People who are friendly to your face but gossip about you behind your back usually display these 8 specific traits

Navigating the social landscape can be tricky. We’ve all encountered those seemingly friendly faces, the ones quick with a smile and a kind word. But what happens when those same individuals gossip about you when you’re not around?

It’s a common situation, and as the founder of the Love Connection blog and a relationship expert, I’ve seen it time and time again.

In my experience, these individuals usually display eight specific traits. Recognizing these traits can help you protect your own emotional wellbeing, and perhaps even navigate these complex relationships with a bit more grace.

So, let’s delve into these traits that are common among people who are friendly to your face but gossip about you behind your back.

1) They’re exceptionally charming

Charm can be disarming, and it’s a common trait of those who are friendly to your face but gossip about you behind your back.

You know the type – they always have a smile on their face, a compliment up their sleeve, and make you feel like you’re the most important person in the room. They’ve got charm in spades, and they aren’t afraid to use it.

Charm is a powerful social tool. It makes people feel good, it builds trust, and it can make you want to believe the best about someone. But it can also be a smokescreen, hiding less savory intentions.

As a relationship expert, I’ve seen this dynamic play out again and again. Someone who is overly charming can use that charm to deflect attention away from their less admirable behaviors – like gossiping behind your back.

Charm isn’t inherently bad, but if it’s coupled with other negative behaviors, it might be a red flag. Stay alert and remember that actions speak louder than words. Charm can be a delightful quality or a tool for manipulation. The key is discernment.

2) They’re skilled in the art of conversation

Let’s face it – people who gossip are often great conversationalists. They know how to keep people engaged, to keep the conversation flowing, and how to steer it in the direction they want.

I’ve noticed this trait in many individuals who have a tendency to gossip. They’re skilled listeners, they ask insightful questions, and they’re always ready with an interesting anecdote or piece of news. But sometimes, that news might be about you.

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” So, if someone always seems to have the latest scoop on everyone else, it could be a sign that they’re also discussing you when you’re not around.

A good conversation is about give and take, sharing and listening. It’s not just about spreading news or rumors about others.

When you’re engaged in a chat with someone, pay attention to the topics they bring up and how they steer the conversation. It might offer a revealing insight into their character.

3) They rarely reveal personal details

Have you ever noticed that some people are very good at getting you to talk about yourself, while skillfully revealing very little about their own lives? This can be another trait of those who gossip.

In my book, Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, I discuss the importance of vulnerability in building strong, healthy relationships. However, individuals who gossip often avoid being vulnerable themselves.

They’re great at asking questions, making you feel heard and valued. But when it comes to sharing their own experiences or feelings, they remain elusive. This can create a one-sided dynamic where they gain information about you, which can later be used for gossip, without revealing anything that could be used against them.

In a healthy relationship, both parties should feel comfortable sharing and listening.

If you find that someone is always prying into your life but never opening up about theirs, it could be a sign that they’re not as trustworthy as they seem.

4) They’re often the peacemaker

This might seem counterintuitive, but hear me out. People who gossip behind your back often position themselves as peacemakers or mediators in conflicts.

Why? Because it gives them a chance to be at the center of information flow. They get to hear both sides of the story, gather all the juicy details, and decide what information gets passed along – and how it’s framed.

It can be easy to see these individuals as helpful or even impartial, as they seem to be trying to resolve conflicts. But if they’re also gossiping behind your back, their motives might not be as pure as they seem.

While it’s great to have someone who can mediate disagreements and help find common ground, be cautious if that person also seems to thrive on the drama of conflict or always seems to know more about everyone else’s business than their own.

It could be that they’re playing the role of peacemaker not to help, but to gather more gossip fodder.

5) They’re often surrounded by drama

You know that person who always seems to be in the middle of a whirlwind of drama, even when it doesn’t directly involve them? This could be another sign of a gossip.

In my years of observing relationships and human behavior, I’ve come to realize that those who gossip often find themselves in the eye of the storm. They’re drawn to the excitement and unpredictability that comes with drama.

On the surface, they might appear to be a victim or an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire. But if you look closer, you may find that they’re often the common denominator in these situations.

Drama doesn’t usually occur in a vacuum. If someone always seems to be involved in conflicts or dramatic situations, it could be a sign that they’re not just observing the drama, but actively contributing to it by spreading gossip.

6) They struggle with genuine compliments

This might sting a little, but it’s true. People who are friendly to your face but gossip behind your back often struggle with giving sincere compliments. They might offer flattery, but real, heartfelt praise can be a challenge for them.

Why? Because genuine compliments come from a place of respect and admiration. People who gossip often struggle with these feelings because they’re focused on the flaws and scandals of others, not their strengths or accomplishments.

So, if the praise you’re receiving feels shallow or insincere, it could be a sign that the person offering it isn’t being entirely genuine with you. It’s a harsh truth, but recognizing this behavior can help you protect yourself from potential gossip and backstabbing.

7) They have a hard time maintaining long-term relationships

Throughout my years as a relationship expert, I’ve noticed a pattern among those who gossip – they often struggle to maintain long-term, deep friendships or relationships.

There’s a reason for this. Gossip damages trust, and trust is the foundation of any meaningful relationship. When people find out that someone has been gossiping about them, it’s very hard to regain that trust.

As the famous French author François de La Rochefoucauld once said, “We are more concerned about our reputation with strangers than with our conscience.” Gossips often prioritize the short-term thrill of sharing juicy news over the long-term benefits of building strong, trusting relationships.

If you notice someone seems to have a new best friend every few months, or their relationships seem to end in drama and hard feelings, it could be a sign that they’re gossiping behind people’s backs.

8) They thrive on negativity

This is a tough one to swallow, but it’s necessary to confront. Individuals who gossip regularly often thrive on negativity. They seem to get a certain satisfaction from sharing the misfortunes or shortcomings of others.

Gossip by its nature is often negative. It’s about sharing information that is usually private, often sensitive, and typically not flattering. This means that those who engage in gossip frequently are often focusing on the negative aspects of people’s lives.

And while it’s normal to vent or share concerns with friends, there’s a clear line between seeking support and spreading negativity. If someone seems to relish in sharing negative news or always has a scandalous story to tell, it might be time to question their motives and protect your own reputation.

You deserve to be surrounded by positivity and genuine friendship, not negativity and gossip. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries with those who cross the line.

Wrapping Up

Navigating relationships can be complex, but recognizing these traits can help you avoid those who might be friendly to your face but gossip about you behind your back.

Remember, it’s okay to set boundaries and choose who you want in your circle. Surround yourself with those who lift you up, respect your privacy, and foster positivity.

If you’re struggling with a relationship that feels unbalanced or full of gossip, my book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship might offer some helpful insights. It’s all about building healthy, respectful relationships and breaking free from negative patterns.

Remember, you are deserving of true friendship and respect. Don’t settle for less.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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