How to End Negative Gossip by One of Your Ex-Friends

Gossip can quickly spread through your school's halls.
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If "Gossip Girl" felt more like your real life than a teen TV drama, you're not alone. Many teens and young adults are victims of rumors and negative gossip. Often, it's done by ex-friends trying to increase their own popularity or power by putting you down. And unlike "Gossip Girl," you can't turn it off with a simple push of a remote button. However, you have options for facing rumors and gossip head on.

1 Confront to Cut It Off

In "Gossip Girl," Serena and Blair had many confrontations over brunch. You don't need brunch to confront your ex-friend about the gossip she's spreading. If you know someone is gossiping behind your back, walk up to her the next time you run into her at the mall or at school. Tell her you heard what she has been saying and that you would like her to stop. This is sometimes enough to end the problem. Avoid getting angry or yelling, and don't get pulled into an argument with your ex-friend. Simply say what you need to say, and then leave.

2 Zip It Up

Gossip typically starts because you shared a confidential piece of information with someone, and that person broke your trust and began talking about it behind your back. One of the surest ways to slowly end negative gossip is by giving the gossipers nothing to talk about. Pay attention to what you share, and never tell anyone anything that you wouldn't want your entire school or community to know. Starved of juicy information, your ex-friend may move on to other gossip victims.

3 Break Up With Fake Friends

Staying away from social groups that gossip and spread rumors is one of the best ways to both avoid being part of the gossip cycle and also dodge hearing any rumors people are saying about you. Surround yourself only with friends and family who build you up in a positive way, not drag you down. Sometimes, this may mean taking a hard look at the types of people you hang out with, and "breaking up" with so-called friends who participate in gossip.

4 Focus on Yourself

When you hear negative information being spread about you by ex-friends, one of the best things to do is to learn from it and become a bigger, better person, recommends public relations expert Kelly Cutrone in an interview with "Teen Vogue" magazine. If the gossip is based on a mistake you've made, acknowledge the mistake and focus on not repeating it. Additionally, spend time and energy doing things that build your self-esteem and that highlight all your strengths. As you get emotionally stronger, the cut and sting of gossip quickly fades.

5 Talk to an Adult

If gossip continues to happen, talk to a trusted adult, such as a parent or a counselor or therapist at your school. These people can help you during this difficult time and offer advice; they may even be able to help you squash any rumors that are going around about you.

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.