The Truth About Gossip

I make an effort to be a positive person. I am drawn to people and information so I can learn. I am also no stranger to people talking about me. Gossip, however, is something I cannot get used to. I am a subject of gossip right now, by someone I thought was a good friend. I pondered why this person wants to distress me, break confidence in our friendship, and allow others to disconnect with me. The truth is, gossip is painful. Spreading private information or negative judgments is a hurtful act.

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I make an effort to be a positive person. I am drawn to people and information so I can learn. I am also no stranger to people talking about me. Gossip, however, is something I cannot get used to. I am a subject of gossip right now, by someone I thought was a good friend. I pondered why this person wants to distress me, break confidence in our friendship, and allow others to disconnect with me. The truth is, gossip is painful. Spreading private information or negative judgments is a hurtful act.

Not always is talking about others wrong. Many people, myself included, have a natural curiosity about what’s going on with others in the community. I seek knowledge, and often read about others in biographies. It gives me an understanding of a person’s character through facts. There’s the difference in intention: interest in facts versus eagerness to know one-sided offensive opinions about a person.

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We can all avoid or stop unwanted gossip by doing one of the following:
1. Change the subject. Redirect the focus from gossip simply by bringing up another subject of conversation. It sends a clear signal that you don’t want to talk about gossip.
2. Say something positive about the subject of the gossip. No matter how negative the gossip, there are positive qualities to that person. Try reminding the gossiper this by mentioning specific and positive things about the person that’s been targeted.
3. Resist gossip politely yet firmly. Confront and resist the gossiper by saying you don’t want to hear any more about the story. Saying something like,
“This sounds like gossip. I don’t really want to hear any more, so let’s just drop it.” It holds others accountable for their choice of words.
4. Point out what’s missing. You can challenge the gossip. Ask if the information is accurate, verified, or factual by pointing out specific times, events, or if they experienced every detail personally. You can help others see that gossip isn’t reliable information.
5. Turn gossip into positive energy. If you view the gossip as an opportunity to bless the people involved by sending positive energy to them, you can be more at peace. I practice this by praying for the person gossiping about me or others. It has helped me worry less, and to move forward.

 

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  • “If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind” – Buddha.

 

Gossiping shows others the insecurity and mean-spiritedness about the person doing it. We can choose to participate or dissipate. But when you successfully stop gossip, you prevent further damage to relationships. Let’s spread love, not rumors.
XOXO,
Deneice

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8 Comments

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  1. 1
    Lindsey

    I think number 4 is such a crucial thing. It’s important to be critical of any information you receive second hand ( via gossip or otherwise) — I’ve learned how easy it is for someone to color a story and paint it in their favor when retelling it to someone else.

    I’m sorry that you’re the target of gossip. It’s never a fun experience. I’ll be the first one to say that I’m a gossiper at times( I am trying to work on it), so I can say with full authenticity that it’s all on the gossiper, not on the victim. I’ve also been the victim of gossip, so I can sympathize with the feeling of betrayal that oftentimes comes with that. It’s so easy to stoop down to that level, but focusing on yourself is the best way to combat gossipers. Never let them see you sweat!

  2. 3
    Dana

    Gossip can be hurtful for sure. I have been accused of spreading gossip, thankfully my friend brought it to my attention and had more faith in me, and they know I don’t have time for such drama:) It was a rumor started by someone who likes drama (or just stirring things up) – this was at work no less! Thankfully it was straightened out because the people I work with trust me and my morals, that I don’t do anything maliciously. Gossip to me is like a game of telephone, what starts out as just a conversation, it can be warped and changed by people who think they know what they overhear or put their own spin on it. My best defense is just being honest and open, people more often than not will come to me to find the truth. (And I’m horrible at lying lol)

  3. 5
    Daniela Michel

    It feels horrible when a person close to you stabs you in the back. It requires maturity and strength to see the light and positive side of this pain full experience.
    I find gossip a waste of time and it is just not in my nature, but in the past I encounter “friends” that liked to gossip a lot, at first it was easy to stay away from it, or give a more objective point of view, but at times I had no idea how to react, it feels horrible to be caught in the middle >__<... I appreciate the tips and tricks to get off the situation. And I would like to add: if your "friend" likes to gossip, there is nothing holding her/him back from you being the next to be gossip about!

  4. 6
    Cindy Van

    From my personal experience, gossip do suck, especially the lies being spread from it. It took a lot to get over and a lot of support from being surrounded by good people and energy. I try my best to stay away from gossip about other people because it is a waste of time to talk about others. It’s not bettering my life or anyone else’s and all the steps are crucial to stop gossip from spreading. Plus, people need to think and place themselves in the other person’s shoes and think about how they feel. What if that was you people are talking badly about? Such a great topic to shed light on and hopefully, people will keep gossiping light and fun 🙂

  5. 7
    Justice

    As much as I love to express myself as a person who does not care about how people see me, in the end I do care; sometimes to an extreme degree. Once I hear negative gossip towards me I would just lose it. I would track down ‘who’,’ what’, ‘where’, and ‘why’? It’s a vicious cycle that I am trying to overcome my self-cautiousness and low self-esteem.

    “Gossiping shows others the insecurity and mean-spiritedness about the person doing it. We can choose to participate or dissipate. But when you successfully stop gossip, you prevent further damage to relationships.”

    This truly lightens up my spirits though! Thank you for your words of wisdom. It makes me feel less alone on this problem. 🙂

  6. 8
    Judy Escalante

    I often think of the motto of “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” I can thank the Disney movie “Bambi” for that. Great advice Deneice. Let us try to live out positive lives. 🙂

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