Make Over My Mouth Project 2012: 5 Ways to Squash the Seeds of Gossip

Whispers

OK. You’re determined not to spread secrets about your friends. You’ve decided that you are going to be a trustworthy person. But you still find yourself in situations where others are not so discreet or honorable. How do you nip gossip in the bud?

Here are 5 ways to squash gossip before it grows:
  1. Plan ahead with safe topics of conversation when attending social functions.
  2. Change the subject. Before the speaker has a chance to get the gossip out, interrupt with a question or perhaps a compliment on what the speaker is wearing.
  3. When your conversation partner is about to share a juicy tidbit about “Shari,” ask, “Did Shari ask you to share this information with me?”
  4. If your group begins chatting about someone who isn’t present, smile sweetly and say, “You know, this is making me uncomfortable.”
  5. Let your friends know you are trying to observe a gossip “fast”—trying to avoid all gossipy conversations.
It’s true that initially you might make someone uncomfortable, but they will also know that they can trust you with their secrets. Perhaps you will start a trend of gossip fasts!

photo credit

Make Over My Mouth Project 2012: Delicious Gossip?

those are strong words for such a weak person
“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” 
~Alice Roosevelt Longworth
“The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
   they go down into the inner parts of the body.”
Proverbs 18:8 ESV
Gossip is sometimes described as America’s pastime. Looking at the number of celebrity gossip shows and magazines, I am inclined to agree.
Why do we like to gossip?
Sometimes gossip has a positive motive:
  • I an interested in people. I want to know what is happening in their lives.
But usually gossip has negative motives.
  • Spreading news about someone else makes me feel important. I know something you don’t.
  • Finding out something sordid or embarrassing about someone else can make me feel superior to them.
The dictionary defines gossip as, “to spread rumors or tell people the personal details of others’ lives, especially maliciously.” Our motives in sharing details about our friends are usually not very pure. And the results are usually not positive either! Friends are hurt, relationships are damaged, our reputations for trustworthiness are sullied.
In the end, gossiping doesn’t benefit anyone. Look at Proverbs 18:8 in the paraphrase of The Message:
“Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
   do you really want junk like that in your belly?”
Today make it your goal not to listen to or share any gossip.

5 Ways to Squash the Seeds of Gossip

Whispers
photo by coolio-claire
OK. You’re determined not to spread secrets about your friends. You’ve decided that you are going to be a trustworthy person. But you still find yourself in situations where others are not so discreet or honorable. How do you nip gossip in the bud?
Here are 5 ways to squash gossip before it grows:
  1. Plan ahead with safe topics of conversation when attending social functions.
  2. Change the subject. Before the speaker has a chance to get the gossip out, interrupt with a question or perhaps a compliment on what the speaker is wearing.
  3. When your conversation partner is about to share a juicy tidbit about “Shari,” ask, “Did Shari ask you to share this information with me?”
  4. If your group begins chatting about someone who isn’t present, smile sweetly and say, “You know, this is making me uncomfortable.”
  5. Let your friends know you are trying to observe a gossip “fast”—trying to avoid all gossipy conversations.
It’s true that initially you might make someone uncomfortable, but they will also know that they can trust you with their secrets. Perhaps you will start a trend of gossip fasts!

Gossip or Trustworthy Friend?

A gossip betrays a confidence,
   but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
Proverbs 11:13
If it’s very painful for you to criticize your friends – you’re safe in doing it.  But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that’s the time to hold your tongue. 
~Alice Duer Miller
Holy Spirit, help me to be a trustworthy person, a dependable friend, a reliable confidant. Let my words express the positive qualities of my friends and family members. And when others around me start to gossip, help me to walk away. May I always speak as if the person I am talking about is present. May I remember that You are always there listening! Amen.

Delicious Gossip

“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” 
~Alice Roosevelt Longworth
“The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
   they go down into the inner parts of the body.”
Proverbs 18:8 ESV
This week we will concentrate on gossiping—sometimes described as America’s pastime. Looking at the number of celebrity gossip shows and magazines, I am inclined to agree.
Why do we like to gossip?
Sometimes gossip has a positive motive:
  • I an interested in people. I want to know what is happening in their lives.
But usually gossip has negative motives.
  • Spreading news about someone else makes me feel important. I know something you don’t.
  • Finding out something sordid or embarrassing about someone else can make me feel superior to them.
The dictionary defines gossip as, “to spread rumors or tell people the personal details of others’ lives, especially maliciously.” Our motives in sharing details about our friends are usually not very pure. And the results are usually not positive either! Friends are hurt, relationships are damaged, our reputations for trustworthiness are sullied.
In the end, gossiping doesn’t benefit anyone. Look at Proverbs 18:8 in the paraphrase of The Message:
“Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
   do you really want junk like that in your belly?”
This week make it your goal not to listen to or share any gossip.