Here's a question for you. If you think you heard something said about a friend that is not nice and would upset them, what would you do? Would you interrupt the conversation and defend your friend? Would you say nothing and then go tell your friend? Or would you just ignore the conversation?
I know in my high school and college days, I felt the need to tell my friends what was said. I felt that they needed to know so they could defend themselves.
If I am really honest with myself as to why I used to want to tell my friends what I heard said about them - it was actually to bring about more attention to myself to someone that I felt was important in my life. Not really done to help my friend at all (since it only ends up hurting them more). Once I realized that it's just best to ignore negative things being said about others and to even try NOT to hear gossip that is being discussed, it really made me feel like I had more control of my life. I do not need to pass along "news" being discussed by someone that obviously has different intentions in life (or is in a different place right now than I am) in order for me to feel better. I do not need or require others to like me or respect me and I don't need to try and control others' discussions, even if they are about me or any of my friends. It's impossible to do, anyway and that is something that will only affect them. It only affects me, when I let it affect me - and that just makes me feel so much more in control of my life.
Passing along negativity only brings about more negativity and more hurt feelings. Life is not about "defending" what you feel is right. Live life like our beloved dogs do - they hold no grudges and do not defend anything they do - they just do what they feel is reinforcing and ignore anything that is uncomfortable until it goes away.
You gotta just love dogs!