people talk behind your back?
I’m about to offer you some valuable input on exactly why people resort to bad-mouthing, how to cope with it, and why you shouldn’t be bothered by any of it.
But for now, let’s delve into the why part.
You make things happen for yourself
Newsflash. People get jealous when they see others making shit happen for themselves and achieving their goals! And that’s the most common reason why people talk behind your back.
So instead of offering support and a word of kindness and encouragement, they resort to talking behind your back, trying to diminish your success and drag you down with them.
It’s a tale as old as time. If they can’t have what you have, they’ll shit all over what you’ve achieved through hard work and years of dedication.
Breaking out of your comfort zone and exhibiting signs of progress (at work, in school, your passion project, etc.) make people petty and envious.
It’s likely that you’ve managed to rise up from the constraints of your society and limited resources to make a name for yourself.
And upon seeing all your well-deserved success, haters get a sudden urge to paint you in a negative light, unable to stand seeing others succeed and not them.
How many times have we witnessed famous people get bashed on the internet and hated for no reason other than being hugely successful? It’s a sad, jaded world we live in, but it’s a fact nonetheless.
They are envious of you
This one pertains to your close friends and possibly even your best friend.
People who know you and who are closely connected to your life. Someone you’re sure is a good person who’d never spread rumors or cause you any pain.
But lately, you’ve been noticing signs of someone close to you (your co-worker, family member or even your close friend) gossiping about you. You noticed that someone is spreading things about you that only your closest confidants could possibly know.
How could that happen? I’ll tell you how. Without pointing fingers, it doesn’t take a lot to get people to talk.
Even your closest friend is only human. When they see you doing your thing and genuinely enjoying the perks of a happy, successful life, envy overcomes them. It happens.
Nobody plans on turning on their best friend, but worse things have happened.
And when you see someone as close as a BFF talking behind your back, you can bet your ass that envy has eaten them alive.
And that right there are signs of a fake friend and a blessing in disguise.
Real friends are happy AF when good things start happening to you. But fakers will resort to envy, gossiping, and social media outbursts.
Let them. Friends that talk behind your back are not your friends anyway. They are doing you a great favor by revealing their true colors.
You only need people who’ll lift you up in life. Anyone else can see themselves out.
Quick question: How can you tell a fake friend from a good friend?
Real friends say bad things to your face, while the friends who talk behind your back are actually only your haters that have the balls to talk behind your back in order to avoid dealing with their own issues.
They’re following the crowd
Gossiping is cool and trendy now, didn’t you know? Saying positive things is so last year!
One would think this was truly the case by the amount of incessant gossip that goes around so frequently. People gossip because they yearn to fit in.
They see others doing it and they get the urge to do the same because they feel this is the only way to bond with others and form meaningful relationships (even if they’re based on petty gossip).
High-school kids are prone to gossiping because of the strong peer pressure they feel. Kids can be really harsh on each other, so they learn from a young age that in order to fit in with the crowd, you must do as they do.
And that’s how gossipers remain true to their form.
Society is a fucked up place. People follow the crowd instead of paving their own way.
They know a bad thing when they see it, yet they choose to do that very thing simply because it’ll give them credit with other people.
Morals and kindness are things of the past, and fitting in by all means necessary is the new thing.
Loyalty to your people is only present when it’s convenient. But when they start showing signs of progress and success, out goes loyalty and disappointment ensue.
After all, that’s the cool thing to do. Everyone is bashing you, so it’s only natural to follow the crowd. Or at least that’s what people think.
Their own life isn’t interesting enough
Sadly, as I’ve already mentioned, some people just get tired of their own life so they choose to make someone else’s life their top priority.
This stems from low self-esteem, eternal dissatisfaction with oneself, and a flabbergasting unwillingness to do anything about it.
These people have the same opportunities that you have.
They are just as capable of deciding to make a name for themselves and get things going.
But instead of being proactive and making their dreams come true, they choose the easier route. Gossiping.
It always starts with a little hearsay they heard over coffee with a colleague, but they make sure to say: Don’t tell anyone I told you this! as if that would be a one-time thing.
Next thing you know, they’re running out full circles to find out as much as they can so they can go off on people completely undeservingly.
And the final straw is when you start making a name for yourself, therefore making yourself an easy target.
How did things work out so well for you? Who did you sleep with to climb the ladder so fast? and so on and so forth.
Your best friend can turn into the ugliest person once they start seeing your success as a threat.
And since their own life is too dull, all they have is gossip. And that’s how you see who your real friends are.
