9:02 AM

While gossip isn't always a bad thing, it can be incredibly harmful not only for you, but also others may be affected. It's good to find ways to limit your own gossip tendencies, as well as not engaging with gossip with other people. See part one to get started dealing with gossip, both from yourself and part two from others.
part one
Keeping yourself from Gossiping
1.Sort out negative gossip from the rest 
Not all gossip is necessarily bad, so you don't need to completely eradicate it from your life. You should, however, learn to differentiate between harmless gossip and the kind of gossip that hurts people. 
·        People who are spreading gossip (and most people do at some time or another) don't spend a lot of time getting facts. In fact, they have usually heard the information they're spreading second or third hand.
·        There's also a difference between blowing off steam about a person or incident with a trusted friend and spreading toxic misinformation (or one-sided information) to a bunch of people. Unless someone is dangerous (they're a rapist or an abuser or thief), you don't usually need to air your conflicts.
·        For example: telling people that you heard Harry from accounting was cheating on his wife is malicious gossip (even if it is true, people don't need to know that). Now, if you are Harry's wife and you find out that he is cheating on you, you can tell people (especially people like family if they ask why you're getting divorced, or to clear it up if Harry starts saying that he initiated the divorce because you were cheating).

2.   Ask yourself what the point of repeating the information is
Human beings are social creatures and gossip is part of the framework of society. It can help to maintain social norms and keep people's worse instinct in check, if they think people are paying attention to what they're doing. It can also be used, however, to destroy reputations, and lift the gossiper's status at the expense of other people.
·        Some questions to consider about your information: Would I say this to their face? Is it harmful? is it substantiated (can you support the gossip with actual facts, instead of just hearsay)? Am I doing this to make myself feel better or raise my status? Is this something that I've heard second or third-hand?
·        If you're gossiping because it puts you at the center of attention, or boosts your ego, you need to stop. That's where the harmful aspects of gossip come in. Imparting information is one thing (example: "Did you hear that they're adding a new wing to the library?" or "Did you hear that Christian was hospitalized? You should send him a card.") but harmful gossip is another (example: "I heard that Sandra slept with like all of Human Resources; it's why she's getting a raise and we aren't.").

3. Figure out the problem behind the gossip
Sometimes the reasons that you're spreading gossip about someone is because you're angry about them or something they've done. Consider why what they're doing bothers you so much. Sometimes, it's because you're guilty of the same practice yourself.
·        For example: If you find yourself constantly talking about how Jane is such a slut and is always attracting boys, stop and ask yourself, what's the problem here? Is it because you're jealous of the attention given to Jane? Does Jane even want such an interest? Even if Jane does sleep with a variety of guys, what does that have to do with you?
·        You really want to get to the root of the problem, especially if it is something that has been ongoing (especially if you've been gossiping about the same person or situation over and over again).

4. Do something about the problem. 
Sometimes, instead of just venting to every person you meet, you should figure out a solution to the root problem. This may require talking to the person about whom you're gossiping, but it can often foster a more healthy and trusting network of relationships.
·        Sometimes what you have to do is remove someone out of your life. For example, instead of talking about how rude and inconsiderate your ex-girlfriend was (and still is), you stop engaging with her, de-friend her on Facebook, and delete her out of your phone. This way, instead of wasting energy talking to people about her, you move on to talking about things that are more fun.

5.Give yourself a gossip specific time limit. 
If you can't help but talk about a certain person or a certain time limit, set yourself a specific amount of time to talk about it. Once that time is up, you're finished and you can focus your energies on something more positive.
·        Begin to start limiting yourself to between 2 and 5 minutes for talking about this (per day if possible). Do not give yourself the same amount of time for each person.

6 Ask yourself before you talk about another person? Is it true? Is it necessary? Does it need to be said? Does it need to be said right now?
Lusako Mwakiluma
Motivational & Inspirational Speaker

Share this

Related Posts

Next Post »