Okay, so we all know and have been taught that we shouldn't tattle tale, gossip, back stab, and all that other happy stuff, so why do we keep doing it? This is not one of those things you learn when you become an adult. Hell, you're practically taught that out of the womb. Now, I accept that certain things are just going to happen and we're all gonna get caught up or caught out there, but when do you realize that you need to stop playing games and woman/man up? I see it like this, if you think you're grown enough to repeat something someone said, possibly take it out of context, or not disclaim it with "in my opinion", then why open your damn mouth in the first place? Don't we learn this lesson in like grade school?
In order to protect certain people, there are occasions when you might have to protect their identity. That being the case, then give said person a ficticious name. It makes the story easier to follow and it makes the story more credible if they aren't referred to in the third person. I know someone who constantly told stories of "they" and I finally had enough and asked her to qualify her story with a name; it's not like I really know who the hell she was talking about anyway.
That aside, my issue is with those who take and repeat things out of context to a another party and then leave the person with whom they were initially speaking holding the bag as if he/she was the perpetrator. The hell is up with that? If you were (or thought you were) grown enough to inquire, participate, and then repeat (even out of context or with no disclaimer), then you need to own up to it if confronted. Hell, if necessary, all parties need to hash it out and you'll soon find out who told the truth and who didn't cause all of a sudden, folks attitudes start to shift. The one seeking the truth will be calm, have their facts in order, and speak without being offensive. The perp will start catching attitude and getting all defensive and the story may change a time or two. The listening party will also get defensive and then clam up cause s/he realizes that s/he jumped to the wrong conclusions and was being accusitory for no reason.
People will be people I understand that, but there does come a time when we all have to face the music, so why not be the party who's played by the book and has nothing to hide. Acknowledge the fact that mutual friendships don't always have to include all parties in all conversations. And when party "A" is speaking with party "B"; neither party "A" or "B" has to go back to party "C" and say anything. Recognize that you're not always being "helpful" by involving all; especially when there was no cause for repeating anything anyway.
Never ever forgot there are 3 sides to every story, his, hers, and the truth; it's best to always be on the truth side of the story. A lie is a script you have to repeat over and over again to remember and repeat while the truth is always constant and requires no preparation. And in closing, friends don't play gossip and intermediate if there's no fear of a lie being found out.
Is it just me or is that a common sense little lesson from life's handbook?!