What Should You Do If Someone Is Talking Behind Your Back?
Now that we’ve covered the reasons why people talk behind your back, I’ll show you the best ways to cope with constant gossiping, protect your mental health and completely remove yourself from anything so toxic and dysfunctional.
Sadly, there’s nothing you can do to make people stop talking. But that’s part of the healing process.
Once you realize that you’re powerless against what will come out of somebody’s mouth, you’re one step closer to figuring it all out. It’s all about you and your reaction to it!
Will you allow it to mess with your head and twist your reality? Will you engage and retaliate upon hearing rumors about yourself that have no truth in them?
Or will you choose a more difficult route, but one that will bring you peace? At first, it’s hard to stay immune.
This is your life after all. And aren’t you supposed to be defending your name in the first place? Yes, you are.
But in a way that doesn’t mentally drain you. In a way that doesn’t give irrelevant, toxic human beings ammunition against you. Choose who you fight your battles with because not everyone is worth your time.
Not everyone in your life is a good person.
Once you weed out the ones that have zero connection to your life, it’ll be easier to stay immune to what they’re saying.
But when it comes to those you believed to care about you, it’s much more difficult to just brush it off.
Regardless of the type of people we’re talking about, gossiping is never acceptable.
It affects you greatly and makes you lose faith in people, even those you’ve cherished for a long time. Hopefully, this will help you cope and move away from toxicity:
Respond with silence
Here’s what’s important to understand here. You can silence one hater, perhaps even two. But for every single bad person you manage to get through to, another five will emerge.
That’s the sad reality. Wasting your precious time and mental energy on people who choose to be vile is draining for you, but entertaining for them!
So in most cases, silence is the best weapon against your worst critics. With time, they’re likely to get tired of talking about you and getting nothing from you.
Your reaction feeds them. They need you to retaliate so that they can keep talking and have more juicy gossip to continue with their charade.
But by staying silent, you deny them any opportunity to keep going.
I’m not saying that it’ll stop and never happen again. But it will become a nuisance for them once they see that you’re completely unfazed with their poor, petty attempts at rattling you.
And for a while, they’ll stop. They might focus on someone else. Or they might realize that they’re going off on the wrong person.
They aren’t important anyway
Mostly, people who talk behind your back are those who don’t actually matter in your life (with possible exceptions). Focusing on negative people whose uneducated opinions bear no importance to your life is silly.
Don’t ever even bother with trying to make that person feel guilty for talking about you in the first place. Who gives a shit about what some random jerk has to say about you when they don’t even know you?
At times, I just laugh at the BS I hear people say. They literally have nothing going on in their own life so they resort to making stuff up and demeaning others to amuse themselves.
That’s just too childish and immature and all they deserve from you is your pity!
Gossipers tell tales because they can’t reach your level. They can’t stop comparing themselves with you, so their psyche gets so messed up and they project their insecurities and frustrations on others. But what do you even care?
Think about it. How relevant are those people in your life? How much should their opinions affect your life?
They aren’t important and nothing they say should faze you one bit. Pity them. You are the main preoccupation in their life… How sad is that?
Remain confident and with a smile on your face
People who incessantly talk about others exhibit signs of inadequacy and inability to feel comfortable in their own skin.
So what better way to show them how unfazed you are than by putting a glistening smile on your face and strutting confidently down the street?
You never know who’s watching, so give them a show! Carry yourself with pride and exude self-confidence wherever you go.
If you spot a hater, smile at them and possibly even offer a kind word. Trust me, nothing will bug them more!
Happiness is contagious. And there’s nothing more powerful than a person refusing to let shady BS bring her down.
Live your life to the fullest. Wear a bright smile on your face. Be kind to strangers.
THAT is the best revenge against haters. Let them wonder what you’re so happy about (It’ll eat them alive).
Don’t take it personally
If there’s one good thing about people who talk behind your back, it’s that they have an array of victims and they don’t hold on to one person for too long.
Basically, you’re the target this week, but next week, they’ll choose another overachiever’s life to butt their noses in and spread rumors about.
That’s how they operate. It’s not personal. They don’t have a problem with just you.
Gossipers take issue with anyone doing better than them. It’s how they’ve trained themselves to think.
If you’re doing better than them, you must be wrong in some way. If things are finally clicking for you, there must be a catch.
You have an amazing new boyfriend/girlfriend? They’re probably cheating on you.
That’s the extent of their mental capacity to comprehend things. They don’t get that hard work gets you far.
