Say No To Gossip!
Have you ever spent time with someone who constantly engages in gossip?
The type who insists on dictating what’s best for everyone else.
They have opinions on how others should behave or act or what someone ought to be doing.
The primary intent of gossip is to form opinions and discuss someone else’s personal matters.
Gossiping about others involves a level of judgment that can be negative, speculative, or critical, and none of our business.
As Byron Katie says “there are three kinds of business, our business, your business and God’s business“.
Gossiping about others not present, takes up space in a conversation meant for you and another person.
“Gossiping about someone occurs when that person hasn’t done anything to hurt or offend you. Rather, you’re discussing their personal affairs for your entertainment, or as a conversation piece over the lunch table. If you don’t have anything else to talk about, you might find yourself gossiping out of boredom. The act of venting arises from frustration, not boredom. When you vent, a person has made you angry or upset, and you are expressing your feelings about it. While venting, you talk about a person, but it doesn’t involve their personal affairs – only the issue that concerns you personally” according to thejustgirlproject.com.
Gossip on TV!
Reality shows are known for nonstop gossiping, and a great example is from the Netflix show “Selling Sunset”.
This show has it all.
“Selling Sunset” captures our attention for different reasons like upscale real estate, wild fashion, and familiar California locations.
The show follows female realtors in their 30s and 40s, who all work in one upscale office and the relationship dynamics take center stage.
Aside from business, these realtors engage in destructive conversations, back stabbing, and never ending gossip, creating a dramatic atmosphere, especially when alcohol is thrown into the mix.
“Selling the OC”, is even more dramatic!
Now, let’s take a trip down memory lane.
Remember Mrs. Kravitz, the nosy neighbor in the show Bewitched?
Compared to today’s reality shows, Bewitched was relatively mild.
Mrs. Kravitz dedicated herself to spying on the neighbors and then dutifully reporting the findings to her husband, Abner.
In Mrs. Kravitz’s world, gossip was her go-to activity.
Why Stir the Pot?
Why do people like to stir the pot?
It can addictive and create a false sense of connection, and a way for individuals to feel included or maybe to deflect attention from their own insecurities.
Many times, it’s because their lives are unfulfilled.
“Most people gossip because gossiping is enjoyable for the sense of power it gives them. Talking about other people gives an individual a sense of relief because he or she is not experiencing the same calamities” according to Psychology Today.
Perhaps, people who engage in gossip or that have the need to control others, are lonely, have no goals or desires, or don’t know what they want.
Maybe that person is you!
“Whoever gossips to you, will gossip about you.” ~ Spanish Proverb
If that’s the case, you’re encouraged to listen to Focus Your Time podcast episode #39, “What Do You Want“.
There are prompts in that episode that may help determine what you desire for your own life!
How to Break Free?
How do we break free from the gossip trap? By consciously choosing to direct conversations in a positive direction.
Check out these conversation topics that will steer you away from gossiping:
👄 Share positive experiences, achievements, or uplifting news.
🙊 Engage in conversations about common hobbies, interests, or activities.
👄 Show genuine interest in the other person by asking about their day, or recent experiences. This fosters open communication and understanding.
🙊 Talk about your own experiences, challenges, or successes.
👄 Share gratitude or appreciation for others.
🙊 Brainstorm or talk about future goals, aspirations, or exciting plans.
👄 Offer words of encouragement and support.
🙊 If there are challenges or issues, discuss them with the intention of finding solutions rather than dwelling on the negative aspects.
👄 Discuss interesting books or podcasts.
🙊 Instead of sitting and chatting, engage in activities together, whether it’s playing a game, working on a project, or participating in a shared interest.
These topics enhance the quality of our interactions and contribute to more authentic connections.
Gossip can damage relationships, and take away the joy of talking.
Sonya Parker says ”If you stop focusing on other people’s life you’ll have more time to fix your own life”.
Recognizing how harmful gossip can be, choosing positive discussions, and being mindful of what we share, creates better connections.
Discussing engaging topics and focusing on only the people in the room, will contribute to more enjoyable social interaction without resorting to gossip.
If you’re feeling shy or stuck and looking for discussion ideas, feel free to download the “Better Conversations” guide!
If associating with busybodies feels stressful, remember that you are allowed to create boundaries and disassociate or limit your time with them.
Download the Beyond Boundaries Blueprint here!
TOPIC: Say No To Gossip!
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