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Our Friendship Is A Drain On Me

By Daily Graphic

Dear Nana Ama,

I am 35 and I work in a reputable company in the capital. I’ve worked for several years in the company and l have so far not had any confrontation with any of my co-workers or even my superiors.

I have tried to apply myself diligently to my work and give of my best. Recently, a lady joined our company and as she and I had to work on the same schedule, we became friends over time. Nana, since this lady started talking with me, I’ve had no peace.

She is the one who always tells me when the other workers gossip about me, make fun of me or plot against me. Since she arrived, I’ve got to know all those who hate me but come smiling with me and so on.

I get so upset sometimes that I go home almost ill. When I shared the problem with a friend at home, she advised me to break away from my colleague and stay away from her.

I tried to do so for a while but she would not let me alone, as we have to work together.

She always finds a way to chip in a word or two about what others are saying or doing even as we work together, and she’s making me very miserable by her gossip. Please help me.

Martha M., Accra.

Dear Martha,

Gossip is regarded as a destructive habit that is so cruel that it can ruin a friendship and turn other people’s lives upside down.

I’m sure your friend has not stopped to ask herself about the implications of what she has been telling you about.

By gossiping to you, she is trying to enhance her own image with you. The simple but hard truth is that your friend is trying to destroy others' reputations in order to improve her standing with you.

I think you can put a stop to her malicious gossip by confronting her with a good response. The next time she begins her favourite pastime, do ask her, 'Can I quote you on this?'

I believe that she, like most gossips, will balk at the prospect of being quoted. On the other hand, you can also explain to her that by constantly telling you what others are saying about you, she is draining you physically and emotionally and you would appreciate it if she stopped talking to you about what others say or plot against you.

Make her understand that by telling you about what others are saying about you, you get upset and it bothers you a lot. You have co-existed with those people before she joined the company and you have had no cause to complain.

You would, therefore, appreciate it if she keeps to herself whatever she hears. That should stop her in her tracks.

Do your best to keep conversation with her, or any other person, for that matter, to the barest minimum while you are at work. To stop gossips generally, it helps to either walk away if you can or change the topic.