Hello and thanks for contacting Education.com This is a good question and one which shows some maturity and responsibility of the person asking the question!
You can not directly control the actions of others but you can control your own actions. That being said, you can set a good example by not engaging in gossip with your friends. Stand up for the ones who are being talked about, change the subject or walk away. By changing your behavior and being true to yourself, you will feel better about yourself, and your attitude may eventually rub off and change the attitudes and eventually the behaviors of your friends.
For more support please contact our Hotline. We can be reached by telephone or by e-mail. We also have a website for teens from which you can read postings from other teens and can also e-mail us from the site. Either way we are here 24/7 to help with any problem.
Take care and keep reaching out!
Boys Town National Hotline
It's probably not possible for one person to end all back stabbing and gossip among groups of friends. Sadly, there are some people who use these hurtful behaviors to fuel their own sense of self worth ("If I knock someone else down, it will be easier for me to rise to the top").
The best thing for you to do is be a good example to your friends. If someone says mean things to you about another friend, don't encourage it or join in. If you're comfortable confronting the gossipy friend by saying something like "I'd rather not talk about Sarah since she's not here to tell us what really happened" that's great. But if that seems too hard or scary you can still make a statement by ignoring the gossipy comment or walking away from the person who said it.
Another option is to talk to the school counselor to let her know what's going on with your group of friends. She can have one or more sessions with the group (without letting them know who alerted her to the situation) to help everyone talk about what's going on, how hurtful it is, and how you can work together to stop it.