#15: Badmouth others to you

Posted on July 31, 2013


Office girls sharing secret shocked expression

My nona, who immigrated to the United States from Italy, was a big fan of daytime talk shows, usually of the most dramatic variety. While watching Jerry Springer (which has a soft spot for consistently displaying tales of infidelity), she would advise the women on the show in her thick, Italian accent: “The man who cheats on his wife with you will cheat on you when you become his wife!” My nona had a bunch of sayings like that, sayings that we would repeat as humorous cliches but which hold quite a bit of wisdom.

So I’d like to take my nona’s words and alter them a little bit here, into truths I’ve discovered:

1.  The woman who badmouths her friends to you will badmouth you when you become her friend.  
2. The man who badmouths his ex to you will badmouth you when you become his ex. 

3. The boss who badmouths your peers to you is badmouthing you to them. 

And so on and so forth.

I’ve seen so many people who think that they are trusted confidantes when someone badmouths their nearest and dearest to them. Who think that they’re somehow special that they get to be on the receiving end of this information.  Who are naive enough to think that the boss telling them something bad about their colleagues means that they will get the promotion.  

The painful truth is this: All you really learn from a badmouther is that they have a tendency to badmouth others. If you’re smart, you’ll be very careful about letting them into your life. And if you do, just accept that you will become another person they feel the need to talk trash about.