How to prevent people from speaking about others in their absence
Do you get upset when someone tells you “You know what xyz was talking about you?” I promise you that if you use this simple communication strategy you can get peace of mind and relief from balk-talkers.
When somebody says you:
a) XYZ was telling me that…
b) Do you know what XYZ was telling about you?
Make a habit of getting alarmed by this pattern and then use the following template.
Strategy Step 1: Interrupt before sentence completion and say “Why do you want to tell me that? If the balk-talker has an ill intention, then your first step should disarm him and he would retreat “no, I thought it may be important for you to know what xyz talks about you.”
STEP 2: “Ok, whatever you say may upset me, but not towards the other person but towards you.” By clearly indicating the consequence of the talk you make this costly for the other and he would retreat. And if he says “but you must know this”, then for sure you know that things are meant to upset you.
Step 3: “If you think it is important, then please tell me but I am going to raise this with the other person and would say that you have told me this.”(Which anyways you will do)
That’s it. It should be enough for the balk-talkers to back off. And you save yourself from being upset.