I always thought that the friend you gossip to must be your most trusted and loyal friend. After all, you wouldn’t want to risk anyone finding out that you’ve been talking about them behind their back. So naturally, I would think the person you are gossipping to is the one closest to you.
But that turns out to be false. In fact, what many people don’t realise is as soon as you share something with someone that wasn’t yours to share, you begin to lose credibility and trust in their eyes. Now that may not surface for a while, but over time that friendship will begin to diminish. Friendships that are not built on mutual trust and the ability to keep confidence will end up being superficial.
So the next time you hear a juicy bit of news about a colleague or neighbour, stop and think about a few things:
- Is this news mine to share? – so often we rush to the old, “Oh my goodness did you hear about so and so” without much regard to how it affects the person we are talking about. Recently my co-worker shared with her team member that she was pregnant and his response was, “Yeah I know, so and so told me.” Now that was not for so and so to share. My co-worker should’ve been the one to share the exciting news with her team member.
- Would I say this if he/she was standing right here? – nowhere else is “out of sight out of mind” more prevalent than when it comes to gossip. Many times, the thrill of the news we have found out dulls our common sense. If the person who you are about to talk about were standing right there, would you still say what you are about to say? If the answer is no, then I am sorry to tell you that you are gossipping and it is very unbecoming.
Gossip can be such a big part of our universities, work places and social clubs but what if a few of us started saying, “You know what, that is not mine to share so I’m not going to talk about it.” It may be difficult at first to resist to urge to tell someone something you’ve heard, but I bet if you give it a try, you will feel your character growing stronger!
And one I am personally trying and I invite you to try, is when someone is trying to gossip to me, I will simply say, “Oh no thanks, I don’t need to hear about that” and politely walk away.
We can be the change that we want to see when it comes to the ugly little monster called gossip.
The best way for me to overcome temptation to gossip is to turn to God for help. He promises to always help us out of a tempting situation. If you would like someone to pray with you or if you have questions about God, please click on the link below or on the pop-up. We’d be happy to talk with you!