Ever walk into a room, you hear your name and suddenly the conversation stops and all eyes turn towards you? You probably think, “Were they just talking about me? What was that all about?”Could you have been the subject of their conversation? That thought creates apretty uncomfortable feeling, right?Sadly, probably everyone has gossiped at some time in their life. And more often than not, we’ve been guilty of passing along something negative, catty, or unkind.Or maybe we’ve passed along some truth that wasn’t ours to share.
Either way, we’ve gossiped. We’re passing along words that may or may not be true – we’re discussing someone else’s business – without them being present.
There are lots of reasons for this kind of behavior: making us feel more powerful than someone else, deflecting people away from our own fallibilities, helping us to feel part of the crowd or getting recognition for being the one with insider information.
Now It’s Your Turn
- If you find yourself continually talking about a specific person, ask yourself how this is making the world a better place.
- Refuse to be drawn in. Shut the gossip down, kindly, perhaps saying, “I don’t spread stories about other people.”
- Change the topic away from the subject of gossip.
- Make up an excuse to remove yourself from the situation.
- Avoid people who tend to gossip. And if you can’t disconnect from them, have a conversation to work through or around this challenge.