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3 Great Reasons Not to Gossip ... and One Time When It's Okay

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No one likes to think of themselves as a gossip, but, every so often, you find yourself sharing the latest rumor about someone in your kids' soccer carpool or saying something not very complimentary about a co-worker.

We live in a society where information is a form of currency. Whether you're talking because you think it will make people like you more, or just because you feel the information is harmless and, well, too juicy not to share, it's natural to want to repeat information we hear about other people. I'm assuming no one reading this would gossip with the intention of hurting someone else!

Forgive yourself for those slip-ups when you share bad news about others because you think it will help someone else -- or maybe even help the person you're talking about. But set your intention to talk about ideas, not people, and to banish bad news from your conversation for good. Here are three reasons not to gossip... and one surprising occasion when it's encouraged!

1. When you gossip, you're the one whose character is called in to question. - If you're gossiping about one co-worker to another co-worker, the person you're talking to will automatically think: “What does she say about me behind my back?” You develop the reputation of someone who can't be trusted.

2. Like attracts like - This universal law (sometimes called the Law of Attraction, because what we put out there is what we attract to ourselves) works in relation to people, thoughts and things. In Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, the author states that we become most like the five people closest to us. If you're gossiping about those people -- what does that say about you? Either you may share these traits, or you're making it a habit to look for the bad in people, rather than the good. That's not a way to form solid, trustworthy relationships.

Similarly, by repeating bad news and drama, we are attracting those type of events in to our own lives. If you want to attract more good into your life, surround yourself with positive thoughts and actions. And that means no gossip.

3. You can't change other people. - Rather than gossiping about other people's bad traits and habits, why not put that energy into changing things about yourself that you aren't happy with? You can't change others, and repeating the news about their hardships or bad habits isn't going to change them or help them. Before you speak, think: Will this help someone? Is it putting good, positive energy into the universe? If the answers aren't, “Yes,” talk about the weather, instead.

One Time It's Okay to Gossip

The only time it's okay to talk about other people “behind their back” is if you're spreading good news. For instance, feel free to talk about what a lifesaver Joe was during your latest work project, or how Mary looks fabulous since she's lost that weight. If word gets back to them, they'll be very pleased. But make them feel even better and say it to their face, as well.

In fact, that's a good rule to follow: If you wouldn't say something directly to a person, don't say it about them, to other people, either.

Have you ever dealt with gossip before and if so, how did you handle it? What worked and what didn't?

Was there specific insight in this article that hit home for you?

Share your feedback in the comments below. This can be a touchy subject so leave comments that inspire and instruct us all to move towards success, happiness and inner peace.

I'm looking forward to hearing your perspective on this!

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