Gossip Destroys Reputations
If you know something juicy someone did over the weekend, it’s easy to feel like you have to tell others. We especially like it when we hear something that makes someone look bad. Celebrity bloggers and gossip magazines make millions of dollars off of this unfortunate reality. I’m sure you have encountered gossip. Some people seem to thrive on it.
It’s time for you to decide you don’t want to have any part of it.
The most dangerous part about gossip is that it steals another person’s reputation. A reputation is very fragile. When you gossip, you are helping to destroy something extremely valuable. An anonymous blogger wrote: After telling my best friend, it leaked that I tried [cutting] once. Everyone thought I was even more of a freak.
Danger of Gossip
If you think it’s time for you to decide you don’t want to have any part of gossip, here are some tips on how to do it:
1) Make a commitment you’re not going to gossip.
Even though the temptation to gossip is powerful, you will always win when you choose not to use it. And really, with all gossip, there’s no way of knowing for sure what is true or not. Paul wrote: I admit that I love spreading rumors. It’s all about telling lies about someone you don’t like. It usually works. That’s the problem, it does work, almost every time.
The most dangerous part about gossip is that it steals another person’s reputation.
2) Don’t listen to others when they gossip
Gossip grows an audience. You simply being there listening to it adds to its appeal. If someone starts to tell you something gossipy, say, I’m sorry, but I don’t feel comfortable talking about this person when they’re not here to defend themselves. Not only will you break the gossip chain, but you also will gain the trust of other people, as someone who won’t spread rumors.
3) Think before you speak.
Before you repeat something you’ve heard about another person, think: does this really do any good for me to spread this information? Or am I just trying to be in the know? Is the information even true? Could I be hurting someone by telling this, even if it’s true? If the person you are talking to is not part of the problem or part of the solution, there’s no need to tell them anything.
Don’t associate with people who find such great joy in belittling others.
4) Stay away from people who gossip to you they will gossip about you. Don’t associate with people who find such great joy in belittling others. Be very careful about what you choose to tell these people. If it’s a close friend, you might consider saying how you want to stop spreading gossip, and that you’d really like her help.
5) Don’t judge people based on gossip.
If you should hear gossip about someone you don’t know, you have two choices: allow the gossip to determine what you believe, or let your own personal experience determine what you think. The first time you have an experience with someone that is contrary to the gossip you’ve heard, you’ll be a lot more careful about spreading or believing gossip the next time you hear it.