This week’s topic is one that I know many of us struggle with, myself included. Gossip!
Have you ever found yourself with a group of girlfriends and suddenly the gossip gets underway? Someone chimes in expressing, “I wouldn’t have done that if I were her. What was she thinking?” Then without skipping a beat everyone throws in their two cents worth. “If I were her I would…..” and before you know it the entire group is focusing all their attention on some else’s shortcomings. Why? Why focus all attention on someone who isn’t even present? It deters any attention on those in attendance. It is far too personal and hard to share our own shortcomings. And sometimes tearing someone else down is a way that others feel artificially built up. Why artificially? Because there is no spiritual growth when we tear others down, in fact, that “feel good” feeling is quite temporary and once it wears off the gossiper often falls lower than the person they were gossiping about.
Steps to Stop Gossiping…..
- Shut it down. If someone comes up to you and says, “did you hear what happened to so-and-so?” simply reply, “No, I should really give them a call and catch up. Thanks for reminding me to get in touch with them”.
- Fill the silence with truth not gossip. Gossip seems to always spill during those moments of silence. Instead of talking about others bring up something going on in your life, a television show, book you are reading or want to read, hobby you enjoy, etc. there is so many more worthy discussions to be had.
- Be cautious with the company you keep. If they are willing to gossip freely about so-and-so when she is not present chances are they have no problem gossiping about you too. Maybe it is time to make a new group of girlfriends?
- What about those people who gossip about you? Forgive them. Chances are they either do not have much going on in their lives, they are dealing with jealousy or hurting immensely and in order to make themselves feel temporary better they need to tear you down. This is a hard one but it can be mastered in time.
- Take the high road. Focus on the positive. Image if that same group of girls who were doing all that gossiping used their time more wisely and came up with a great way to help out the community with a fundraiser, drive, etc.
Have you ever gossiped about someone? Did you feel bad afterward? Perhaps you have a friend who gossips, how do you redirect the conversation? Please share any experiences or advice as it pertains to this week’s topic.