I’ve slipped into it before. I’ve later regretted it. Maybe you have too. Gossip is easy to do and almost impossible to undo once it has been spoken. Gossip is the spreading of rumor, especially if it is about the personal business of others. Now that the Internet has made communication instant, gossip that previously took months to disseminate is delivered around the world instantly. It can hurt relationships, the workplace, and families.
What’s wrong with gossip?
It harms reputations and destroys trust. Gossip causes people that could be working together to solidify positions against each other. Moreover, wasted time and increased anxiety balloon as rumors are spread while people don’t know the difference between fact and fiction.
People take sides and feelings are hurt. It has been shown that gossipers do not advance in the corporate world as they are more often than not perceived as unprofessional. While some view gossip as a lighthearted way of spreading information, many see it as socially destructive and counter-productive.
How do I handle gossip?
The best way to handle gossip is to rise above it and avoid participating in it. Many times, gossip goes away on its own when ignored. Developing a personal policy that refuses to verbally cut others down and participate in rumors can help too. Too often, people talk to everyone except the affected individual about a challenging situation. If it persists, you may need to find a way to gather the facts about a situation and seek help from a trusted friend. I cannot always control what others are saying; but, I hope I can control what I say!
Proverbs 18:8 The words of a talebearer are as wounds….