What You Should Know About The Danger Of Gossip

Why Do People Gossip?

It's been said, knowledge is power. Unfortunately, many people like to spread damaging information or intimate details about others, whether true or not. This is what is called gossip. It used to be that people called gossip, dishing the dirt. Whatever it's called, people use gossip to hurt people, in order to feel good about themselves and to feel like they have power over others.

Gossip Destroys Reputations

If you know something juicy someone did over the weekend, it's easy to feel like you have to tell others. We especially like it when we hear something that makes someone look bad. Celebrity bloggers and gossip magazines make millions of dollars off of this unfortunate reality. I'm sure you have encountered gossip. Some people seem to thrive on it.

It’s time for you to decide you don’t want to have any part of it. The most dangerous part about gossip is that it steals another person's reputation. A reputation is very fragile. When you gossip, you are helping to destroy something extremely valuable. An anonymous blogger wrote: After telling my best friend, it leaked that I tried [cutting] once. Everyone thought I was even more of a freak.

Stop the Gossip

If it’s time for you to commit to no longer have any part of gossip, here are 5 tips on how to do it:

1. Make an intentional decision you’re not going to gossip.

Even though the temptation to gossip is powerful, you will always win when you choose not to use it. And really, with all gossip, there’s no way of knowing for sure what is true or not.

Paul wrote: I admit that I love spreading rumors. It’s all about telling lies about someone you don’t like. It usually works. That’s the problem, it does work, almost every time. The most dangerous part about gossip is that it steals another person’s reputation.

2. Don’t listen to others when they gossip.

Gossip grows an audience. You simply being there listening to it adds to its appeal. If someone starts to tell you something gossipy, say, I’m sorry, but I don’t feel comfortable talking about this person when they’re not here to defend themselves. Not only will you break the gossip chain, but you also will gain the trust of other people, as someone who won’t spread rumors. With all gossip, there's no way of knowing what is truth or lies.

3. Don’t judge people based on gossip.

If you should hear gossip about someone you don’t know, you have two choices: allow the gossip to determine what you believe, or let your own personal experience determine what you think. The first time you have an experience with someone that is contrary to the gossip you’ve heard; you’ll be a lot more careful about spreading or believing gossip the next time you hear it.

Katy wrote: My best friend is someone who people used to say really bad things about. But once I got to know her, I learned the truth about her. I'm so glad I gave her a chance.

4.Think before you speak.

Before you repeat something you've heard about another person, think: does this really do any good for me to spread this information? Or am I just trying to be in the know? Is the information even true? Could I be hurting someone by telling this, even if it's true? If the person you are talking to is not part of the problem, or part of the solution, there's no need to tell them anything.

5. Stay away from people who gossip to you they will gossip about you.

Don’t associate with people who find such great joy in belittling others. Be very careful about what you choose to tell these people. If it’s a close friend, you might consider saying how you want to stop spreading gossip, and that you’d really like her help.

There's an old saying, stick and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me. That's not true. Being gossiped about can be extremely painful. If you don't want it done to you, don't do it to others. In the end, it never pays to gossip.

I really appreciated this comment from Jolene: I love how Dawson tells how gossip really hurts. Other blog sites just gossip, this one tells us how hurtful it can be. I am so glad that Dawson is down-to-earth.

For more help with gossip and reputation, I wrote these two blogs: How to Rebuild a Bad Reputation and Protecting Your Online Reputation

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45 comments on “What You Should Know About The Danger Of Gossip”

  1. I have been a victim of gossip and nastiness within my neighbourhood for years basically due to jealousy. I will never ever forgive those vile creatures for inflicting such damage to my character...especially the alpha female. A very nice police detective female stated to me...you had a raw deal here...too much tittle-tattle within the clique.

    1. vile creatures.. I like that. I also suffered at the hands of an alpha female i righteously embarrassed.She so had it coming,and i had enough of her.She was so mad because she knew i was right but how dare i when she would do the same to me. I hope she rots.

