Are you a gossip and would you even recognise if it if you are?
Someone last week took me to one side and said “ I wouldn’t say too much to Y because they’re a gossip!”
I started to wonder why some people have the need to gossip, to tell everyone about what they have heard from another person?
We tend to think of gossip being to do with malicious rumours, or speaking negatively about someone. But psychologists define it more broadly, as “talking about people who aren’t present.” Saying that it is often done by people who are lonely or insecure and want to be part of a group. Also, that it gives the gossiper a sense of power in having that information.
The problem with gossip, is that if you are the subject of it, you can feel hurt and let down by being spoken about, and all trust is destroyed.
The Bible strongly discourages gossip and there are lots of warnings against it in both Old and New Testaments. “You shall not go around as a gossip among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbour [with slander or false testimony] Leviticus 19:6
If you’re caught in the middle of a gossiping conversation don’t join in, try to move the subject matter to something positive or even change the topic!
Being the subject of gossip and rumour is difficult. We can't always control the things others say about us, but we can control our responses to them, ultimately becoming more resilient.
If you are tempted to gossip, think about whether it’s really necessary to say it. Ask yourself ‘Is this my information to share?’ And try to think about how the person will feel if it gets back to them.