You’re sitting around at work in the break room at lunch, and you notice your coworkers seem distant today. You think about it just a moment and convince yourself that you imagined this. You move through your day like nothing is wrong. But that feeling keeps nagging at the back of your mind.
Have you been in a situation like this? Possibly in your circle of friends you’ve seen this type of thing. How did it make you feel on the receiving end and the giving end?
Precisely what is gossip and how does it affect the people around you?
Gossip is a conversation that is casual or unconstrained. It is usually reported about other people, involving details that are not true. Gossip is people talking about another person and telling or passing on lies.
You’re not prone to speak gossip. You don’t sit around and tell lies about others. When you do talk about other people, you are only passing on the fact that you heard from a reputable source. And sometimes you just listen to the truth that someone is saying about another person.
Gossip starts when you try to defend yourself against an ill feeling. Someone looks at you cross-eyed, and you don’t like it. You tell everyone that this other person gave you a dirty look. They all want to know why she would have done that? You don’t know, but you feel insecure, so you find a reason.
You think about it a moment and decide to tell everyone that she just acts like she is better than anyone else. Now you have told a lie and passed it on. Every time someone says her name you roll your eyes.
Non-verbal communication such as rolling your eyes will tell your co-workers she cannot be trusted. Or maybe when others talk about her, now that you have already ruined her reputation, you sit silently. This type of communication allows everyone else to carry on what you have started and you appear innocent.
What if you were not the person who started the gossip? What if you were just sitting there when someone else decided to tell lies about their co-workers? Are you innocent of all lies and wrongdoing?
In my opinion, you are also guilty. You didn’t stop the gossip. You allowed others to tell lies. Did you seek out the truth or sit quietly listening while you appeared to agree with what was said?
Don’t let others tell lies without standing up and speaking the truth. You can encourage others to learn the knowledge of a situation for themselves. Or you can help others to stay out of the business of another person.
She may not have ever given her a dirty look. She is a kind and loving person who just happened to look your direction at the very moment her stomach cramped with hunger.
Do not let the opinions of others taint your thoughts of someone who needs your understanding. Be an example to everyone else and do the right thing.