All they know is that gossip gives them a purpose and they’ll just follow wherever it takes them.
Hold onto your real friends
By now, you’ve probably realized who your true friends are and who’s just a temporary visitor in your life. There’s no shame in admitting that you’ve been taken for a fool.
People sneak into your life and use you until they have nothing left to take from you. It’s happened to the best of us.
The good thing is, by getting burned, you learn who you can trust and who to steer clear of. You learn that not everyone wishes you well and keeping this to yourself is the best way to stay happy.
Thankfully, there are always those few individuals who prove to be the real deal. The close friends you’ve had for a while and who have never made you doubt their intentions.
Hold onto them. They will keep you sane when others try to bring you down. Friends are the family you choose for yourself, so choose wisely.
Invest your time in people and things that feed your soul
The key to happiness is knowing who’s worth your time and who doesn’t deserve it at all.
Choose to invest your precious time in things that you’re passionate about and people you truly want in your life. That is the way to happiness.
I’m not saying to never be there for people in their times of pain – quite the opposite actually.
Be there for those who are there for you. Offer your support and time to those who would do the same for you.
But know the difference between helping a real friend and helping a friend in disguise. Not everyone deserves your help.
Create your support system and maintain your loyalty to them. If you expect kindness and support, be the first one to give it and the rest will follow.
Stop spending time with people who are constantly trying to bring you down. They are so not worthy of you nor your time because they’re already below you. Sometimes, you just need to say to hell with the haters and live your life with the people who make it worthwhile.
What Does It Mean When Someone Talks About You Behind Your Back?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the type of people who are constantly bad-mouthing you and always spread rumors and negative things, it’s that deep down, they’re profoundly jealous of you.
Gossiping is closely connected to low self-esteem and a gossiper will always deem themselves a good person with a perfectly good excuse for such a petty way of living.
People talk behind your back because they’re too cowardly to engage in introspection and deal with their own issues.
People talk because they feel the need to fill every silence with words in the fear of losing friends, not knowing that real friends choose comfortable silence over negative gossip any day.
In a way, gossipers are struggling with their own identity and they tend to project their issues onto others, so as to maintain that feeling of control that they’ve lost a long time ago.
The thing is that people will keep talking behind your back and you can’t change it, no matter how hard you try. At the end of the day, you shouldn’t even try because whoever feels the need to bad-mouth you isn’t even worthy of you.
But what you can change is your attitude toward what other people think. I know this is extremely challenging during a time when social media is ever-so-present and all your old high school buddies have it, so you should too.
Without disclosing your (unwarranted) opinions on topics that are truly none of your business and divulging them all over social media, are you even alive? Sadly, this is what the world has come to.
If your personal stuff isn’t plastered all over every social media platform, you’re failing.
If you aren’t up-to-date on all new trendy fashion styles, you’re falling behind.
And if you don’t make sure that people are saying only positive things by giving them note-worthy content on a daily basis, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
With this unhealthy attitude, you’re basically giving people a free pass to judge you and put your life under a microscope.
But when you choose to brush off gossipers and haters and focus on you and the types of people who can tell you everything straight to your face, you’re taking a brave step forward into a world where there’s no room for negative gossip and where people don’t spread rumors just for the kicks.
Is It OK To Talk About Someone Behind Their Back?
Unfortunately, most people aren’t even aware of all the awful consequences their gossiping leaves on other people’s emotional and mental health.
I really hope that we all know the answer to this question… Of course, it’s never okay to talk about someone behind their back because it’s the biggest act of cowardice. Gossiping is a trait of narcissists and people who are miserable about their own life.
When you think about it, you should feel sorry for anyone who chooses to bad-mouth others – sometimes even their own best friend.
It means that they’re deeply unhealthy, envious, toxic people who aren’t pleased with their own life and are trying to find comfort in other people’s suffering.
Staying quiet when your opinion isn’t needed is a trait that only innately good people truly value and try to achieve.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get to the bottom of people’s need to be bad-mouthing others and spending so much time focusing on them, instead of doing some soul-searching and finding what it is that’s making them act out this way.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that people talk and will keep talking behind my back no matter what I do, so I decided to keep nailing life and to keep giving them material to gossip about.
Remember that only those who truly love you are those who truly matter. Anything and anyone else is a waste of time. People will always talk, haters will always judge, and fake friends will always disappoint.
But you are the only one who gets to decide what effect those people will have on your life.
Things are up to you right now; will you keep letting haters win or will you turn your back to them once and for all, and surround yourself with your tribe whose loyalty has always kept you sane?