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All That Gossiping…

We all know that gossiping is bad for many reasons. Still, it is a daily occurrence that leads to spreading negative, and not false information about someone, often ruining their reputation. We either know gossipers, or we gossip ourselves from time to time without thinking about the repercussions.

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” 
― Henry Thomas Buckle

You probably know some people who are habitual gossipers, and over time, you’ve realized you don’t have that much faith in them as friends. If they are constantly gossiping about someone with you, they are probably gossiping about you as well behind your back. Gossiping not only shows bad manners but also ruins personal and professional relationships, so think before you speak.

 There are a few types of gossip, the first being personal gossip

If one of your friends did something you don’t like, how would you handle it? You could confront them about it and state the reasons why you think what they’re doing is wrong, or forget about it and let the issue slowly fade away. If it’s something that won’t fade away so easily and has been going on for a while, you should discuss it, but only with the person from whom the problem came, not with anyone else. Just think how you would feel if you were in their skin and someone you thought was your friend started talking about something you did behind your back.

Unfortunately, gossiping is an easy habit of falling into and sometimes we don’t even realize we’re doing it. Maybe you’ll say something in passing, a simple comment or observation, and then the person you were telling it to replies with their own point of view and from there, you start having an actual discussion without even intending to. The comment you made might even not be true, and you’ve accidentally made a web of lies that will keep going from person to person, and eventually come back to the one about who you were talking about. Then they might lose all trust they had in you as a friend.

 The second type is office gossip

Let’s say your boss has made you furious about a mistake you made and criticized you for it, and the first thing you do when you storm out of their office is to say the first bad thing you can think about them. Once again, whether or not what you said was actually true, the rumor mill will start working, and pretty soon, the whole office will be buzzing with what you’ve said. You might realize that what you’ve said in a fit of rage might have serious repercussions, especially if the person who gives you your paycheck discovers you’ve been badmouthing them.

 The final type we’re going to talk about here is school gossip

This could actually be the most dangerous kind because children and teenagers are often very cruel when it comes to spreading rumors. They are also very sensitive when they realize they’re the target of the ruthless gossip that’s been going around the school. Every day, a new rumor will be spread about a person who maybe partied too much last weekend, who’s cheating on their significant other, or who is doing drugs.

These rumors are almost always false but still, they lead to someone’s reputation being tarnished, their relationships ruined, or even being bullied for no reason. This could then spiral into more serious problems like self-harming and suicide. And all that because someone was bored and wanted to have fun at someone else’s expense.

 How to deal with gossips?

If you, by any chance, are tempted to gossip, stop for a minute and think whether what you’re saying is true. Even if it is, what would actually be the benefit of you spreading the rumor? You could only hurt someone and what good is that? Therefore, do your best to prevent gossips. Whenever someone tries to gossip in your presence, try changing the subject, and if the person still insists on talking about it, warn them that you’re going to tell.

If you know the gossip is a lie, defend the person in any way you can think of and if you’re not sure whether it is true, just say that you’re not comfortable discussing something when you don’t know the circumstances behind what’s being said. In the end, if the gossip continues,  just leave.

Maybe you can’t stop it, but at least, you don’t have to be a part of it. Be careful because you never know if you’ll be the subject of the next gossiping session.

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