Be the one to shut gossip down. Be the one to steer the conversation away from slamming someone else, or discussing someone’s private stuff in a public setting when they aren’t around. Be the one who lifts people up and finds the good when everyone else is busy putting them down. No, you may not be the most popular person at the time, and no, you may not be invited back. You’ll probably get some eye rolls, and sure, they’ll be annoyed, but just know that…
1. They’re only annoyed because deep down they know gossip is wrong, and you called them out on it. Nobody likes to feel guilty about theirs stuff, but we all need the gentle reminder from time to time.
2. You were loyal when it mattered the most, and when it was the hardest. Ninety-nine percent of people know how to be good to someone’s face, but that one percent who knows how to be good behind someone’s back—those are the real ones.
3. Everybody in that circle just learned that you’re the kind of friend they can trust with anything.
4. They might not be your people after all. Your people talk about ideas. They share jokes, and they share recipes, and all the best places to get a good deal. They encourage. They genuinely care about others, and they are confident enough to know that putting someone down doesn’t lift you up—it makes you a jerk.