7 Questions to Ask before Gossiping
Sometimes nothing can make your life more terrible than gossips. Still, a lot of people are constantly involved in gossiping about others. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about positive or negative things, gossip is never a good thing. Usually it’s an idle, derogatory conversation about people’s life, relationship, achievements and misfortunes. Gossip rarely results in something good. In most cases it implies treachery and reciprocal dislike between parties. Studies show that people who love gossiping are less confident, more anxious and they aren’t generally welcome in any company since you can never trust them. Each time someone tries to involve you in gossiping or when you just want to speak about someone, wait for a second and ask yourself several important questions.
1. What’s the purpose of that?
This is really the most important question you should ask yourself. In fact, it’s even more important than the truth of the statement. Whatever you do, it has some purpose. What’s the purpose of gossiping right now? In most cases people gossip out of boredom or envy in order to show their superiority or to become the center of attention. People also gossip when they’re utterly unhappy or angry. None of these reasons can justify gossip, though. You’re mistaken if you believe that gossip can improve your self-esteem and popularity. The feeling of satisfaction is very transient when you judge others or want to hurt their feelings. Instead, you’d better discuss some interesting ideas or your own experience.
2. Is the information accurate?
If you’re not confident about the facts, you should never open up. Often the information we hear on the grapevine is greatly inaccurate and embroidered. Most probably you’re unaware of a person’s intentions or motives, thus you have an incomplete understanding of the situation. Spreading negative information is especially harmful to people’s reputation and relationship. A lot of people are curious about what’s going on in other people’s lives, but gossip often reveals the worse side of someone’s life. If you’re not sure whether your words are true, try to change the subject of the conversation or turn the conversation in a more positive way.
3. Is it a secret?
When people confide their feelings and thoughts to you, you should feel when it’s necessary to keep a secret. Most probably, people don’t want you to share this information with others. If someone trusted you, you simply have no right to let this person down. If you want to remain friends with a person, your secrets must remain between the two of you. After all, you never know how your interlocutor will use the information.
4. Do you trust these people?
Do you know the person you’re talking with is good enough to say that he or she is trustworthy? From time to time we all need to talk about our feelings and experiences with others, but it’s important that we can trust this person. You should be even more careful if you open up about other people’s affairs. I’ve learned the hard way that people shouldn’t be trusted so fast. Still, I’m too credulous, which causes me a lot of problems and stress. When you notice that someone makes negative judgments about people, you should use your critical thinking. Never believe the information 100 percent unless you see it with your own eyes.
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5. Is it good or bad?
I should admit that gossip is not a totally bad thing from time to time. Speaking about other people’s affairs helps to gain new experience, knowledge and broaden outlook. In fact, people should share their experience to improve others. However, spreading harmful information isn’t the best way to evolve. Gossip is viewed as a sin by many confessions. People who spread gossip aren’t welcome in the company and society. Making negative judgments can only eat up your energy and destroy inner harmony, therefore it’s desirable that you stay away from gossiping.
6. What are the consequences?
People rarely think about the consequences of their deeds. But the fact that gossip can ruin someone’s career and relationship is obvious. Sometimes it may be very hard or even impossible to repair a damaged reputation and to earn trust back. But the most important thing is that gossip is harmful to the person who spreads the facts first of all. When you open up about someone, it reveals your untrustworthy and disloyal nature. Remember that gossip has a boomerang effect. Sooner or later your words will come back to you. If you’ve already been guilty of judging people, you should know that terrible feeling of sorrow and shame. Stay away from gossiping to avoid such situation again.
7. Do you like when someone gossips about you?
Just imagine that your life, secrets and behavior are also discussed. I don’t think there’s a lot of pleasure in it. Everybody knows that you should treat others the way you want to be treated yourself. This is the golden rule of any relationship, even when it comes to unknown people. It means you should never listen to gossip and don’t open up yourself. Don’t think that you’ll become a boring interlocutor if you stop gossiping about others. Avoiding gossip is of crucial importance when you’re in a working environment or when you meet new people.
Sometimes it’s hard to suppress the temptation to speak about your colleague’s personal life, or discuss the terrible wedding of your friend. But gossip is nothing more than a one-sided judgment that is often exaggerated and destructive. A heart-to-heart talk with a person about his life is definitely uplifting, while gossip is something to stay away from.