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Arundhati, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
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I have come to realize that my friends are caddy and

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I have come to realize that my friends are caddy and gossipy. I have a group of four friends who have been in my life for seven years since I moved to a small town. When our children hit the age to play competitive sports (little league) it all began. I started hearing things that one of our best couple friends were saying about our son, "he can't hit, what are his stats, he doesn't hold a candle to their son." I didn't believe it at first because we were friends. After a season of this behavior and taking people down (3 other couples) because their son didn't make all stars, I started to believe they were talking about my son. The other clue to this was they talk about everyone. So I endend the friendship.
Since then, the other two friends of this group (who see this behavior and realize

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
How do I deal with my friends who are backstabbing each other? I have already out up boundaries, and reached out to other good friends who don't act this way, can I tell them my disappointment, or should I just distance myself, stay positive, and when they do bring up the couple and complain to me say what??
Hi there,

Thank you for the additional information.

I think you made a good decision to stay away from the negativity being spread by your former couple friends. I understand that it might be frustrating for you to hear your friends badmouth those particular couple friends but continue being friends with them. Unfortunately you cannot direct them to do what you want but one effective way to deal with the situation is to not only clearly explain your position but also make your friends aware of their pattern of backbiting about others and then continuing to be friends with them. So for example when they start gossiping about your former couple friends you can say something like - "phew, that sounds bad. That is why I ended my relationship with them, it was against my principles. The only thing is I wasn't comfortable with talking behind their back at the same time continuing the friendship - just doesn't feel right to me" - so you're basically expressing how you feel. This will also make them aware of what they are doing. As you continue to make them aware of their pattern they will likely be motivated to adopt your stance on this and cut themselves off from that couple. But amidst it all try not to be personally affected - you can't convince them to act a particular way you can only decide what's best for you and you seem to have already done that.

I hope this provides you with some perspective.

Please do let me know if you have questions/thoughts to what I wrote above.

Warm regards,

Arundhati and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
How do you suggest getting over and not worrying about what my toxic friends are saying about my family? I continue to hear the things they are saying about us ( bad little league parents comparing our kids-- overstating their child as the best at everything. Putting my child down-and they really they are equal athletes. ) I hate what they are saying and wish they would stop, I know how ridicolous they are being and know people know that also. I want to be the bigger person. I have an anxiety disorder- it is hard for me not to worry. In anycase, How can I be the bigger person and move on doing so?
Hi there,

Thank you for your question.

You raise a very valid concern. It is not easy for any parent to hear criticism about their children, especially when such criticism is untrue and uncalled for. So my heart goes out to you for going through such an experience.

There are two possible approaches to this issue. One is countering the comments as and when they happen. So for example, when you hear negative comments about your children that your toxic friends said, you could simply say to your friends something like - "wow, that's not true at all. It only reflects their own insecurities. Harping on something that's not true doesn't turn it into reality but they don't seem to have the good sense to understand that." So through a comment like that what you'd be doing is addressing the fact that they criticisms aren't true and their saying things can't change the reality. This is an objective realistic statement to make but if it goes back to those friend's ears it would make them feel insecure that you saw right through their need to criticize your children. Now this is one approach but to be honest it's more a short-term, stop gap solution. The more sustainable solution is to find a way to ensure that these comments stop getting relayed to you. After all, we are all human, and bitter critical comments however untrue can naturally spur negativity in us and make us feel low. You can't stop those toxic friends from making comments, that's not within your control. But what you can do is decide what information you'd like to allow into your life and what you won't. So you can simply ask your friends to do you a big favor and not bring up those comments anymore because you don't want the negative energy of your toxic friends to touch your life.

I hope that was helpful. Please do let me know if you have any clarifying questions or thoughts.

I'd like to thank you again for accepting my last answer and for your generous bonus.

Warm regards,

Arundhati and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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