I recently read the article “How To Avoid Spreading Gossip in 5 Easy Steps” by Caitlin Abber and was inspired to add my two cents worth:
At some point or another, gossiping will burn you. Who hasn’t had that horrible “Oh no, I have gone too far” feeling in the pit of her stomach, after divulging a little too much information? I think it is great to aspire to never gossip, unfortunately, this is unrealistic. So what I would like to add to Ms. Abber’s article is my advice on how TO spread gossip, in a way that doesn’t ruin your own life or anyone else’s life.
The trick is to find the select few people in a world of billions who you can REALLY TRUST. This might be just a few people, and of the two or three you choose, you may not be able to share EVERYTHING with any one of them. This is the reality of your gossip circle. It is better than having a wide circle and constant feelings of regret, or even worse, being avoided by better-disciplined people than yourself who see you as a blabbermouth. This gets a lot easier as we get older.
Gossiping is part of life. It’s not exactly a bad part, if you know where to draw the line. Raising your eyebrows at a co-worker’s ugly pants is on a whole different level than divulging private information that could destroy someone’s reputation. Learning the difference and finding the right balance of participation allows you to have fun and be a normal human being without going too far. There is a world of difference between quietly seeing the humor in someone who is a little quirky vs. joining in mean-spirited gossip. Again, this is bizarrely difficult when we are young but it gets easier.
I used to secretly enjoy people who gossiped. You know that old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, sit next to me.” However, it began to seem that the gossips were getting meaner and cattier, and I found myself not necessarily trusting what they had to say, not wanting to be associated with them, and feeling more kinship with the people they dissed than with them. Now I find the people who I consider to be gossips as some of my least favorite people in the whole world. In fact, even in my “gossip circle” we can talk about ten other things before we even get to the gossip.
Step two: Get your gossip fix in the form of celebrities and reality tv stars. I LOVE reality television, and while I respect that these are real human beings, I feel that it’s much fairer to dish about them than someone I personally know. Except Emily from The Bachelorette, because she has been through enough. You will never hurt someone you love if you are blabbing about the latest episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. So, if you must get your gossip fix, get most of it in the form of reality tv blabbing, or share with your closest, proven circle.