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

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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45 comments on “What You Should Know About The Danger Of Gossip”

  1. How can Shanera Gomez aka Shanera Keitt tell people she "dumps" them? The truth is she is told that she is not marriage material and gets really upset. Understandable. Shanera will go to any extreme to make it look like she is the prize.

  2. hello my name is lillian dominguez and some one is spreading real bad things about me that are not true and now i have people i dont even know following me every wear i go its sad because who ever is doing this is a real evil person like i say you cant belevie every thing you here there,s always two sides of the story

    1. Lilian, the same was done to me not long ago. Someone took a candid photo of me and sent it out in a viral post with gossip. These people truly are evil and predjudiced, I am still dealing with this. All I can say is have good friends and family you can rely on to keep you sane. My heart goes out to you.

  3. I am the youngest of the 5 of us and I'm tired of all the gossip. I have a "pot stirrer" sister thatseems to create so much drama, it has created hurt feelings. I'm to the point that I don't associate with the rest of my so-called family. My role in this "family" has ALWAYS been the caregiver. I took care of both my parents because I lived with my parents with my children after my divorce. My mother had Alzheimer's and my dad, diabetes. Yet, to my siblings, I did nothing! I worked a full-time job at night, I had 2 young children and my parents, all at the same time. I couldn't rely on my siblings, they had a job...like I didn't? I was the only one with both of my kids under the age of 15. The pot stirrer always found something wrong with my caregiving, yet she couldn't do it. Now, i have stage 4 breast cancer from all the stress on my body. I'm still getting all the drama and so much crap, i think if I don't walk away soon, i could have a nervous breakdown. All the 4 do is gossip about me. Then, they bring it to me. HELP!!

    1. Sandy, Thank you for your blog comment. We are sorry you are going through all of this with your family. You have gone through many struggles and continue to do so. It's important that you have a place that you can continue to talk about what is going on. We have a resource that may be helpful to you. We have a community of email mentors. If you sign up for an email mentor it would be a woman that you could email back and for with about anything for as long as you like. Your mentor will listen and help you with the drama and problems you are facing with your family and your health challenges. To sign up for an email mentor go to https://www.thehopeline.com/emailmentors

  4. I come from a family of gossipers. I'm the one that is gossiped about by 1 sister...my pet name for her is the pot stirrer. She has created a huge, non-repairable relationship between my siblings and I. I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. The 4 are all way older than i am. The pot stirrer tells the other 3 about all of my fights with her. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer on March 14, 2011 (my 46th birthday) I let them all know via text messahe. Instead of asking me, the text the pot stirrer and she tells them that I am lying to get attention. I took care of my parents until they passed away in 2008. The pot stirrer used to talk bad about me to my parents. I worked a full-time job at night, 2 teenage athletic boys, my mother had Alzheimer's and my father was diabetic. I would sleep 2-4 hours a day, IF I was lucky. I also took care of my siblings children and GRANDCHILDREN. The year my parents died, I was not invited to any holidays and the brother that was the executor of the will told me I was a freeloader and I lived with my parents for FREE. I was a single mom, my boys' dad didn't help me with my boys and my siblings refused to help me. The pot stirrer tells me all the time that the siblings have meetings about me all the time. If they were to see this, which I don't care if they were to see this, I would get a phone call from one my nephews or nieces and they would try to get me to remove this because it degrades them. None of them listen to me when I try to make my case so these are the things I do. I have now changed my phone number and refuse to communicate with them, except for 1, I thought. Then, HE started texting me about crap. He does it again, I will change my number again and won't speak to any of them. Ugh! I'm tired and did I mention, I am a stage 4 breast cancer patient. I am a 7 year survivor.

  5. I have recently experienced being gossiped about.. actually they just flat out went up to my husband and said that I had taken this other person home with me. I have never met this person, that I was supposed to have taken home and the person who started the rumour doesn't like me and I don't know why. Now my husband is finding it hard to believe me even tho I went down and confronted the person i was supposed to have taken home. I'm almost starting to think I have a memory lapse problem... I just cannot fathom why someone would just make this up? I'm sick of feeling like I have to back myself up for something I didn't do.

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