Gossip is a conversation involving malicious chatter or rumor about other people. It is also a conversation or report about other people’s private lives that might be unkind, disapproving or untrue. The truth is no one likes to be the object of a gossip, not even those who thrive in it. It always starts with a “Lucy, have you heard that…”
When you find yourself in a gathering practicing any of the adjectives above, you are being a gossip – pure gossip! Gossip is not always a bad thing but it can be incredibly harmful not only to you, but to others who find themselves as the objects of such malicious discussions. If you think you are one heck of a gossip, I suggest you find ways to limit your gossip tendencies.
We’re humans and by default, are social creatures and gossip is part of the framework of society which makes it almost impossible to do without ‘juicy talks.’ Another step you can take is to stop engaging or encouraging other people to gossip. How do you do this? By simply not giving such persons an open invitation by responding to their idle talks.
below, I will quickly talk about how you can take practical steps to curb your gossip habit. A 21 days trial they say, breaks or forms a new habit. We need to break this one.
How then can you deal with gossip, both from yourself and others?
- Keep yourself from spreading or sharing what you have heard: Always remember to ask yourself ‘what is the point of repeating the information?’ Is someone going to get hurt or going to benefit from the information? Take for instance, you see your best friend’s girlfriend cheating on him, your only duty, if you really have to, is to tell your best friend what you know and no one else, because when you do tell someone who don’t have any business in knowing about the situation, you are being a gossip. When you tell your best friend, you are saving him from a toxic relationship, broadcasting it to a third-party is like spreading infectious tales which will hurt your friend in the long run when everyone gets to know his girlfriend is cheating on him. I think you want to save your friend the shame.
- Sort out negative gossip from the rest: Since not all gossip is bad, you don’t need to completely eradicate it from your life. However, you should learn to differentiate between harmless and hurtful gossip. In the instance that Joan tells you she overheard her father and the preacher talking about renovating the church, yes she is being a gossip, but no one will end up hurting from her tattling.
- Figure out the reason for the gossip: Sometimes, the reason why you are spreading stories about people is because you are angry at them. Unless, someone is dangerous, you don’t usually need to air your conflicts. For example, if you find yourself talking about how Clara, your roommate is such a slut and is always wearing short dresses, ask yourself, what the problem is. Is it because you are jealous? Even if Clara does sleep with a variety of guys, what does that have to do with you?
- Do something about the problem: If you really want to get to the root of the problem, especially if it is something that has been ongoing, you absolutely do not have to go venting to every person you meet. Sometimes, what you have to do is simply delete them completely from your life. Rather than talking about how self-absorbed and inconsiderate your ex-boyfriend was and still is, stop engaging with him and de-friend him totally. This way, instead of wasting energy talking about toxic people, you move on to talking about fun things.
It is not just enough that you desist from malicious chitchats, it is also necessary to disengage others who do it, for a Spanish proverb says, “he who gossips to you will one day, gossip about you.”
Until next time! Chao!