Stop Listening to Gossip!
Gossiping is one of the most destructive forms of speech. It ruins trust and relationships. It’s a waste of time. And it often leaves you in a negative and critical mood. But how do you stop listening to gossip without appearing rude or hurting the speaker’s feelings?
It Takes Two to Gossip
While you have no control over what someone else says, it still takes two to gossip. One to speak, and the other to listen. Here’s how you can take yourself out of this equation and let go of gossip.
Avoid gossips. If you know someone who habitually gossips, you can make yourself scarce.Tell them how it makes you feel. If you have a good relationship with this person, let them know how uncomfortable you feel. It may make a difference.Excuse yourself. When the gossip starts, find a reason to leave so you don’t have to hear it. Confront it. If you feel bold say something like, “Ooh, that sounds like gossip. Let’s talk about something else” or simply ask, “Why are you telling me this?” Defend the other person. If you have different information or a different experience of the subject of the gossip, you can speak up. Sometimes this is all it takes to shut it down.Stay silent. Your silence speaks volumes.
It may be hard to do these things if you are concerned about the speaker’s feelings. If so, consider the negative impact on the person they are speaking about! People who are the subject of gossip may have low self-esteem, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. If you can stand up for them, why not?
Avoiding gossip is also better for you. Gossip brings down the energy and can leave you with feelings of negativity that can permeate your day. Worse yet, you may find yourself engaging in it because “everybody does it.”
A Meaningful Life is a Relational Life
We’re all searching for meaning and belonging, and believe it or not, sometimes gossip is a way to try to create intimacy. Sharing secrets brings us closer.A healthier way to do that is to be honest and trustworthy. Acting with integrity creates safety and without harming anyone or tearing them down.
If you can relate from that space, why wouldn’t you?