What To Do When Former Friend Is Talking Smack About You In Public

You used to be so close. Now they won't stop badmouthing you. 

In hip hop, rappers make sure the world knows just how awful their former friend is in a diss track. Drake and Meek Mill used to be buddies, but when they fell out, Drake laid Meek out in his hit “Back To Back.” When a friendship ends, is it really best to handle the situation by badmouthing your former BFF to anyone who will listen?

“Whenever someone is talking badly and gossiping about someone else there’s obviously a lot of deep down hurt and resentment,” says Lori Bizzoco, relationship advice expert and executive editor of CupidsPulse. “There’s some type of pain that they’re feeling about the situation because there was love there at some point.” 

Michelle, 41, had to end her friendship with Tina, who was always showing up hours late and then getting upset when Michelle couldn’t be there at her beck and call. Afterwards, Tina went on a rampage. “She started calling all our mutual friends and telling them that I was a fake monster and that she was the one who didn’t have time for all that drama.” Of course, the irony is that Tina was just creating more of it in a new direction.  

So how does one handle a former friend who’s talking some serious smack? “It’s better to not say anything than to say something back,” Lori declares.  Really?

“When a relationship is taken away, there’s a lot of pain that can be created from that,” she explains. “If they haven’t gotten to an emotional maturity level to deal with the loss, they tend to retaliate. It’s a defense mechanism.” 

For your own sanity and health, it’s so much better to back away.

“If you continue to watch the person retaliate against you and say negative things on Facebook, Twitter or even loudly in public it’s only going to add to your own suffering. That will fade a lot faster if you’re not around all that negativity.” 

Lori does attest that are times you may need to confront your former friend. “No matter how much they’re doing to you or how painful or negative or blasphemous they’ve been, approach it on the offensive,” she suggests. Clarify why you needed this friendship to end to move on with your own life. 

And before you opt for the confrontational approach, ask yourself if you really want to reinvest any energy into this person? You may find it isn’t worth a few lyrics.

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