Gossip Girls: Do I Confront Someone who has Been Speaking Badly About Me?

Q: You heard through the grapevine that someone was not saying nice things about yourself. What do you do? To confront or not confront without proof.’

A: It depends on your relationship to the person, but if it is possible to not confront but to ask, without divulging your source, it is fine to do so.  “George, I have been told that you said XXX about me and this upset me a lot. I would rather you came to me if you had a problem, and would like to work this out so it doesn’t happen again. If you have some problem with me, I’d appreciate it if you would try to work it out with me before sharing your opinions and critical comments with so man others.”


  1. Lisa Marie Lindenschmidt

    The answer to this seems odd and unfair to me. Wouldn’t confronting the person about what you -heard- be engaging in the thing you’re most upset about? If this is a close friend, yes, I agree you should confront the person, but more along the lines of “Others have told me that you’re saying X about me. What is your response to that?” Let the person have the chance to defend themselves without assuming the gossip is true first. If this isn’t a close friend, why bother? The other thing I would question is why the source told you this in the first place. What was that person’s motive? There are too many unknowns in this question.

    • Vanna Keiler

      I agree with Lisa Marie. The EPI suggestion would only cause more dissension and “fuel to the fire”, particularly if it were not true. It is a no-win situation: if you are unsure of another person’s character and are willing to insult them and ask them if they are gossiping about you, prepare to lose that friend. If the person is indeed gossiping about you, prepare to lose the friend anyways. If it is a work-related scenario, so long as it is not affecting your work performance, this is best left alone too. Confronting people based on third-party information is a truly losing scenario – things get lost in translation along the grapevine. I say, if you can avoid it, don’t do it!

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