Dear Jane, Gossip is Giving Me Anxiety
Even though I’m now well into my 40’s, I’m still close to a small group of women that I went to college with all of those years ago. At this point, we’ve survived cross-country moves, marriages, divorces, babies, and the passing of some of our parents.
But the one thing that we haven’t been able to survive is the amount of gossip and rumors that still swirl within our friend group.
Hearing the ping of our group chat used to excite me, but now it just gives me anxiety and my heart starts to race and I get on edge, wondering about what the next issue will be. The worst part is that the gossip has clearly divided our friendship group.
A few of the girls will talk about the others behind their backs, “Whose husband is cheating? Who’s going broke?” and with the other half of our group having no idea what’s being said about them without their knowledge.
I guess my main problem is that it’s gone from gossip and hearsay to malicious and personal digs. Also, I feel guilty when I chime in against one of my friends and I feel fake when I don’t come clean about what’s being said.
Jane, how do I navigate decades-long friendships that are now being plagued by gossip and grips?
– Not Such A Good Friend
Be the type of friend that you want to have. Don’t gossip or join in malicious rumors and be honest and upfront with your friends about what’s being said.”
Dear Not Such a Good Friend,
Whelp. That is quite the conundrum. You’re aware that the toxic gossip within your friend group is causing you mental and physical anxiety, but yet, you’re complicit, and at times, a willing participant in the mess.
Unfortunately, as human beings sometimes it feels good, although an ‘icky’ type of good, to join in talking crap about someone behind their backs, swirling the rumors around within the rumor mill, and spreading a bit of gossip from friend-to-friend.
But what is fortunate, is that I have a few ways to clear out your energy, clean up your friendship vibes, and ease your anxiety.
Stock up on Hello Mellow
Before you start hearing the pings of your group chat, pop an all-natural Hello Mellow supplement that will help you in calming your mind, slowing down a racing heart, and easing your anxiety. The best part is that the Hello Mellow capsules will help you to live a more peaceful life overall, regardless of what’s going on within your friendship squad.
Do a Friendship Audit
Take each person in your friendship group and assess your relationship with her on an individual basis. Perhaps it’s time to let some friendships go if they no longer serve you, or you might want to restructure how you function within the friendship.
This means that if you have a friend that is constantly bringing you gossip, negativity, rumors, and low vibes, then it might be time to distance yourself from that person. It’s okay for friendships to run their course, and sometimes letting go of a friendship can be harder than letting go of a relationship.
Create Healthier Friendship Boundaries
After you’ve done your friendship audit and identified the friends that are bringing you down through their gossipy ways, you can then gently let them know that you’re happy to continue the friendship, but that you’d like to confine the topics of conversations to be just about what’s going in your specific lives and not speculate or gossip about your other friends. It might be hard at first, but try to be mindful of not falling down the rabbit of talking crap about your friends behind their backs, because the truth is, if your friend will gossip about someone else, they most certainly will gossip about you.
And last, but not least, be the type of friend that you want to have. Don’t gossip or join in malicious rumors and be honest and upfront with your friends about what’s being said about them and I bet that your anxiety will subside. Also, grab some all-natural Nighty Night supplements for a peaceful night’s rest and give the gift of Go Away, I’m Fizzy, to your besties that made the cut.
Jane is the fictional heroine of the Betoken lifestyle blog, Good For Jane. Think of Jane as your virtual BFF. She lives a healthy lifestyle, but not like, over the top. When it’s not a pandemic, she loves hanging out with her friends, dating, and exercising in public. Throughout the pandemic she has baked her fair share of sourdoughs, gotten more than her fair share of takeout to “support her local restaurants”, ordered wine online and taken plenty of CBD to keep the anxiety at bay.
Jane is also the editor of the Dear Jane column. If you have a question for Jane, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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