While gossip isn't always a bad thing, it can do a lot of harm. It's good to find ways to limit your own tendencies to gossip with others.
Part 1 of 2: don't be tempted to peddle gossip
Step 1. Sort out the negative gossip and the rest
Not all gossip is bad, so you don't need to eliminate it from your life entirely. However, you should learn to differentiate between harmless gossip and one that can hurt people.
- People who spread gossip (we all do at one point or another) don't spend a lot of time gathering the facts. In fact, they have usually heard information that they are peddling second or even third hand.
- There is also a difference between letting go of a person or an incident with a trusted friend and spreading harmful false information among a group of people. You don't need to air your disputes unless it's about someone dangerous, like a rapist, bully, or thief.
- To say, for example, that your accounting colleague is cheating on his wife is malicious gossip, even if it's true, because you don't need to know that. If now you are the wife of this accountant and you find out that he cheated on you, you can tell others, especially family members if they ask you why you want a divorce or to clarify the situation if. the adulterous husband declares that he filed for divorce because you cheated on him.
Step 2. Ask yourself if it is worth repeating a piece of information
Human beings are sociable creatures and gossip is part of the fabric of a society. It can help maintain standards and keep people's worst instincts in check, if you think people continue to care about what each other is doing. However, it can also serve to demolish a reputation and enhance the status of gossip peddlers to the detriment of other people.
- You may ask yourself the following questions: Can gossip hurt? Is it justified (can you support the gossip with proven facts and not hearsay)? Are you doing it to feel better or to increase your popularity? Is it second or third hand gossip?
- You have to stop this, if you are gossiping to be the center of other people's attention or to boost your ego. This is where the dangerous side of gossip comes in. Communicating information is one thing. Did you know, for example, that a wing was added to the library or did you know that So-and-so was hospitalized? You should go see him, but harmful gossip is another, for example: I heard that One and her slept with all the men in the Human Resources department. That is why it was increased and not us.
Step 3. Find out the problem behind the gossip
Maybe you sometimes gossip about someone because you are angry with that person or about something they have done. Ask yourself why what this person does is so important to you. Sometimes it's because you feel guilty about doing the same thing.
- If, for example, you constantly find yourself dealing with a bitchy bitch that turns boys on, stop and ask yourself where the problem is here. Are you jealous of the attention given to this woman? Does this woman just want attention? And even if she's sleeping with all kinds of boys, what can that do to you?
- You really need to get to the bottom of the problem (especially if it's something that is recurring (if you keep gossiping about the same person or situation.
Step 4. Deal with this problem
Sometimes you should find the solution to the root of the problem, rather than telling everyone you meet. It might require talking to the person you're talking bad about, but it can also generate a healthier, more reliable network of relationships.
Sometimes you have to separate from someone in your life. Instead of saying, for example, how rude and disrespectful your ex-girlfriend was (and still is), you should stop contacting her, bumping into her on Facebook, and removing her phone number. In doing so, you move on to much more interesting things to say instead of wasting your energy talking about her
Step 5. Give yourself a time limit for peddling gossip
If you can't help but talk to a certain person for a while, set a specific time limit for talking about them. Once that time is up, you are done and can focus your energy on something more positive.
Limit yourself to two to five minutes to talk about this (if possible) per day. Don't give that same amount of time to every person you criticize, this is global gossip time
Part 2 of 2: Don't Spread Gossip With Others
Step 1. Privately correct the gossip spreaders
If you are trying to deal with continual gossip, take these people aside and individually and discuss the problem with each of them. You should be concerned about gossip, especially if you are in a position of authority.
- Manage the gossip specialists. Know who they are and try to avoid them. If you can't avoid them, don't give them a chance to give you information. Change the subject if they try to spread gossip or walk away from them. Gossip specialists, unlike those who only do it occasionally, are hard to dissuade with a simple discussion.
- If, for example, your brother-in-law constantly criticizes your siblings and says that your sister is a harpy and your brother is a thief, take him aside and ask him what his problem is with your loved ones. Tell him it's not okay to spread information about them like this. If there is really a problem (for example, your brother really stole something from him), help the brother-in-law deal with it.
- Remember that men are just as good as women at peddling gossip, although this is not necessarily called gossip, but men can also spread false or harmful information.
Step 2. Find the appropriate reaction
When someone brings you some juicy gossip, find a way around the situation or make that person understand the harmful nature of what they are saying.
- Here are some ways to distract from the harmful nature of gossip: "Let's see it from the point of view of X - X being the victim of the gossip." "Why constantly talk about X? Or "We could find a way to fix this, right?" "
- Try to find a way to get to the heart of the problem of the person who slanders another. If he's a gossip specialist, you may need to silence him a little more forcefully.
Step 3. Change the subject
Sometimes you just need to step away from negative gossip and focus on something more positive. Do this without accusing the gossip spreader, as the latter may turn his anger on you.
- When you start gossiping, say something like, "We should decide what to do after work."
- You could also say something like, “This discussion about X has become horrible. Let's talk about something more positive”(especially if the subject of the gossip is very negative).
Step 4. Disengage
Ultimately, if you can't change the topic of the conversation, it's best to walk away or explain that you're not interested in this type of gossip. You might irritate the person who just slandered someone and they might pick on you as well, which you can easily refute. But it would be even better not to be faced with this type of situation.
- You could, for example, say something like: "The baseless rumors about Truc et Bidule don't interest me" or "I don't care about X's sex life."
- If you don't want to make a big deal out of it, you might find an excuse to walk away and say you still have a lot of work to do or want to go home.
- If you really feel the need to talk about someone, imagine the person standing next to you, so that you won't say anything bad about them behind their back.
- People's loyalty varies. If you're involved in gossip, you might be the subject of the latest trending gossip.
- Be very clear that you are not interested in gossip and be careful about the private information you share with this type of person.