Stuck between friends

How do you patch up a rift between old friends and new? Sometimes you can’t say our elder, and some people aren’t worth the effort.

Dear EWC:

Hello, I have a best friend; let’s call her Anna. Anna has been telling me about this girl I was best friends with almost two years ago. Let’s call her Grace.

Grace has been talking trash behind Anna’s back and being rude, going out of her way to make Anna mad, and being very petty. At this point I am completely fed up with Grace and I want to confront her and ask her to stop talking behind people’s backs because Anna has told me that she’s doing this to multiple people. I’m scared, though, because I haven’t talked to her and she’ll know that Anna told me about her and she’ll get even angrier with Anna.

I am also aware her (Grace) home life is horrible and I’m not sure if that means anything to this but it’s a detail. I’m not sure what to do or how to tell Grace to stop at all. I know I need to find a way to make her stop or a way to tell her to stop. I could use some help. Thank you.

Good-Listener replies:

If it makes you feel any better, stupidity, and negativity—the likes of which your friend Grace is spewing—can happen to young people or folks my age (almost 70). I have been in a similar situation, as both the victim of bad words and witness to it.
The problem is this. Grace will likely turn on you, and start talking smack about you. I can’t analyze the girl, but she sounds to me to be extremely troubled. You said you suspect she has a tough home life. That’s unfortunate. However, many of us were victims of a tough childhood but didn’t turn our anger towards others for whatever reason…fear, jealousy, etc.
I suggest you do your best to push away from Grace. If she changes and can start acting with dignity, then be understanding, but beware. Toxic people are very hard to trust.

You can ask her to stop, but she may feel threatened and lash out. Don’t tell Grace off; that never does anyone any good. Just find other people to hang with as best you can, people who treat others with respect. You can’t get her to stop. If Grace wants to change her behavior, she will, and if she needs to continue with her unpleasant ways, she will continue to do so. This is not a person of quality while your friend Anna, and others are worth the effort. Good luck.


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