It hurts when you find out someone has been saying mean things about you behind your back. It hurts all the more when it's a friend, family member, or coworker. Of course, you don't intentionally act in a way that you know is going to encourage people to speak poorly about you. That being said, you may unknowingly partake in on of the common daily habits that you don't realize make people talk behind your back. The good news is that habits can be broken.
I know that I have habits that make friends of mine talk about me behind my back. I also have habits that make friends of mine talk about me to my face. In both cases, these instances of friends talking about me are sometimes almost unavoidable. These are habits we're talking about, after all. Eliminating them takes a little work.
According to Psychology Today, the first step towards breaking a bad habit is making the decision to change your habit and then convincing yourself that you are capable of doing so. If you want to keep your friends from talking about you behind your back, it may be as simple as breaking a habit. The problem is, you may not actually know what you're doing that causing the gossiping in the first place. Here, seven common habits that you may not even realize are making people talk behind your back.
1. You're Negative
Being negative all the time can really wear on a relationship. Sometimes, though, once you start with the negativity, it can be hard to stop. Complimenting instead of complaining and looking for gratitude can be ways to help break up the negativity in your life, according to Mind Body Green.
2. You Show Off
Constant one-upping and showing off doesn't make you look confident. It often makes whoever you're talking to feel annoyed, bad about themselves, and exhausted. Plus, sometimes it's just not about you. According to a column syndicated in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the best way to stop one-upping is to first practice biting your tongue when the urge to to one-up comes on and then to pose a question to the person speaking about what they just told you about.
3. You Judge
It's difficult to share news or decisions with people you know are going to judge, for better or for worse. It's also easy to judge based on how you would do something differently. According to Psychology Today, feeling good about your own choices and giving the other person the benefit of the doubt can help you stop judging people and move past it.
4. You Disappoint
When you break plans, lie, or make a poor decision that affects others, sometimes you disappoint people along the way. Though disappointment is part of life, sometimes that leads people to talk behind your back. The best way to avoid disappointing people is to continue to try your best to not cancel plans, lie, or let someone down. It's all you can do.
5. You're Flaky
Not following through with relationships or cancelling plans at the last minute can agitate the people in your life. According to Rookie, people are flaky because they can be. Want to be less flaky? Make sure to make a note (virtual or otherwise) indicating when your plans are and force yourself to stick to them, for example.
6. You Only Talk About Yourself
Of course you're going to talk about yourself, no one will fault you for doing so, but it's when you only talk about yourself that things get a little dicey. According to Fast Company, human brains are hard-wired to talk about ourselves, so it can sometimes be hard to cut yourself off. Setting a time limit to chat about yourself before directing the conversation back toward whoever you're talking to can help.
7. You're Too Hard On Yourself
I'll be honest: this is one of the habits I have that annoys my best friend to no end. It doesn't necessarily happen all the time, but piling on and making yourself feel bad (essentially throwing your own mini pity party) leaves other people feeling frustrated. Treating yourself the way you'd treat your friend is one way to combat this. I know, I know, it sounds totally cheesy, but it works. You'd never tell your friend about all their horrible qualities at once, making them feel the absolute worst, right? So quit doing it to yourself.