Ever Overhear A Negative Comment About Yourself? Here's My Tale Of Woe

Categories: Advice

It's happened to me several times, and I've always found it devastating because (A) I thought the person who said it was a friend; and (B) I realized what some people really think of me.

Many years ago, at a different publication, I happened to walk in on an editor saying unkind things about me. I can't remember exactly what she was saying--all right I can, but let me not dignify them by repeating them here all these years later. Why dredge up the hurt all over again?

Anyway, I sashayed into her office just as she was going into full force on the topic of my alleged assholism to a coworker. (It wasn't about my work, which is always flawless, thank you, but about my personality.)

When she realized I had suddenly entered the room, she blanched and said, "And then there's Michael...", trying to throw me off the scent as if she was now switching topics. But I knew it was me she'd been dishing. And dishing. And dishing.

Worse than that is when you overhear a nickname someone's given you behind your back.

That could be suicide time.

I've also eavesdropped on people calling me tired, unattractive, and weird.

(When I walked in on that last one, the offender bullshitted, "Oh! We were just saying how great it is that you don't drink!")

But I actually might deserve all this because I was once the offender myself.

When I lived in a two-bedroom apartment, I had a roommate--a nice if introverted young woman named, let's say, Joanne.

A friend of mine came over and we started dishing on Joanne since her door was shut, there was nary a sound coming out of her room, and she was obviously out.

We went on and on about how sad and friendless she was, and how she really needed to get a life sometime real soon or risk extinction. "The poor thing is such a loser!" we cackled.

Well, during a lull in the conversation, her door opened. Joanne emerged. She'd been in there the whole time.

Suicide time for everyone.

Be careful whom you dish--and where.

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Once I only heard half of the comment "...Well, at least, she's a hard worker." Never knew what the negative first part was, but if that was my 'positive' trait, it must've been pretty sad.


Or how about the "friends" who lure you into a dish session just so they can run and tell the person what "you" said about them...they always seen to "forget" they started it.


me and my old roommate did the same to our quiet asian roommate who we thought was not home.

the worst is reading horrible stuff about yourself that people think you'll never read online... in the late 90s i got caught up in it now i realize i just should of ignored it.


I had a friend accidentally cc me on a smack-talking email she wrote about me to another mutual friend. Boy were they embarrassed when I "replied all" on that. I should note that I actually deserved what they were dishing.


Harrowing stories. Thanks for sharing.