    2. I have also been the victim of a female gossip within my neighbourhood - eventually her malicious gossip reached somebody who wanted something nasty she could use to destroy me. Between these two vile females I have had my life slowly but gradually torn apart. Both women married to feeble-minded weak men. My crime? Being intelligent and a little different - ie: I'm not a moron.

  2. The past year has been the worst year of my life, because of the destructive force of other people's gossip. I've read this article online, as well as others that say the same things. Like the people mentioned in the article, I, too, was placed on an antidepressant a number of years ago, and racked up a lot of debt while under the influence of the drug. I've worked for several churches in my town, and one of them did a background check on me last summer and pulled a copy of my credit report. They saw how much debt I had, and were very surprised at my "shocking" behavior. They decided that I was guilty of some sort of moral failure, because of the debt, and began gossiping about me. The gossip spread to people in different states, and has now reached everyone I've ever met, both across the country and around the world. My reputation is completely destroyed, and I've lost all of my friends.

  3. People say these things all the time like you shouldn't let it bother you or why do you care what these kinds of people say and the answer to that question is those statements put the burden of the whole thing on the person being victimized like it's their fault they are affected by something that regardless of how the victim takes it it's damaging and that takes away from the responsibility of the person who's doing it which is completely unfair and makes the victim feel like they're being victimized again. Also people don't realize how absolutely exhausting it is to not let it bother you or to rise above it. People don't realize that even if it doesn't bother you and you don't take it personally the negativity has a terrible impact on you and last of all people's wrong ideas if you can indeed directly affect your life in ways you may not even have thought of and that said on a small scale you're right don't let some person's gossip bother you. On a large scale like in my case it has literally robbed me of the reputation I built with hard work and being someone I was proud of for 20 years almost overnight and force me to have to prove myself to people for reasons that aren't real if Iwant to change their minds and the hatred that is directed towards me is so life-threatening that the whole thing is just a hideous nightmare. I have to constantly work to remember my own worth and not let it bother me and it's just constant effort because it reached all the significant people in my life.
    Those I've had contact with have treated me as though I am not even worth regarding as a valid human and you can't prove them wrong when they won't even give you the chance. I could move to another state but that's a lot of effort and so yeah that affects you too.

    1. Its like all of a sudden people treat you different and you don't know why. I believe that gossip is used to punish someone your angry with to ruin them. And these cowards now have the satisfaction of revenge. I don't gossip but have been the victim many times by my own family

      1. I tried to shrug it off for years, but in the end, it has nearly killed me. I have decided to confront and fight. I don't know if it will do any good, but I'm beyond caring about that any more. I have paid a price that I cannot afford in order to be everyone's elses chew toy. This is legal murder. That what it is. As for recovery, I am starting a group in my town for people going through the same thing. I think it's critical that we come together. There is power in numbers.

  4. Wow! This guy was born in my area and do I have a story to tell! I can't begin to do all here but the slander my sister spread about me systematically for years is so detailed and horrible that it crosses state lines and virtually replaces my public identity with her fake one and I can't get out from under it. It has reached and destroyed almost all of my relationship from family to family friends to everyone else I've known my whole life.
    People won't even allow me to show they are wrong because they twist everything I do to fit their idea of me IF they even acknowledge me as a valid person. I do need help to change this and don't feel it's possible as it is. I thought ignoring it would be best and didn't want to engage or give it power but it's beyond my control and effects my life completely whether I let it or not. I feel like a prisoner waiting for a charity to help me prove my innocents. It's immobilizing.

  5. Doctors gossip very badly. I have heard them. It's not legal to do so, but they so often disregard the law. Also they put damaging things into your medical records that may very well be untrue. Now that's on your permanent record!! And they share that stuff! Things like psych diagnosis, which is simply how the doctor feels about you, gets spread and then your reputation is ruined.

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