We all have been involved in mischievous chatter at one time or another.... It is very easy to get caught up in the moment and let our guard down... I have even met a few
"church ladies" who felt that a little Innocent gossip would never hurt anyone. They called it "sharing" =) ha! Yes! It is easy to do and sometimes quite entertaining.... Until the tables are turned... When the story's subject matter involves you as the main focal point... then it no longer becomes humorous... Talking behind someone else's back can lead to hurt and a broken spirit! So the next time you find yourself ready to serve up a juicy bit of information.... THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK!... What if the shoe where on the other foot?.... And you were the main dish being served? Trust your instinct and let God do the talking for you!
Stop Gossip Before it Starts
Darlene Zagata, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Dec 2, 2006
Gossip is the fuel that lights many fires. It destroys friendships, creates rifts between family members and is a totally destructive pattern. Why people are so eager to play the he said/she said game is troubling. You wonder if they have nothing better to do with their time or whether the desire to see others argue and suffer actually resides somewhere deep within the human psyche.
At times, it seems gossip travels faster than the speed of light. Gossip is a destructive habit whether the information being spread is true or not. In fact, it's irrelevant. If people would mind their own business and deal with their own problems perhaps they wouldn't have time to be so interested in the lives of others. There are those that look for negativity in others simply so they can feel better about themselves. There may be other issues that cause one to gossip incessantly such as low self-esteem or an inferiority complex.
People that admit they are gossips but can't seem to stop themselves should seek out the advice of a counselor. Everyone has the potential to develop bad or destructive habits but admitting it is the first step in overcoming them. Having someone to talk to really does help if you can be open and honest with yourself and with others. A professional counselor can provide ways to work toward eliminating negative habits if an individual truly desires to change.
If you have a friend or relative that likes to gossip then you probably already know just how annoying and frustrating it can be to be caught in the middle of other people's conflicts. The best way to control gossip is to stop it before it starts. But you might say, "I don't gossip. I just sit there and listen."
Even if you don't gossip, listening can be just as bad. You are an enabler. You enable the gossiping individual to continue to gossip. Even if you sit there and listen to the gossip one time you are permitting that person to use you as a sounding board. Once you have allowed them to do that they will continue to feel that they can run to you with the latest news.
You can take control of the situation if you choose to do so. Stop the gossip before it starts. How do you do this? Make your feelings known. Let others know right from the start that you do not tolerate gossip. You can do so in a polite but firm manner. Simply let people know that you do not gossip about others nor do you listen to gossip. You might get looks of "Yeah right," or whispers behind your back for a little while but if you stick to your guns, eventually they will go their own way. It may not stop them from gossiping - more than likely they'll just go find someone else who will oblige and listen to the gossip, but at least you won't be a part of it.
Walking away from those who gossip may make you a little less popular, at least momentarily but in the long run, you'll be more respected. Those who don't respect the privacy of others will find that their privacy will not be respected either. Everything does come full circle eventually.
Those who thrive on gossip are also very good at getting others to gossip. The easiest way to get someone ensnared in a web of deceit is to casually ask what he or she thinks. Once you state your opinion the web spins out of control. How often have you made one statement only to have it turn into a whole story because someone twisted your words around and blew it completely out of proportion? Often those who like to gossip will gladly repeat your portion of the conversation but conveniently omit their own. Don't fall into the trap.
If you know someone that is known to be a gossip don't allow his or her actions or words to label you as someone who can't be trusted. Stop the gossip before it starts and make your life as tangle free as possible.