I have a bad habit of talking behind people’s backs. How do I stop?
If the people you are talking about are your friends, then I think you have to start by examining your friendships. Is there some reason why you are doing this to a friend? Are you friends with the right people? Are you bearing any grudges against your friends that make you want to get back at them on the sly? Is there a confrontation you’ve been avoiding? Why can you say things about friends to other people, but not address this criticism to your friends themselves? Though it might be difficult at first, perhaps there are some issues you need to take up with your friends. Re-evaluating your friendships isn’t easy, but it can be worth the work.
Of course, there may be another explanation for why you talk behind people’s backs. Do you do it because it’s fun? It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the groupthink of a gossip circle–and to rely on that type of chatter to keep conversations going. You may want to try and come up with some less nasty topics to discuss. Or you may want to consider hanging out with a different circle of people…keeping out of temptation’s way, so to speak.
Another good idea when trying to keep yourself off the backstabbing bandwagon is to remember the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have done to you. Everyone has been gossiped about, and rarely is that a pleasant feeling. If you can keep in mind what your own feelings might be in the same situation, maybe you’ll be more likely to hold your tongue.