I grew up in New York, was very active in sports, and had friends who took sports and school seriously. I found it difficult to resist joining the backbiting and gossip. It was so common. In ninth grade my best friend would gossip and backbite a lot. One time, she was backbiting about someone, and I tried to change the conversation by saying something positive about the person she was talking about. She continued to gossip, and I, again, said something positive. My friend became upset and stormed off angrily because I always brought up something positive when she was backbiting. This caused a rift with my friend that lasted several months. I knew I shouldn’t participate in backbiting even though she wanted to. She eventually realized that it was not a good reason to be upset with me, and we became friends again.