One time, a long time ago, I was caught talking about someone behind their back. She walked in as I was telling someone about some habit or practice that she had that I thought was silly and demonstrated her being neurotic. Of course, just like in the After School Specials, when she walked in we immediately stopped talking which made her suspicious, which then lead me to lie about what we’d been talking about. Bad form, gulfchick 😦
Good on her, though, she called me out on it. I wriggled and squirmed trying to find a way of explaining away my bad behavior, but in the end, I just had to apologize. We were never as close.
That was a turning point for me. I never again assumed that the things I said about someone wouldn’t get back to them one way or another. It has made me think twice or three times before offering an opinion, solicited or not.
To have had the shoe roughly shoved onto my other foot has been painful recently. I overheard “friends” badmouthing me to a superior in order to try to save their own skins. Using inaccuracies. Making jokes about my ambitious-ness. Running me down to decision-makers that I will not probably have an opportunity to defend myself to. (Ouch – sorry editor/daughter – ending with a preposition)
I called them on it. Reported them to the boss. Steadfastly requested consequences. Their hands were tapped, not even slapped. Even more bad behavior will be required, and be required to be reported, before anything real happens to them.
And they’re probably sleeping better than I am. Hmmm…