My Friend Makes Me Look Bad in Front of Others

Gossiping to others about you won't make your friend popular.
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Whether she spreads rumors, makes fun of you or spills secrets, making you look bad in front of other people isn't a sign of true friendship. When your BFF is piling on the put downs, understanding why she's doing this is key to putting your relationship back on the right track. If things don't get better, you may need to walk away and look for a new friend.

1 Clique It

Before you dissect your relationship to figure out why your best bud is making you look bad, consider whether he's a true friend or not. Not every person that you know or hang out with is a real friend. For example, cliques are groups of "friends" who rule by exclusion instead of accepting members based on true feelings. Cliques -- especially clique leaders -- tend to put down other people in an effort to gain popularity or put themselves in a position of power, according to the article "Coping With Cliques" on the TeensHealth website. If this is true in your case, quit the clique and look for new friends that accept you for who you are.

2 Competitive Nature

Competition, even when it's between two friends, can make people lash out and start slinging insults, according to psychologist Lisa Firestone in her article "Why Do Women Act Catty?" on the Psychology Today website. Is it possible that your friend is feeling envious of you or some aspect of your life? Your BFF might make you look bad if that is how she is really feeling inside. For example, if you ace the math final and she gets a C, she might spout out an insult such as, "You are such a nerd."

3 Friendly Advice

Even though your friend is saying something that you don't want to hear, is he really putting you down? A true friend is committed to your happiness and won't lie just to make you feel better. For example, if your new shirt is wildly inappropriate, telling you so is his way of helping you save face. That said, when a friend does this in front of others you may feel confused or conflicted. While it's true that he should wait and tell you in private, it might not cross his mind or his true feelings may burst out before he can stop them. This type of put down isn't intentionally cruel but is meant to help you.

4 Gossip Girl

Telling your secrets or making up lies are both hurtful behaviors that you need to address. The lack of maturity that your friend is showing not only makes you look bad but also may indicate that she's not a true friend. Sit her down and have a clear conversation about her gossiping ways. Avoid yelling or acting aggressively. Cool down and have a calm discussion, asking her to stop the gossip. If she's unapologetic or keeps the rumors going, it's time for the friendship to end.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.